Potential Gas Tax Increase Could Change Driving Habits In Philadelphia Area
By Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Federal lawmakers are considering raising the gas tax in order to fund road construction projects across the country. This could be the first increase since 1993.
“We are already suffering in this industry,” says Aziz Wardigee, a limo driver who is already dealing with high gas prices.
But if Congress raises the federal gas tax, his livelihood could be jeopardized.
“[It would] affect our income, it would affect our prices, they may raise the prices for customers, which is something we don’t want,” Wardigee says.
For the first time in 20 years, the federal gas tax could go up. Lawmakers are at odds as they figure out a way to replenish the National Highway Trust Fund, which funds road construction.
“Roads are in bad shape because of weather from years of under-funding,” says Jenny Robinson, a spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
She says the organization gives Congress the “green light” to raise the gas tax in order to help fund construction projects like the one on I-95.
“It’s the busiest highway in the region, and it needs the investment,” Robinson adds.
Two of the proposals include raising the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon over the next two years, or increasing it by four cents per gallon annually for the next seven years.
These plans are hitting Pennsylvanians hard. That’s because drivers have already been dealing with a state gas tax increase earlier this year.
“I definitely think gas prices are high enough,” says Seth Carson, of Queen Village.
“Work hard, work a lot of overtime just to pay for this kind of stuff,” agrees Kevin Durning, of Glenolden.
If Congress passes the gas hike, it will be implemented immediately.