Gas tax will leave Georgians paying more this summer

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News 12 at 11 o'clock, May 15, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Gas prices are on the rise, and Georgians will pay even more at the pump when the state gas tax goes up this summer.

Filling up at the gas station gives Stephanie Taylor a headache. She payed $75 to fill up her tank.

"Gas prices are just ridiculous. It doesn't matter how much you make, you just can't get ahead," she said.

Gas prices are on the up and up, and it's no different for Georgia gas tax, which will go up July first.

That's not something Taylor wants to hear.

"I think every cent would make a difference," she said.

Part of the money paid at the pump goes toward state sales tax. And right now, there's no relief in sight from it. In fact, it will go up because the state government says they really need the money.

Back in 2005 Georgians had a month of gas tax relief. Governor Sonny Perdue didn't make anyone pay it, in an effort to combat soaring gas prices.

But not this year, because he says the state can't afford it.

A big part of where the money's needed is in road construction.

The State Department of Transportation is facing a deficit for needed road projects.

"The gas tax is a constant funding. It always comes to transportation," said Mike Keene, an area engineer for the DOT.

He says his office has 51 projects going on right now, which is more than normal. He says they need that funding to stay fueled, or roadways would be more of a mess.

"There's a lot of projects that even can't be funded because you can't fund them all. There's just not enough money in the budget," Keene said.

But Taylor says her own budget is her main concern and she wishes the governor could find some relief for her.

"If he can't see where we can do it, I guess we have to just keep plugging on,"

The state will announce June first how much the tax will go up.