Eye On Boise

Guv campaign rekindles gas tax debate

“It’s cheaper and I only live three miles from here,” said Willis King, of Otis Orchards, after filling his tank at the Seltice Way Stop & Go in Stateline on Friday.  (Kathy Plonka)
“It’s cheaper and I only live three miles from here,” said Willis King, of Otis Orchards, after filling his tank at the Seltice Way Stop & Go in Stateline on Friday. (Kathy Plonka)

There's good reason why Washington plates are such a common sight at Idaho gas stations near the state line in North Idaho - gas is just plain cheaper in Idaho. Among the reasons: Washington's 37.5 cent-per-gallon gas tax is a full 12.5 cents higher than Idaho's, which has stood at 25 cents a gallon since 1996.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has spent several years unsuccessfully trying to persuade state lawmakers to raise Idaho's gas tax to boost funding for road maintenance in the state. Now, as he seeks a second term in office, his Democratic challenger, Keith Allred, is proposing the opposite: He wants to lower the tax to 22 cents per gallon, and up fees on heavy trucks to make up the difference. The debate in Idaho comes as the state's long-unchanged per-gallon tax, combined with increased fuel efficiency, has led to stagnant funding for roads despite growing traffic. You can read my full story here from Sunday's Spokesman-Review.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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