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S.C., Ga. fuel taxes, price surges could take toll on drivers next month

(WENDELL FRANKS)
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 12:06 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Drivers in South Carolina and Georgia could soon be paying more in taxes and fees.

Starting in July, the South Carolina Department of Revenue says users will start paying $0.02 more per gallon from the motor fuel user fee. The fee will rise from $0.26 to $0.28 per gallon.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s suspension of the state’s gas tax could expire. Gov. Brian Kemp in March suspended the tax of nearly 30 cents per gallon to give drivers some relief from surging fuel prices. The suspension has been extended once, with the current suspension set to expire in mid-July.

This comes even as drivers have been paying record breaking prices at the pump, with some experts warning the national average will hit $5 a gallon in the next week.

And the worst may still be to come.

Oil prices are the biggest component affecting gas prices, and Goldman Sachs is now forecasting crude oil prices will average $140 a barrel this summer. Oil is currently about $120 a barrel.

South Carolina’s fee hike, which begins July 1, is a permanent increase.

This will be the sixth year for the fee to rise. The money collected goes toward roads, bridges and infrastructure in the state. This is the final increase approved by lawmakers in the South Carolina Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act. It passed the General Assembly in 2017.

South Carolina taxpayers can offset the fee cost by claiming a tax credit. The credit is equal to the lesser of vehicle maintenance fees or what was paid in the increased fees. Those interested in claiming the credit will need to save receipts from their gas purchases or vehicle maintenance.

More information about the tax credit can be found at the link here.

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