Gas tax cap means fewer road repairs

Posted June 1, 2012

— Lawmakers are considering a bill to cap the state gas tax for a year, saying it would help North Carolina drivers in a rough economy.

But state transportation officials say they need the money the gas tax generates to build and repair roads and bridges across North Carolina.

The state tax of 38.9 cents per gallon is one of the country's highest because North Carolina maintains more roads than other states do.

The tax is determined in part on the wholesale price of gas – higher oil prices make roads more expensive to build – so it goes up and down with the price of gas. It is recalculated every six months, and the recent decline in prices means the tax is set to fall to 37.7 cents per gallon on July 1. fuel tracker logo stacked Fuel Tracker: Find lowest gas prices

The House has tentatively agreed to cap it at 37.5 cents a gallon through June 2013. A final vote on the measure is set for Monday.

"The last thing you need is more increase in prices on anything, so I think, right now, it's just more important to keep the gas price as low as it can be," driver Shaunnika Johnson said.

Pumping gas / gas pump generic Lawmakers eye lower state gas tax

"I'm going to pay what they charge either way, and I never noticed the tax to begin with," driver Blake Cey said. "I wouldn't know if (a lower price at the pump) was because of the tax or the price of gas."

The state transportation budget has taken big cuts in recent years, and Department of Transportation officials say the shortfall in state funding needed to maintain North Carolina highways will hit $65 billion over the next 30 years.

"Infrastructure that's working and is well maintained is definitely a higher priority so that people can get to work safely (and) kids can get to school safely," driver Nicole Hawkes said.

The Senate hasn't yet approved the gas tax cap bill.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • dmpaltman2 Jun 4, 2012

    Total gas taxes in NC, are some of the highest in the country. So where's all the money going? To many politicians for years, have robbed any fund with money available, to fund their pet projects. Keep the hands out the cookie jar and we will be okay.

  • retiredcfcc Jun 1, 2012

    NC higher gas tax,worst roads on the east coast. NC, was one of the first states to build I-95, my grandaddy helped to build I-95 in the Selma-Smithfield area around 1957, it looks the same today basically as it did then Still 2 lanes going both ways. Georgia was one of the last states to build I-95, today after serval projects, Georgia has the best I-95 along the east coast. I think I should know, having driven I-95 since 1964 hauling freight up and down the east coast. So, if our state leaders would quit robbing the highway fund for other waste, we could maintain a great highway system.

  • babedan Jun 1, 2012

    Keep the Governors hands out of the money, quit paying DOT cronies for doing a shoddy job and when they screw it up, then make them pay for the repairs out of their pockets, or better yet make them put up bonds and cash the bonds.

  • sunshine1040 Jun 1, 2012

    Gee we have higher gas tax then our northern neighbors but they have more snow and ice to remove and just as many roads to maintain. Maybe its time to take another look at how we spend the money

  • Qwerty27807 Jun 1, 2012

    Maybe if they don't have debacles like the I795 and I40 repaving issues, they can afford to live within their current budget. Asphalt only amounts for a small percentage of the total road cost, so this is just smoke and mirrors: "We can't do our job if we don't raise taxes!!!" Yeah right. Let's talk fiscal accountability first.

  • Mom120 Jun 1, 2012

    Listen people... we need to cut way back on government.. then there would be money for road repairs