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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

COVID-19 Meant Less driving in SC And Less Gas Tax Collected

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South Carolinians have been driving less during the coronavirus pandemic.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Traffic is South Carolina is down significantly since the coronavirus pandemic began, cutting the amount of money the state road agency takes in by $78 million, officials said.

When the COVID-19 shutdown started in March, traffic in South Carolina dropped 25% compared to March 2019, the state Department of Transportation said.

Traffic dropped 45% in April during the heart of the shutdown and is still down 25% in May, the DOT said.

Less driving means less money spent on gas taxes. The DOT estimates it will collect $54 million less than expected in gas tax from April to July. There also have been fewer car sales, leading to a $24 million drop in vehicle sales taxes collected, the agency said.

Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said she is cutting expenses at the agency so the reduced revenue doesn't affect highway construction projects.

The decrease in traffic has allow contractors to accelerate some projects, Hall said.

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