Increase in road maintenance fee proposed in Greenville Co.

Last year, the $25 road maintenance fee was ruled unconstitutional by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 11:12 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An ordinance to increase the road maintenance fee from $15 to $25 was introduced at the Greenville County Council meeting on Tuesday.

Last year, the $25 road maintenance fee was ruled unconstitutional by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

In 2017 Greenville County increased that fee from $15 to $25. However, the state Supreme Court said that the $10 increase was unconstitutional because it was not approved by the general assembly and was not a value-based property tax.

In June, the South Carolina legislature passed a law that opened the door for counties to reimpose the road maintenance fee.

Under that law, the fee must be used to benefit those who pay it, even if it benefits the general public. It must also be used for specific purposes, be the same amount for everyone, and not be more than the cost of the improvement.

In Greenville County, money collected from the road maintenance fee goes towards repairing and repaving county roads.

If the increase is approved, $14 million would come into the county from the fee while currently, Greenville County gets around $8 million from the road maintenance fee.

“This is the one that we had, that we had to repeal, then the legislature now said you can put back. We have 1,900 miles of county road in Greenville County. We’re spending $10 million a year on paving, we’re paving 29 miles of road a year out of 1,900 which is unconscionable. The $10 will only get us to 42 miles a year, which is still not enough but we cannot be accounting with 550,000 people and another 250,000 coming in the next 20 years and do nothing,” said Councilman Ennis Fant, who introduced the ordinance.

There was no discussion between council members about the ordinance during the meeting, it will now head to the finance committee.

In addition to the fee increase, Fant says he and the council will look at a one-cent sales tax in 2024 to also help pay for the roads.