Proposed gas tax: Would you be paying more than your share?

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Triple-A says you will end up paying more at the pump if a proposed bill keeps making ground through the statehouse.

But sponsors of the bill say our roads are in desperate need of repair, and that the money has to come from somewhere.

The Idaho Trucking Association proposed a bill earlier this month that would hike Idaho's fuels tax up six cents per gallon over the next three years.

That increase would take the gas tax from 25 cents per gallon to 31 cents per gallon. The Idaho Trucking Association says that would bring in $53 million in each year, and would help fill the $262 million annual deficit facing Idaho's roads.

"Problem is the portion that the trucking folks would bring to the table was only about 30% of what they were representing," Triple-A spokesman Dave Carlson said. "The rest that's picked up is the gas tax on motorists."

Triple-A Idaho said nearly 70% of the money raised every year with the tax will come from passenger cars, not long haul trucks.

"Idaho trucks have been underpaying their fair share, so this is kind of a slap in the face," Carlson said. "That means the rest of us, while we're probably not paying enough, we're paying more than our fair share."

But the Idaho Trucking Association said pointing fingers won't solve a problem that is all of Idaho's.

"Our members are Idahoans," president Julie Pipal said. "They're our friends, our neighbors, drivers, dispatchers. They're going to pay in their personal vehicle and as a company, so when we come forward with this proposal we don't take it lightly."

The bill has already been introduced, and has been referred to the House Transportation and Defense committee.