Lawmakers suggest raising state gas tax to fund new roads - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/12/09

Lawmakers suggest raising state gas tax to fund new roads

By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Some legislators concerned about how to pay for new highways in Texas suggest an increase in the state gas tax. Thursday morning we're getting reaction from our local lawmakers and you.

Most folks we spoke with say now is not the time to raise any taxes. "We get taxed more than any of us can handle, and the last thing we need is any more, especially when we're in this so called down turn in our economy; it's hard enough to do what it is right now," Justin Scott said. 

"I think they need to find another way to do it," Benny Montez said.  One gentleman did tell us off camera that sometimes you have to do what you have to do, so he would consider supporting an increase in the gas tax.

During a meeting of the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday, Senator John Carona of Dallas said the state is growing and needs the money to build new roads. He says the state has no more debt they can issue for roads and says the state gas tax has been the same since 1991.

Right now, Texas charges 20-cents per each gallon pumped. Drivers also pay 18-cents in federal taxes per gallon.

State Representative Carl Isett of Lubbock says he would not support an increase. "I think the middle of a recession is a terrible time to raise taxes. I think that there are some things that those major metropolitan areas could have done to control their growth patterns and building infrastructure as they grew, rather than clogging up our state and Interstate highway systems," Isett said. 

Lawmakers say it's too early to offer precise figures on how much the state tax might need to be raised.

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