A state study committee says Georgia needs to find at least $1 billion dollars a year to overcome a gap in transportation funding. This week, the committee came up with several ways state lawmakers could raise that money, including increasing the state gas tax. But that worries some gas stations.
Gas stations that would be concerned about any increase in the tax are those located along Georgia’s borders. Jim Tudor is with the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores. He says that’s because gas is already cheaper in states like Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.
“Any change that would significantly increase the tax on motor fuel, however you choose to do it, would be very problematic for retailers that are in Augusta, especially Columbus, and even the retailers along Tennessee, because we’re also at a disadvantage already along the Tennessee border.”
But Tudor says raising the gas tax wouldn’t have much of an effect on stations in other parts of the state. He says they’d simply pass along any increase to Georgia drivers.
The legislative report released this week says raising the tax by 10 cents per gallon would generate about $600 million dollars a year.
Other options the state study committee says could raise money for transportation include: a one-cent sales tax on gas statewide and converting a four percent sales tax on gasoline to an excise tax.