Over the last two weeks, the Senate has debated several options to fund road repairs and improvements. They should be commended for making the effort.
After considering redirecting General Fund revenue to the SCDOT, rasing car registration fees, indexing the gas tax and borrowing funds, they decided on – you guessed it – borrowing funds.
Their latest proposed plan is to redirect $50 million from the General Fund to the State Infrastructure Bank where it can be used to issue up to $500 million in bonds.
While that sounds like a lot of money – and it is a lot of money – we should remember that the SCDOT needs an increase of that amount each year to properly fund our roads.
So, does this mean that we will redirect $50 million each year to issue a new set of bonds while paying back the old ones thereby driving us into massive debt and ruining our credit rating? Probably not.
Issuing bonds in this manner resembles using a defibrillator on a heart attack victim. The victim is shocked back to life and then receives further treatment for his ailment.
Unfortunately for our roads, the Senate solution contains no further treatment.