Yesterday at the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Governor Nikki Haley signed legislation investing close to $600 million in the state’s infrastructure. This includes $50 million in recurring funds allocated to the State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) to be bonded for $500 million. The package also includes moving half of the sales tax on automobiles to the Highway Fund on a recurring basis, generating about $41 million annually. Additionally, $50 million in one time funds will be used for bridge repairs.
Mike Brenan, chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and president of BB&T South Carolina, said, “For many years, the business community has been united on the need for significant investment in our state’s infrastructure, which will make a positive impact on economic development and job creation.”
Mikee Johnson, president and CEO of Cox Industries and South Carolina Chamber chair-elect, said, “Like thousands of other businesses, Cox Industries utilizes the state’s infrastructure on a daily basis, carrying products to and from the port and using our interstates and secondary road system. It is imperative that we have a reliable and safe infrastructure system so that commerce can easily flow throughout the state.”
“We thank Governor Haley and the General Assembly for their leadership on investing in our roads. This is a great first step, and the South Carolina Chamber will continue to advocate for a comprehensive road funding plan that will spur job creation and put South Carolina at the forefront of economic development,” said Otis Rawl, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
South Carolina has not seen a significant funding increase for roads and bridges since 1987, when there were one million fewer residents living in the state. Today’s announcement is a significant step forward in addressing infrastructure needs.
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s first state chamber Accredited with Distinction by the U.S. Chamber, is the state’s largest statewide broad-based business and industry trade association representing more than 18,000 businesses and more than one million employees, with 90 percent of membership comprised of small businesses. As the unified voice for business and industry, the Chamber is a catalyst for increasing wealth and enhancing the state’s global competitiveness in order to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians.