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Final gas tax increase to take effect in July

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South Carolinians will see the final increase in gas taxes of a phased, six-year plan starting July 1.

The Motor Fuel User Fee increase will raise gas prices by two cents per gallon for the final time as part of the South Carolina Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act passed by the General Assembly in 2017. The total 28-cent increase will be permanent.

The fee helps support road, bridge and infrastructure construction in the state. From July 1,2017 through March 2022, nearly $890 million has been deposited into the state Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund to support more than $2 million in road and bridge work, according to numbers from the S.C. Department of Transportation.

A tax credit is available to help offset the fee increase. The credit equals the lesser of the vehicle maintenance fees paid during the year or what was paid in the increased fees.

According to S.C. Department of Revenue data, the credit has been claimed on 68,052 S.C. tax returns, totaling $5,592,065 in credits issued so far this year. To claim the credit next year, save receipts from gas purchases and vehicle maintenance work.

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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