Horry legislators warn gas tax talk is coming in 2015

Grand Strand legislators warn there will be a push for a motor fuel tax next legislative session to help bridge the gap of the state’s road improvement needs and funding.

Area legislators spoke at a luncheon hosted by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors last week and were pretty clear about one major topic on the agenda in 2015.

“In the Senate, I believe the debate will be fully engaged this year for funding roads and infrastructure,” said Sen. Greg Hembree, R-North Myrtle Beach. “That’s the biggest problem that we face in South Carolina. It’s the most difficult problem. That’s going to dominate a lot of our conversation.”

South Carolina has the fourth largest state-maintained system in the country totaling 41,500 miles, according to the S.C. Department of Transportation. SCDOT officials have said it needs $42 billion in the next 30 years to address the state’s road needs.