Gas tax in Albany could increase gas prices

It is estimated this tax will generate about $1,250,000 a year.

Posted: Mar. 12, 2018 5:43 PM
Updated: Mar. 12, 2018 6:11 PM

ALBANY, Ore. -- A gas tax will be on the ballot for the upcoming May 15 election, that could increase the price of gas. 

If approved by voters, the gas tax would add five cents to each gallon. City officials said it would help pay for street maintenance and repairs. 

Sharon Konopa, the Mayor of Albany, said the city needs more money to repair and maintain the roads. She said the federal and state money they receive isn't enough and hasn't kept up with inflation.

The city has 187 miles of roadways to maintain, and they have a backlog of roads waiting to be fixed. Konopa said the city has been doing what they can to fix the larger roads, but the residential roads have been neglected. Konopa said the gas tax would give them additional money to make some of those repairs. 

The tax is estimated to generate about $1,250,000 a year, and the money would make a dent in the multi-million dollar cost of making improvements. 

Konopa said this tax isn't the entire solution but is something that will help the problem.

"A gas tax is the most fair way to bring in some additional revenue for streets, because the more you use, the more you are going to pay," Konopa said.

However, some residents think gas prices are already high enough.

"I mean it is going to bring it up more and more," Stephen Kobernik, a resident, said. "The economy is already bad enough, we don't need something like that hiked up."

Residents said the roads are a problem, but a gas tax isn't the right way to solve it.

If approved, the measure will go into effect January 2019.

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