(WSPA) – South Carolina’s Motor Fuel User Fee, which state leaders say helps pay for road, bridge, and infrastructure construction, will increase again on July 1.

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The July 1 increase is the final in a series of increases approved as part of the SC Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act passed by the General Assembly in 2017. The law raised the fee by $0.02 each July through this year.

The fee of $0.28 per gallon which begins in July is permanent.

South Carolinians can claim a credit on their state tax return to help offset the increase in the Motor Fuel User Fee. The credit equals the lesser of the vehicle maintenance fees paid during the year or what was paid in the increased Motor Fuel User Fees.

Preliminary SCDOR data shows this credit has been claimed on 68,052 South Carolina returns, totaling $5,592,065 in credits issued so far this year.

Those interested in claiming this credit next year should save receipts from gas purchases and vehicle maintenance work.