North Carolina gas tax climbs one cent

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Beginning New Year's Day, drivers in North Carolina will pay a higher gas tax at the pump. (WTVD)

Beginning New Year's Day, drivers in North Carolina will pay a higher gas tax at the pump.

On Thursday, the tax rate went up from 36.5 to 37.5 cents per gallon, the highest rate allowed under current state law, the Dept. of Revenue said.

The hike makes North Carolina's gas tax the highest in the south and ninth highest in the nation.

Without the state law that caps the tax at 37.5 cents per gallon, it could've been higher thanks to the formula used to set the rate.

The new tax rate takes into account wholesale prices between April and September, when North Carolinians were paying the most at the pump.

Some drivers said Thursday, all things considered, a penny more per gallon isn't that big of a hit to their wallet.

"It's been going down so much lately that it's kind of hard to complain if it goes up one cent," said Maxwell Palmer of Durham.

The gas tax is recalculated every six months so if prices remain low, the rate could drop come July.

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