Shumlin Administration wants gas tax change
By Justin Haas
MONTPELIER, Vermont: Governor Peter Shumlin recently proposed a new $657 million transportation budget. However, the success of the budget relies on the legislative and executive branches to come to an agreement on how to raise an additional $36.5 million in revenue.
A failure to raise the needed revenue would result in the loss of $123 million from the state's transportation program. Secretary of Transportation Brian Searles told members of the House Transportation Committee, "Clearly it would be very painful, and it would not be good for the economy."
Searles's starting proposal for raising the $36.5 million is as follows:
- The sale of transportation infrastructure bonds to raise $8.3 million - only usable for long-term projects
- A 4% tax on the retail sales price of gasoline to raise $43.56 million
- A 4.7 cent decrease in tax per gallon, which would reduce revenue by $15.32 million.
- The adoption of a provision to adjust the tax per gallon in the future based on the consumer price index
The result would be a roughly 8 cent increase per gallon of gas for customers.