Vt. lawmakers may pump up gas tax - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. lawmakers may pump up gas tax

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Legislators are looking for a way to pump up transportation funding and that could mean higher prices at the gas pump.

The Vermont transportation budget currently has a $35 million shortfall. If it's not filled, the state will lose out on $40 million in matching federal grants.

Gas tax revenues are falling as drivers travel fewer miles in more fuel efficient vehicles.

Rep. Pat Brennan, R-Colchester, is chair of the Transportation Committee. Brennan says the plan now on the table would reduce the cent per gallon tax, but add a 4 percent sales tax on the total purchase, so as gas prices rise, so do tax revenues.

"We're going to continue the discussion, we may-- it's not cast in stone-- we're going to be looking at maybe decreasing that proposal, increasing that proposal, we're looking at other revenues," Brennan said.

Brennan says consumers would end up paying about 8 or 9 cents more per gallon if the plan became law.

Fuel distributors testified that the change would hurt their business, especially for those along the New Hampshire border.

Related Story:

How fuel efficiency is draining Vt. transportation budget

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