Gas Holiday Could Harm Panhandle Roadways

Paul Braun, TxDOT Spokesperson
Paul Braun, TxDOT Spokesperson

A potential gas holiday this summer could save you hundreds of dollars in gas. But as Newschannel 10's Stephanae Benson reports, it could cost you more in the long run.

If they suspend the Federal Gas Tax, that could mean our roads suffer causing more wear and tear on your vehicle. The federal gas tax is 18.5 cents per gallon. TxDOT uses those funds to add new highways and maintain the roads. And while the agency takes no official position on the proposed tax cut, they are already in a crunch and do have concerns about taking the loss.

"All of our cost are rising. Our fuel costs are rising. If you remember asphalt is oil based. It costs them more many to bring in materials, so things are skyrocketing," said TxDOT Spokesperson Paul Braun. One of the proposed ideas will take funds from other government programs to cover the funding shortage, but no decisions have been made yet.

For consumers the tax cut  means about $35 savings every month.

Mark W. McCoy drives a truck for a living and he welcomes the relief at the pump.

"Give everybody a break, ease up on us a little bit. Summers coming up there's going to be a lot of hauling out there."

Others flat out don't want it.

"No. I feel like taking the gas break doesn't help families and compared to not having roads fixed not worth it at this time."

"It would be nice but not for what it's worth in the long run probably not."

TxDOT says the Federal Gas Tax isn't enough to cover their expenses and they are looking at alternatives to help keep the roads safe.

"Past due financing, where if a city feels they have a project they need done right away, they can bond out and txdot will pay them back per vehicle that drove on that project."

The proposed gas holiday will potentially last from Memorial Day through Labor Day.