The South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) Legislative Oversight Committee recently audited the department — and the findings were in line with previous recommendations from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
“This audit confirms what the state chamber has said all along,” Chamber President Ted Pitts said. “In order to truly address our infrastructure problem, we need to find a sustainable, diversified revenue stream.”
A House special committee is set to meet this week to discuss the Senate’s plan.
“There is still time this year to not only fix the DOT, but to address roads funding with at least $600 million of sustainable, recurring funding for our roads,” Pitts said, adding that the chamber would work alongside the General Assembly to develop “a long-term solution to fixing South Carolina’s roads in order to improve the business climate and keep our citizens safe on their commutes.”
The audit suggested the current general assembly-appointed commission, which includes a department head chosen by the governor, only served to “create confusion” and “undermine the authority of both.” The auditor said changing the structure under which the SCDOT is governed would lead to more efficient decisions and would also clarify lines of authority and accountability.
The auditor called SCDOT’s heavy dependency on state gas taxes and federal transportation funding “problematic,” pointing out that “it does not self-adjust for inflation and there has been decreased fuel consumption due to the development of more fuel-efficient cars.” Auditors went on to call the gas tax “regressive,” maintaining it had a negative impact on consumers living on low incomes.
To view the audit in its entirety, log on to www.scchamber.net/media-center/article/sc-chamber-statement-sc-dot-audit-findings#sthash.
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