Look for higher gasoline taxes in the months ahead. Just as gas prices are leveling off at about $1.25 a gallon across the country, more and more states are looking at stiffer levies.
The reason: Gas tax revenues are down, costs for maintaining roads are up.
In fact, maintainance costs are soaring 25 percent a year. Public grumbling about poorly kept roads grows. One estimate is roads are wearing out twice as fast as they're being fixed.
All states have gas taxes -- they range from 5 cents a gallon on the low side to about 12 cents a gallon on the high side. Massachusetts just hiked its tax -- and pump prices across the state rose overnight.
Higher taxes won't be popular. Legislators know that. Eight states rejected higher taxes within the past year. And Canada's last prime minister, Joe Clark, was whipped partly because he tried to boost the gas tax there by 18 cents a gallon. But the pressure is on to do something as new cars get better mileage, and tax revenues dip.m