SC House passes gas tax for state road work

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The House has passed a bill that eventually pumps $600 million yearly into fixing South Carolina's roads after defeating efforts to offset a gas tax increase with income tax cuts.

The House voted 97-18 Wednesday on legislation supporters call essential for safety and economic development. That represents a veto-proof majority for that chamber.

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The bill phases in a 10-cents-per-gallon gas tax hike over five years. It also increases the vehicle sales tax cap to $500, raises the biennial vehicle registration fee by $16 and creates several fees.

Opponents argued the House's latest plan will die in the Senate, too.

But first-term GOP Rep. Katie Arrington of Summerville told her colleagues voters elected them to fix the roads, and if senators "choose not to do something, let them deal with it."