Would You Pay More For Gas To Fix Local Roads?

By Corinne Rose

January 3, 2013 Updated Jan 3, 2013 at 7:20 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- Would you pay more for gas if it generated money to fix roads where you live?

Eighteen cents of every gallon of gas you put in your car pays for road repairs and projects where you live.

But because the price of gas has gone up and vehicles have become more fuel efficient, the city of Fort Wayne is facing tens of millions of dollars in budget shortfalls to pay for projects that need to be done in 2013 and beyond.

A city spokesman says the investment is needed for residents' quality of life as well as having the infrastructure in place to attract and retain businesses.

"Major projects such as widening a road, expanding a road, or something as simple as concrete improvement or resurfacing or making upgrades in neighborhoods," says John Perlich.

The city will lobby the state legislature to consider raising the gas tax and diverting $140 million from the state police and BMV so towns across the state can pay for road repairs.

We took the question right to the people who are pumping their gas and asked them if they would be willing to pay more for a gallon of gas to be able to fix the roads in the community.

"They do a lot of rewards where you can get dollars off anyway, so I think if you raise it, it still will be a little bit cheaper because you can still use your rewards cards at a lot of the gas stations," says Denisha Beachem of Fort Wayne.

But Greg Cummings says, "Coming from the airport, say, all the way downtown, I mean, some of those roads between here and there are just awful. And, you know, first impressions are everything. But to raise the gas price to do it? No, I don't think so. I think there's other ways they could do it. And like I said, the Legacy Fund would be a start."

But the Light Lease Legacy Fund has strict criteria for ways that money can be spent, and road projects do not qualify.

The general assembly convenes Monday. So far, no legislator has committed to authoring a bill to raise the gas tax.

If there's no extra money, the city will have to reprioritize its projects for this year.

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