From large truck stops, to mom and pop shops, prices at the pump across Vermont are expected to jump soon. Wednesday, members of the House and Senate reached agreement on a compromise transportation bill. It covers three years, and will raise the effective gas tax by 6 cents this May, and the diesel tax by 2 cents come July.
"We have a bill Vermonters can afford, yet maintain our bridges and highways," said Sen. Dick Mazza, D-Grand Isle County.
But lawmakers say the tax is just a patch. They're looking to Washington, D.C., for a long-term solution. Federal rates haven't changed for 21 years. Taxes currently cost Vermonters about 45 cents per gallon of gas-- 27 cents of which is due to Vermont. Under the new plan, that tax will go to 51 cents on every gallon of gas.
Diesel currently registers 29 cents per gallon in tax, but will be bumped to 31 cents this July and 33 cents a year later.
Legislators say the consumption tax model is outdated, but will suffice until mileage-based methods are feasible.
"I just feel that it would put a lot of pressure on people who have to travel to work," said Roy Blanchard of St. Johnsbury.
Blanchard commutes 25-50 miles a day. We caught up with him as he refueled with a little lunch. Blanchard says the roads need work, but worries about the cost to residents.
"I can do it, but I wonder how many low-income people will have a tough time with it," Blanchard said.
He says he's never considered making the short trip from where he works in Wells River to New Hampshire to fuel up. Wednesday, it wouldn't earn him much in savings; the price only currently differs by 2 cents.
New Hampshire's House recently passed a proposed 12-cent hike to its gas tax. The change would occur over three years and bring the Granite State's tax to 30 cents a gallon. At least six states are considering raising gas taxes this year.
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 >>