Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pike County Considering Increase in Gas Tax
By Brittany Bivins

If the new tax is approved, everyone in Pike County will have to pay at least 23 cents in taxes for their gas. County officials say the county needs the money to repair roads and bridges.

The 5 cent tax per gallon would be the only gasoline tax going directly to Pike County. The other 18 cents go to state and local governments. County officials say they recently received 10 million dollars in grant money for road repairs, but that money won't cover everything.

"The issue for us, though, is and the thing I'd like people to understand is, that's only for those federal highways the ones that are classified as minor collectors, that's certainly not the larger percentage of roads," said Harry Sanders, Pike County Administrator.

Not everyone's happy about the idea, though. "As a gas owner, we feel like the people traveling through, which is a major part of our business, would buy it in other counties and not buy it here because of the nickel a gallon higher," said Martha Norman, who co-owns Sunny Side Gas Station in Troy

"Some people can't afford gas now that it's high or even when it went down and came back up, you can't expect people to pay more than they can give, so it's going to be really difficult," said Brianna Taylor, who was buying gas

However, county officials say forking over an extra nickel per gallon now could make a difference later down the road.

"While this adds to the cost of gas, what it does is allow the country to better maintain roads which can allow for safer travel within the county," said Sanders.

The tax process is still in the preliminary stages. It must be approved by the commission and state legislature before it can become law.