Gasoline Tax Under Consideration to Fund Road Projects

AUGUSTA — Lawmakers on the Transportation Committee want to add 11 cents to the tax on gasoline, a program they say will help fix state roads that have been neglected for too long.

The provision is part of the Highway Fund budget, which the committee has been working on for months. That budget, which is supported mostly by state and federal taxes on gasoline, is separate from the General Fund budget that has been developed concurrently by the Appropriations Committee.

The proposed additional state tax on gasoline would be phased in over four years, but would be partially offset by the elimination of yearly increases that are tied to the rate of inflation. The proceeds would fund a road maintenance program that would fix approximately 1,200 miles per biennium on a rotating seven-year schedule. It would also create a Commercial Vehicle Weight Safety Fund for enforcement and education around the trucking industry, including a rearrangement of the fine structure for weight-related infractions.

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