South Carolina Considers Interstate Tolls
January 27, 1999
One of the proposals presented to the South Carolina Transportation Commission at its meeting yesterday was putting tolls at the state line on Interstates 85, 95, 20, 77 and 26.
However, outgoing commission Chairman Buck Limehouse does not think the proposal has a chance, reports the Associated Press. In addition to commission approval, the Federal Highway Administration and the state Legislature would have to approve any tolls.
A $2 toll on cars, with an additional $1 per axle for trucks, would generate about $2.8 billion over 10 years, according to a state Transportation Department analysis. The department puts the state's construction needs at $4 billion.
Tolls and gas taxes are two of several potential revenue sources the state DOT presented to commissioners Wednesday.
If South Carolina is to apply for federal permission for tolls this year, it must do so by the end of March. The federal highway spending bill passed last summer allows tolls to be placed on existing interstate highways in up to three states.
If the South Carolina commission likes the idea, it would be the second state to consider applying. The Arkansas Highway Commission has said it plans to apply for permission to put tolls on its existing interstates. Arkansas’ governor is against it, and a coalition against interstate tolls has declared the state “ground zero” in the battle to prevent this from happening.