New gas tax plan may cost YOU - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New gas tax plan may cost YOU

Glennie Bench, Southwest GA Oil CFO Glennie Bench, Southwest GA Oil CFO
Velvet Mock Velvet Mock
BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Some drivers in southwest Georgia say they would travel extra miles to save money at the gas pump if prices in Georgia go up.

State lawmakers are debating a transportation funding bill that could increase the taxes we pay on gas.

Drivers in Bainbridge may need to think twice before filling up at a gas station in town.

"Folks can wrap their minds around that. Taxes are going up," said Chris Hobby, City Manager.

State legislators are trying to figure out how to raise an extra billion dollars in annual transportation funding; Proposing to eliminate the current sales tax on gas and increasing the excise tax to 29 cents per gallon.

"Which effectively takes away about 8 cents a gallon that's currently coming back to the city, and the county, and the school system," said Glennie Bench, Southwest GA Oil CFO.

Local governments could add up to 6 cents to the excise tax for local transportation projects. That would put the total local, state, and federal taxes on a gallon of gas at 55 cents.

"It would hurt. It would definitely hurt my pocketbook," Velvet Mock said,

Bench says counties near state lines face the biggest threat from House bill 170.

"Consumers are very price sensitive when it comes to fuel. People will drive across town to save a penny. They'll certainly drive 15 miles across the state line to save 15 or 16 cents."

Bench says the tax in Alabama is 39 cents per gallon. And folks say they'd even drive south for cheaper gas.

"I can't afford that. I would have to go to Florida. Just to save a couple bucks, I would have to," Mock said.

The Mayor of Bainbridge plans to write a letter to the area's state representative to express concerns. The city council plans to pass a resolution opposing the bill next Tuesday.



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