DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- When you buy a gallon of gas in North Carolina, 37.5 cents of the cost per gallon is a state fuel tax.
A bill in the North Carolina House right now proposes changing that tax to 18.5 cents per gallon, but supplementing it by charging a $201 annual transportation usage fee for every driver.
According to national numbers provided by AAA Carolinas, if this bill passed, most drivers would see an increase in what they pay annually for gas. For the bill to save a driver money, he or she would have to purchase more than 1,000 gallons per year of gas, but numbers show most motorists don't come close to that.
Some drivers object to the bill, saying that those who drive least should not be responsible for absorbing part of the cost of those who drive more.
"I don't like that," driver Yvonne Nance said. "When you get older and you don't have to drive as much, we need a little break, too. I hate it for the drivers that have to pay the big tax, but still. We need them to consider all people."
Many tractor-trailer drivers have a different perspective. It can cost more than $600 to fill up the 200 gallon tank many trucks have, and on some days, those drivers are filling up multiple times a day. For them, the gas tax change would easily save money.
"If I'm paying less, that'll be great for me," truck driver Kenneth Melton Jr. said. "If I can pay less on the fuel that means more money for me, more money in my pocket."
The bill passed the first reading in the N.C. House. Next, it will go to the Transportation Committee.