Senate Finance advances plan for funding roads

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Senate Finance Committee has advanced a plan that funds road and bridge construction by redirecting taxes, borrowing money and raising fees.

A 13-5 vote Thursday sent the package to the Senate floor.

The Department of Transportation says it needs $1.5 billion yearly over 20 years to get roads to good condition.

Sen. Raymond Cleary says legislators can no longer afford to push the problem into the future.

His subcommittee's plan would shift money from the sales tax on cars toward infrastructure. That $80 million redirected over two years would be leveraged to borrow $800 million. The state would borrow an additional $500 million. Cleary says that 1-time boost will meet the most critical needs.

The plan raises revenue by tying the gas tax to inflation and raising several fees.

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