To maintain and improve our roads and bridges, South Carolina depends on federal funding and revenues from the state’s motor fuel user fee and other driver/vehicle-related fees. The SCDOT Commission workshop held in August 2022 provided a thorough overview of how these dollars are put to work by SCDOT.
State funding makes up nearly 60% of SCDOT’s funding sources. This includes the 28.75 cent per gallon motor fuel user fee, which is the state’s predominant source of revenue. Learn more about how the motor fuel user fee is allocated here.
Over the years, legislative actions have diversified funding to provide for additional driver and vehicle-related fees to be allocated to roads and bridges. A history of these legislative actions regarding state funding is illustrated below:
State dollars play a critical role in matching federal dollars. They are also the predominant source of funding for the pavement program.
SCDOT receives approximately $1 billion in federal funds. These funds come with specific requirements and restrictions. Because of this, they tend to be allocated to complex projects and used to fund various programs, including interstates, bridges, MPO/COGs, and safety.
Four Primary Accounts Fund SCDOT Operations
These federal and state funds are allocated across various accounts used to fund SCDOT, with the two predominant accounts being the Highway Fund and the Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund (IMTF).
- Highway Fund
- General Fund Revenues (From State Budget)
- Act 176 Fund
The Highway fund is funded by 16 cents of the motor fuel user fee, federal funds, Act 275 DMV fees, and other fines, fees, and interest. The Highway Fund supports all SCDOT operations, including maintenance, debt service, and matching federal dollars.
The IMTF is funded by new motor fuel user fees and other vehicle-related fees established in Act 40. The IMTF must be used to repair and improve existing roads and bridges. Details on this fund can be found here.
The general fund revenues ($120 million) are a new allocation from the legislature in 2022. This money will be used exclusively to match federal dollars associated with the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA).