Another Republican-Controlled State to Increase its Gas Tax
On Friday, the South Dakota legislature voted to support a six-cent hike in the gas tax plus an increase in registration fees, effective April 1, to raise over $50 million. They had to clear a two-thirds threshold. Governor Dennis Daugaard supports the bill.
The vote in each chamber had a two-thirds threshold to surmount. As a result, the measure will raise over $50 million for needed road and bridge repairs. The gas tax will increase 27 percent.
"A House-Senate conference reportedly reached agreement the morning of March 13, and both chambers approved the accord later that day," according to AASHTO Journal. "The House version aimed to raise more than $50 million in its first year mainly through a combination of phased-in motor fuel fee increases along with higher fees on vehicles."
In January, we noted that South Dakota Gov. Daugaard had advocated for a "perpetual two-cents annual increase" in the gas tax to fund state and local roads and bridge repairs. A spokesman indicated he supports the House-Senate settlement.
The state's 22-cent gas tax [PDF] was last raised in 1999. Even with the six-cents increase on April 1, it will be about two-cents below the state average of about 30-cents per gallon, similar to the anticipated five-cents increase in Utah.
As with the Beehive State, the actions by the Republican-controlled legislature and anticipated signing the by the Republican governor show that maintaining infrastructure is non-partisan priority. According to Wikipedia, "since 1996 the Republican Party of South Dakota has had a supermajority in State Senate and since the 1976 election, the Republican Party of South Dakota has had a supermajority in State House."