By Jenifer Jones The Senate Transportation Committee is considering legislation that increases the gas tax, excise tax, and license fees. Officials say roads in South Dakota are in desperate need of funding for repairs. Senator Mike Vehle of Mitchell was the vice chair of a summer study that looked at the issue. He says many roads in South Dakota are beginning to go out of condition, and it is much less expensive to repair good roads than poor ones. Vehle says Senate Bill One raises the gas tax by $0.03 in May 2010 and $0.03 in May 2012. He says the current rate is no longer enough. "Currently what that $0.22 bought in 1999 now buys 13.5 cents of roadway maintenance," says Vehle. "So we have lost almost half, about 40 percent of our ability to maintain our roads."Vehle says Senate bill One also raises the excise tax on vehicle sales from three percent to four percent by 2012, and registration fees for standard cars would increase by $18.
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