CHARLOTTE, N.C. The price at the pump is about to head even higher.
According to the North Carolina Department of Revenue, the states motor fuels tax will increase 2.8 cents at the first of the year. The hike will affect gas, diesel and alternative fuels. Currently the state claims about 27 cents per gallon.
With average prices well over $2, drivers are having a difficult time understanding why the hike is coming now.
People are having it hard enough right now, said motorist Leonard White. Yeah, its hard to understand.
Sarah Davis of AAA Carolinas explained that a percentage of the tax is tied to wholesale oil prices and it is adjusted every six months by law meaning when the price of oil goes up, so does the state tax.
Because we saw some record high gas prices in this previous six months, were going to see an increase in the gas tax, she said.
The extra money helps pay for highways.
For every penny of the gas tax that it increases, the department of transportation estimates at least another $20 million in that six months, Davis said.
Surprisingly, the tax has gone down several times in the past few years, including more than 2 cents in June of 2002.
And although the tax probably wont be going down again any time soon, few people will even notice the increase. Pumping 30 gallons a week will only cost an extra 90 cents.
Drivers, of course, are still less than pleased.
AAA Carolinas also said its likely the tax will go up again this summer.
Currently North Carolina gas prices are 3 cents below the national average. According to AAA, on average the cheapest fuel prices are in Utah, at $1.99 per gallon.
Web Journalist: Lindsay Varner
OUCH.the biggest beneficiaries of gasoline sales are federal and state governments, not the oil industry:
$63,000 is not nearly enough.
How can a seller that makes less per gallon in *net* profit be gouging than the government makes in taxes on that same gallon. And that same government doesn't lower the tax during a tight supply situation. Sounds like the government is gouging more than the retailer, if you use greed as a yardstick. Yet, no one on the left accuses the government of gouging. Funny, isn't it?
Shouldn't there be an investigation, and a windfall profits rebate from the government? yuk, yuk.