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.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>