Horry County senator's bill: Let residents vote on gas tax hike for beach renourishment

If a bill pre-filed this month by Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Little River, becomes law, each of South Carolina’s coastal counties would have the opportunity to hold a countywide referendum asking voters if they would approve a penny-per-gallon increase in the fuel tax to pay for beach renourishment. The money collected in each county would pay for renourishment projects there.

A one-cent hike in the gas tax could provide money for replacing the sand on Horry County’s beaches.

That’s the idea behind a bill state Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Little River, prefiled this month. If the bill becomes law, each of South Carolina’s coastal counties would have the opportunity to hold a countywide referendum asking voters if they would approve a penny-per-gallon increase in the fuel tax to pay for beach renourishment. The money collected in each county would pay for renourishment projects there.

Hembree said the proposal emerged from a discussion with a constituent about the way coastal communities restore their shores after a storm washes away the sand. Sometimes federal money is available for those projects. Sometimes it’s not. And sometimes the work is approved for certain areas of the Grand Strand and not others.

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