Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said the state's roads and bridges need fixing and the state needs a way to pay for it. He hinted at one possibility: raising the state's gas excise tax, which he said hasn't changed since 1971.
While Deal didn't say he wanted to raise that tax, he noted that it hasn't changed since 1971. The state excise tax is currently 7.5 cents a gallon. So for the price of a 12-gallon fill-up, that adds about 90 cents.
AAA reports gas prices are at an average of a $1.95 in Macon and with that low number some motorists like Stuart Thompson say raising tax may be a good idea. "I think it's a good thing cause some of the roads need are in bad need of repair. So I think it's a good thing," said Thompson.
Thompson added that since gas is already low, raising that tax wouldn't hurt too bad. But Jamee Raborn disagreed. Raborn lives in Augusta and said she drives to South Carolina because fuel taxes are lower there than in the Peach State.
Raborn said there's another way for the Governor to improve bridges and roadways in Georgia. "I use my personal car for business and the lower the fuel prices the better it is for me as a consumer," said Raborn.
Another Macon man, Ernest James, said as long as gas prices stay at a decent rate he doesn't mind the excise tax rising. "If it doesn't go back up any higher. We need the roads and the bridges in order to drive the cars on, other wise there's no sense of getting any gas," said James.
On Wednesday, Governor Deal said maintaining what Georgia already has on its roadways requires hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year.
Governor Deal said if Georgia becomes less reliant on federal funding for transportation projects the state will get more for our money in new roads. Deal said that's because Georgia would avoid the regulations and extra costs that come with federal involvement.