N. Charleston Floral Shop Hopeful About New Gas Tax

Businesses brace for gas tax hike

For the first time in three decades, South Carolina’s gas tax will go up. State lawmakers overrode Governor Henry McMaster’s veto of the bill.

It’ll increase the tax by 12 cents a gallon during the next six years. It’s expected to generate more than 600-million dollars a year for state highways. A local business that relies heavily on traveling has high hopes it’ll help everyone.

Delivery drivers like Kevin Williams are busy approaching Mother's Day weekend. At Creech's Florist on Azalea Drive, business is in full bloom. Employees say it’s a challenge delivering beautiful bouquets while travelling local highways.

"It's kind of congested you know. We need more, better roads and some better routes or something," said Williams, who’s been driving for the North Charleston floral shop for the past 14 years.

Raleigh Beasley is the manager of Creech's Florist. He says transportation is crucial in the industry.

"The biggest effect in traffic. Being able to deliver a product to a customer in a time sensitive manner," Beasley said.

With higher gas taxes on the way, floral businesses will need to spend more money for fuel. Managers at Creech's think an incremental gas tax hike will ease the pain of paying extra to improve roads.

"It's very important for all of us. For employers getting to work on time. Being able to get home in a timely manner,” explained Beasley. “Delivery drivers being able to efficiently make their routes and get back in a timely manner."

He’s hopeful his business can blossom with better highways.

"Everybody's life is affected by traffic and by roads. So if the gas tax is able to better everybody's life by that then I think it will be worth it," he said.

The law also bumps up the price of various driver’s fees, like vehicle registration, and the sales tax on cars and trucks. Drivers will begin paying more at the pump when the new gas tax law goes into effect on July 1.

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