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Lawmakers Hope To Halt Gas Tax Hike

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Some North Carolina lawmakers want to put the breaks on an upcoming hike on the state's gas taxes.

Come January, the tax will increase from 27 cents to 30 cents a gallon -- the highest in the southeast. Five lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Easley this week, requesting a special legislative session to reconsider the tax. The reason: soaring gas prices.

The legislators want the state to freeze the increase for six months. The hike is based on wholesale prices and higher costs following Hurricane Katrina.

Lawmakers in the western part of the state say families are struggling with the increases. Critics say part of the tax is being raided to balance the budget. Transportation groups warn cutting the tax would jeopardize necessary road improvements.

Because of the holidays, the governor has yet to receive the request.

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