TUCSON, Ariz. - It's been a controversial issue for decades. Experts say each penny of the gas tax raises about $35 Million annually.
Currently, the state gas tax is 18 cents per gallon. But according to the Tax Foundation, it's the sixth lowest in the country and it hasn't been changed since 1991. The gas tax is the primary way which we fund transportation improvements including road widenings, bike lanes and sidewalks, said Senior Transportation Planner with the Pima Association of Governments Nathan Barrett. He says now, the numbers don't add up.
The association has identified $28 Billion of transportation projects that need to be built in Pima County in the next 30 years, but they only have funds for less than half of that. Barrett says unless they find more money, they can't meet the transportation needs of our region. That means, "greater wear and tare in our roadways, more potholes, more congestion, and economic problems," Barrett said.
If the gas tax is approved, what does that mean for us?
If you pump 20 gallons per week, that'll cost about $8 more per month. Some say that's just too much, and that there are other ways to raise money.
Barrett says raising the gas tax may be a simple solution. For now, it's up to the state legislature to decide.