South Carolina Roads to Be Fixed
After the South Carolina Department of Transportation released the statement that it needed a surplus $1.2 billion a year to restore the state roads to good condition, the debate over how to achieve that has caught fire. Last year, a roads bill was passed after the business leaders had called for improvement in the conditions of roads. Now that the issue is back in the Senate again, and 85% of S.C. primary routes and 40% of the interstates have been rated as being in either poor or fair condition, Sen. Ray cleary says that the senators should stop “skipping over” the road debate.
There are a lot of facets to this problem and so are the possible solutions and the consensus seems to be hard right now. The senators, who took up the task to structure the bill for a greater funding for S.C. roads, are confident that it will be able to silence the clamor raised by pothole-hitting drivers and business leaders. However, it warns that the process might take several weeks.
While some senators don’t want the DOT board to be revamped, others want to ensure the gas tax raise sees other significant tax cuts. Still, others want to make sure the tax cuts reach the widest audience without menacing the services. In this racket, however, there seem to be few things that are more-or-less agreed upon: reforms on how DOT is run and tax cuts following the bill that raises more money for roads.
It’s interesting that a group of op-ed columnists has pointed out that the problem at hand is not just the poor funding – it also involves significant spending issues as well. State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) which receives the appropriations by S.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) has been reportedly employing these funds for what they call to be “politically motivated” construction projects while the state of the current roads and bridges stays in despair. Although the gas tax may appear to be a convenient fix, according to such columnists, it is not the primary solution to the problem.
Lawmakers have seemingly focused their attention on DOT, leaving STIB the authority to appropriate millions of dollars for projects whose need or urgency has not been established. According to the statistics, STIB is not just unaccountable to DOT unlike other states; it is also the most active in making direct grants instead of loans. – See more at: http://truckernews.com/south-carolina-roads-to-be-fixed-p665-90.htm#sthash.ueupEVsA.dpuf