North Dakotans weigh in on French fuel taxes

Published: Nov. 29, 2018 at 11:11 PM CST
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Many Americans don't like tax increases, but in some cases they have it easy.

When it comes to gasoline taxes, the French have been rioting over the issue.

So what gas price is worth taking to the streets in anger?

More than 100,000 protesters hit the streets in France in the last week to protest new taxes on fuel. The price they are looking at is more than $7 per gallon in some areas. Much of that is because of the taxes.

"Living in France would be amazing, but I don't know if I could handle paying over $7 for a gallon of gas. You're dropping $21 for three gallons, that's a lot of money to some people," said Lucas Jewkes, Mandan.

In North Dakota we pay a total of 41 cents per gallon in fuel taxes. That's 18 cents collected by the federal government, and 23 cents by the state government. Consumers here haven't seen that rate increase since 2005.

"What France is doing in hiking their tax basically as an environmental action to prevent the consumption of that fuel, very different than like here in North Dakota where we use fuel tax as an essential funding mechanism for roads and infrastructure in the state," said Ryan Rauschenberger, tax commissioner.

Money collected from the motor fuel tax is designated specifically for roads, it can't be used elsewhere in North Dakota.

"Nobody enjoys paying taxes, but we also enjoy a pretty nice interstate system and our roads and highways and things here in North Dakota are quite well maintained. So money has to come from somewhere to keep those roads in good shape," said Jay Fisher, Minot.

The French president plans to keep increasing that country's tax on fuel to get his people to stop using fossil fuels, with another hike expected at the beginning of the year.

The federal fuel tax in the U.S. hasn't gone up in 25 years.