Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Moter Fuel Tax Increase proposed by the Governor

Rep. Shelley Hughes
Representative Shelly Hughes

We’ll hear the bill again this week. What do you think? Last week the House Transportation Committee held its first hearing on the Governor’s bill, HB 249. Here’s what it would do:
  • Double the motor fuel tax for road vehicles (8¢ more per gallon)
  • Triple the aviation fuel tax (7¢ more per gallon)
  • Double the marine fuel tax (8¢ more per gallon)
  • Collect $49 million from Alaskan families and businesses per year

    Not only would the cost of travel for Alaskans increase due to this proposal, but because shipping and freight costs would rise as a result, Alaskan consumers could expect the costs of goods to increase along with the tax.
For those in our district, we realize that Mat-Su is not only home to thousands of daily commuters but is a large area where key destinations are miles apart. This tax increase is a big deal. A local roundtrip to a certain retailer or for a medical appointment can easily involve 15-20 miles. Bottom line: we buy a lot of gas. The motor fuel tax portion of this bill would translate into a disproportionate amount of the $49 million coming from our wallets into the general fund.

I’ll be chairing the House Transportation Committee on Thursday, February 4th at 1 p.m. when we’ll hear the motor fuel tax bill again. I’d love for you to chime in. You can testify by going to your local Legislative Information Office or if that’s not feasible, contact my office 907-465-3743 for call-in information. You can also send written testimony on HB 249 to rep.shelley.hughes@akleg.gov, and I’ll see that it’s included in the committee bill packets. You can watch the committee here. Stay tuned because we may provide another yet another opportunity for public testimony.