SCDOT predicts pandemic will cost $293M
The extreme decrease in travel due to the covid-19 outbreak continues to impact the state.
Even as businesses continue to reopen, the SC Department of Transportation shows major drops in gas tax and car sales taxes.
Initial projections show less traffic and a drop in car sales are expected to result in a $78 million revenue reduction from April to July.
This short-term forecast predicts $54 million less in gas tax revenue and a $24 million decrease in vehicle sales taxes through July 2020.
After significant drops in volumes in March and April, traffic has been increasing during May.
Compared to 2019, March traffic volumes were down about 20%, April traffic volumes 45%, and about 25% for May.
“We expect traffic volumes to continue to climb as the state emerges from the pandemic, and we expect the revenue gap to close over time,” said Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall. “Like everyone else trying to forecast the economic impact of this virus, it is unknown whether it will take 6 months or more than a year for revenues to return to pre-pandemic levels."
DOT is planning for a 2-year recovery period with a potential $293 million total impact, Hall said.
Hall has cut DOT's internal operating budget by 11% for the rest of the fiscal year to cover the lower revenue forecasts.