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State Gas Tax To Remain Steady -- For Now

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's gas tax won't rise any more in the coming months -- but only because gas prices on which the tax are based haven't risen enough.

A portion of the state's gas tax is based on the wholesale cost of fuel.

Although it seems to consumers that the price has spiked recently, state officials say that the average of six months keeps it in line with previous increases.

The current state gas tax is 29.9 cents a gallon. About 17.5 cents of the current tax is a flat rate.

There is also a variable rate that increases when the price of gas increases, which changes every six months based on the price during a period before that.

The last gas tax hike was at the beginning of 2006, when the tax went up 3 cents because the wholesale price shot up in the fall of 2005.

The latest decision to hold the tax steady was based on the price from October 2005 to March 2006.

The gas tax -- which took the largest jump in 16 years in 2006 -- has been a hot-button political issue in the last few months with a group called North Carolina Conservatives United formed to oppose the gas tax.

Gov. Mike Easley also jumped in last month, seeking to freeze the tax. The state Legislature is still mulling over Easley's plan -- which apparently would be moot for the next few months.

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