State lawmaker files bill to add dime to fuel taxes

Extra revenue would be used to pay for transportation projects


SAN ANTONIO – On Thursday, State Representative Ruth Jones McClendon (D – San Antonio) filed House Bill 17.

The measure would add ten cents to the state fuel sales tax, increasing it to 30 cents per gallon.

"We have looked for alternatives until we are blue in the face, and we've run dry," McClendon said "If we're going to try and solve the transportation problem we should use all the tools we have. Nobody wants to cost taxpayers extra money, and this approach is extremely moderate."

McClendon said under her plan, a person with a 16-gallon tank that fills up once a week would pay approximately $6 more per month on fuel.

"If you use the roads and you don't want toll roads, and you don't want expensive wear and tear on your car from bad roads, then another $6 or so per month is a good deal for most drivers," she said.

Some drivers disagreed and said fuel costs are already too high.

"The streets, yeah they're messed up, but the gas prices are ridiculous already," said Alexandra San Miguel.

Tim Wichert drives to Texas from Iowa once a month to work and said he pays about $450.

He said another ten cents is, "way way way too much."

McClendon estimates her plan would add $1 billion per year to the state's highway fund.

Thomas Cirilo works for a local painting company and drives crews all over San Antonio.

He does not believe McClendon's idea constitutes a "good deal", but he's certain people would still pay.

"At the end of the day, we still have to drive. We still have to go to work. We still have to feed our family," he said. "They could make it $4 a gallon and people would still pay it."

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