Melissa Monfreda is money-conscious. Her SUV costs $70 a fill up, so she drives from her home in Hinesburg to Cumberland Farms in Burlington once a week for her fill-up. She says prices there are often nearly $20 cents cheaper than back home.
"I have two kids at home and I use my car all day, so I wait every week to fill up here because it's cheaper already," Monfreda said.
When the new tax takes effect Wednesday, her next fill-up will cost a little over $1 more. So while the tax will on average be just six cents more per gallon, for Monfreda every penny counts.
"They want to tax everything and we pay enough on taxes," Monfreda said.
Linda Ayer of Burlington drives a hybrid and doesn't fill up too often, but she wishes the Legislature would find alternatives to taxing the middle class.
"Work at better nonregressive taxes-- I believe in people-- the 1 percent paying a lot more than they do," Ayer said.
Others say the small increase won't impact their bottom lines.
"I'm not too upset about it, now that prices are coming down. So, it will be less than it was before, but I think you need some tax in order to build the bridges and stuff like that," said Tom Nuovo, who supports the gas tax.
Gov. Peter Shumlin says he opposes broad-based taxes, but says the tax is needed to pay for transportation costs, as Vermonters are increasingly buying more fuel-efficient cars and are filling up less often. The tax is expected to bring in $25 million a year.
"We have a leaky bucket in the transportation fund," said Shumlin, D-Vermont. "If we don't repair it, we're not going to be able to make the progress on roads and bridges that are crumbling before our eyes. Bipartisan consensus, the right choice to make, even though we all hate it."
The tax also raises the cost of diesel by two cents this July and an additional cent in 2014.
The governor signed that bill raising the gas tax in private earlier this week.
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:27 AM EDT2014-03-12 04:27:22 GMT
Town meeting day didn't bode well for dozens of school budgets across the state. Now the Burlington City Council is looking to cut costs after voters rejected school spending hikes. The council votedMore >>
Town meeting day didn't bode well for dozens of school budgets across the state. Now the Burlington City Council is looking to cut costs after voters rejected school spending hikes.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-03-12 04:26:45 GMT
The Vermont Senate has loosened restrictions on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill passed Tuesday allows an unlimited number of qualified Vermonters to access medical marijuana -- removing theMore >>
The Vermont Senate has loosened restrictions on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-03-12 04:26:03 GMT
A St. George man is behind bars accused of stealing from an elderly South Burlington woman. 43-year-old Craig Dubuque was arrested for the alleged financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Police sayMore >>
A St. George man is behind bars accused of stealing from an elderly South Burlington woman.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:35 PM EDT2014-03-12 03:35:07 GMT
"You know, people say you might not need it, which is true, but this way you get a choice. I don't have to go out tomorrow," said Lorinda Henry of Milton. Henry says she hit the grocery stores TuesdayMore >>
Parts of Vermont could get up to 24 inches of snow in the coming storm. And VTrans officials are warning drivers they may not be able to keep up with the storm rolling in Wednesday.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-03-12 00:02:07 GMT
"Seems like it was just yesterday. Doesn't seem like it's been two years at all," said Glenda Reandeau of Tupper Lake. Residents of Tupper Lake still have their eyes out for Colin Gillis, a now 20-year-oldMore >>
Colin Gillis of Tupper Lake, N.Y., disappeared two years ago. And authorities are still searching for him. They say the investigation now focuses on tips from the public and from those who were the last to see Gillis.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-03-11 22:17:43 GMT
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser. Authorities say Officer Adam Lucia was one of two officers responding to an aggravated assault call Monday at TopsMore >>
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser.More >>