INDIANAPOLIS – This weekend, Indiana’s gas tax will increase, but fuel experts think it could be days before drivers notice the difference.
The increase comes as Hoosiers are enjoying lower gas prices. Right now, AAA reports show the average price for a gallon of gas in Indiana is $2.16, which is ten cents lower than this time last year.
“It makes a lot of difference because I work two jobs, so I use a lot of gas,” driver Velma Townsend said. “It’s within my budget, but if it goes any higher, I’ll have to scrape some money from somewhere else to get it,” driver Willie Sanders said.
This Saturday, Indiana’s gas tax will jump 10 cents a gallon. A change lawmakers made to fix roads and bridges.
“I don’t like that,” Sanders said. “I’m going to have to slow down somewhere driving.”
“Our roads are really bad,” Townsend said. “There are potholes. The highways are in bad shape. If they have to raise the taxes 10 cents, I don’t think that’s too bad.”
The tax may start Saturday, but Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association executive director Scot Imus doesn’t think Hoosiers will notice an immediate change.
“No retailer wants to be the first one to increase their prices when they go higher,” Imus said. “So it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen. It depends on how competitive your environment may be.”
While drivers who use unleaded fuel, may not notice the change right away, Imus said it could be different for truckers. This is because diesel fuel tax is set to go up 31 cents a gallon Saturday.
The unleaded honeymoon may not last long. Imus said gas stations most likely will charge more days after. “You might see prices be pretty steady, and then a big jump all at once to recapture that,” Imus said.
A reason why some drivers are taking advantage of the price now. “I’m already filled up,” Townsend said. “I filled up already. I’m not taking a chance, fill it up, and just enjoy what I can get out of it.”
Lawmakers said this increase will create immediate changes. Starting next month, Governor Eric Holcomb said Hoosiers will smell asphalt.
This isn’t just a gas tax increase bill, there will be vehicle fees added next year, and tolls could be coming down the road.