Residents voice opinion on federal gas tax

May 1, 2008 5:52:44 PM PDT
As gas prices soar, the federal gas tax is becoming the issue the presidential candidates are increasingly focusing on.

Eyewitness News talked to drivers who live in Orange, Durham and Wake Counties and found just about all had opinions about the gas tax debate.

Most agree gas prices are soaring out of control.

"It's gotten insane, I can't afford gas so much," Driver, Elizabeth Scott said.

"I think it's too high and it's ridiculous, and somebody putting us in a depression," Driver, Jeffrey Hunter added.

But what to do about it in the short term has become the political flashpoint of the week.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain both want to suspend the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents a gallon for the summer.

That tax money goes for into a fund for road construction and maintenance.

Clinton proposes making up lost revenue by increasing taxes on oil companies.

Obama calls the whole thing a gimmick. Economists say most people would save about $30 all summer long.

Eyewitness News drove all across the Triangle Thursday to talk to drivers and found split opinion.

"I would love to not pay for that," Driver Elizabeth Scott said.

"I think it's a horrible idea," Driver, Suzanne Haff said.

In Garner, Jeffrey Hunter said every 18 cents counts and he'd like to see the tax suspended.

"I think that'd be the right thing to do, because that way people can afford to live better and save money," Driver, Jeffrey Hunter said.

In Chapel Hill, Mike Ingram called the idea of suspending the tax a waste of time, even though he spends hundreds of dollars a week on gas as he installs flooring for a living.

"It's a political ploy, that's all it is," Ingram said. "Just for the 18 cents for the federal, nah, forget it."

Clearly all would like to see the price at the pump drop, but how that happens, continues to fuel intense debate.


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