For a crowd in Colchester, gas prices are putting a pinch on their wallets and they want answers.
"To treat Chittenden County like it's an interstate exit ramp in its entirety is absolutely ludicrous," said Alex Weinhagen of Westford.
At a hearing in Montpelier earlier Tuesday, fuel experts testified that prices in Chittenden County are often in the top 15 of 400 retail gas markets in the country. And often higher than other regions of the state. It's an issue that's gotten the attention of Senator Bernie Sanders, who called for an investigation. But fuel distributor, Skip Vallee, says the high cost to do business in Vermont leads to higher prices at the pump.
"I am between six and ten cents cheaper than Island Pond and Newport, Vermont," explains Cheryl Cote of Canaan.
Cheryl Cote has owned a gas station for 40 years in Canaan. She's had to lower her prices because her customers are gassing up in nearby New Hampshire instead. She says prices there are often a dime cheaper because New Hampshire has a lower gas tax.
"I have to try to stay competitive with my neighbors but I still need to make something so I can you know do things like repair equipment," continued Cote.
Cote says dropping her prices is also dropping her revenue. She's laid off two mechanics and is struggling to pay the bills. Others in the crowd urged lawmakers to find new ways to generate transportation tax revenue instead of relying so much on the pump.
"There's some interesting experiments going around the country now to try to come up with alternate ways to come up with funding for transportation other than just by the gas tax," said Carl Fowler of Brattleboro.
He suggests lowering the gas tax, but increasing sales tax or income tax. But lawmakers haven't decided what, if any, action should be taken in the immediate future.
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:12 AM EDT2013-05-23 10:12:07 GMT
Four colleges, including Dartmouth, are now facing federal complaints over their handling of rape allegations. Other colleges facing complaints include Swarthmore College, University of Southern California,More >>
Four colleges, including Dartmouth, are now facing federal complaints over their handling of rape allegations.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:06 AM EDT2013-05-23 10:06:37 GMT
Flash flooding in Burlington Wednesday night turned city streets into a kayaker's playground. "The drains in the city were all plugged with debris," says Lt. Pat Murphy with the Burlington Fire Dept. ButMore >>
Sudden storms caused flash flooding and left a man injured from a lightning strike.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:52 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:52:05 GMT
Another major Vermont brand is suing over trademark infringement. Magic Hat Brewing says the logo for Kentucky-based West Sixth Brewing is a rip-off of their Number 9 beer label. Magic Hat argues theMore >>
Another major Vermont brand is suing over trademark infringement.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:48 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:48:28 GMT
A Townshend man will be in court for breaking into a house and making himself at home. Police say last Friday and again on Wednesday, they caught 34-year-old Jesse Johnson living in another man's homeMore >>
A Townshend man will be in court for breaking into a house and making himself at home. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:25 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:25:30 GMT
A Williston car dealership is revved up about education. So, it's letting some schools drive off with some money. As part of its Drive for Education Program, Berlin City Auto Group just donated more thanMore >>
A Williston car dealership is revved up about education. So, it's letting some schools drive off with some money.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:19 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:19:26 GMT
A proposed fee to cross the U.S.-Canadian border hit a roadblock. The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment by Congressman Bill Owens banning Homeland Security from using funding to studyMore >>
A proposed fee to cross the U.S.-Canadian border hit a roadblock.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:16 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:16:34 GMT
New Hampshire's House says a casino isn't in the cards for the state. The House killed a bill that would have allowed 5,000 video slot machines and 150 table games at a single casino, most likely at aMore >>
New Hampshire's House says a casino isn't in the cards for the state.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:13 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:13:01 GMT
Montreal officials say the water in most of the city is unsafe to drink Thursday morning. A boil order has been issued through mid-day Thursday. They report ongoing work at the country's second largestMore >>
Montreal officials say the water in most of the city is unsafe to drink due to bacteria concerns. More >>