Better fill 'er up before gas tax increases Jan. 1

Better fill 'er up before gas tax increases Jan. 1 »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. - Norman Delue of Eugene was not happy when he read about a 6-cent a gallon increase in Oregon's gas tax that takes effect Jan. 1.

"I've heard about it," Delue said, "but I don't really think that I have any control over saying yes or no."

Voters defeated a state gas tax increase in 1999. This time around, voters did not get a say.

Some drivers, like Sam Belfatto of Eugene, said it's not a big deal. "The money for the roads, it's fine with me because the roads are pretty bad," Belfatto said.

Supporters of the tax increase said the money will help with a backlog of maintenance projects. This is the first state gas tax increase in Oregon since 1993, fueling an estimated $300 million dollar a year boost for the state's roads and bridges.

That includes millions of dollars for the interchange of Beltline and Interstate 5 in the Eugene/Springfield area.

Elizabeth Siegel of Eugene calls the tax hike a necessary evil. "I guess that's the way you have to look at it," she said. "What are you going to do? I mean everything is going up and I know our salary isn't going up but I think it's something that has to be done."

The transportation bill passed by legislators also raised vehicle title and registration fees and the fee for manufacturing license plates.

So fill 'er up now: On Jan. 1, the state gas tax jumps from 24 to 30 cents a gallon at the pump in Oregon.