NC Legislators Debate Cap on State’s Gas Tax

May 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

North Carolina’s gas tax may once again be a contentious issue with state legislators as they return to session this Wednesday. Some are pushing for a cap on the gas tax, at 37.5 cents per gallon. The gas tax, which is currently 38.9 cents per gallon, is reviewed twice a year and is based on a formula linked to the wholesale price of gas.

Capping the gas tax would take away much needed revenue for North Carolina’s roads, bridges, and other transportation investments. It appears that there is no plan to recover the loss of revenue through another funding stream– leaving a gap in the money available to make these important investments.  The Progressive Pulse provided a detailed look at the need for transportation improvements in the state when the Legislature had debated the issue last year, and explained that:

“More than 5,000 of the state’s 13,000 bridges (almost 4 in 10) are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.  The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently down-graded North Carolina’s roads from D to D-, and also estimates that poor road conditions cost North Carolina motorists $1.7 billion annually in additional repairs and operating costs.  At the same time, unemployment in the construction industry continues to remain above 13 percent.”

Now is not the time to restrict revenue that is intended for investments in our state– particularly those that would sustain good jobs like those in construction. These investments, not tax cuts, help to create sustainable and long-term economic development. The issue is bigger than just “a few less bike paths” as one legislator put it. It is about our economic development strategy, what we value in the state, and where we chose to invest our resources.

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Entry filed under: Economic Development. Tags: .

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