Trend toward fuel-efficient vehicles leads to financial troubles for the state

The state is in need of more money for road repairs and could one day tax drivers based on how far they go instead of how much gas they buy.

The care of Hawaii’s roads is made possible in large part by a tax we pay every time we fill up our cars.

Vehicles are becoming more fuel-efficient, and the state says it needs to look into other means of repairing and improving Hawaii’s roads.

States are having a harder time paying for road repairs. Hawaii is not immune to the drop in gas tax revenue.

So the state is getting help from the federal government with a $4 million grant to study alternative ways of funding road projects.

Hawaii relies heavily on gas tax revenue. The state says it might look into changing that by switching to a fee that would charge you more based on how many miles you drive.

“I think it’s a little unfair because especially the people that drive to the west side or drive in all day long. In traffic in that kind of thing just to do that kind of thing,” said driver Dave Gonzalez.

“I don’t think they should change the mileage usage tax because it defeats that and kind of hurts the people that are actually using electric cars. Is it kind of makes me afraid to actually want to buy and go energy-efficient with their car. So they should leave it just on the gas tax affects more people that are hurting the environment,” said driver Blake McCullough.

In a statement the governor said in part “while I encourage the move away from fossil fuels, the resulting lower consumption reduces the funds for highway projects. We need to explore new ways to fund our highway system.”

As of July Hawaii has the fourth highest gas tax in the nation behind New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

 

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