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Revived gas tax increases cost of driving


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POSTED: Thursday, July 02, 2009

Shock, disgust and indifference were some of the reactions yesterday from Hawaii drivers who shrugged and said they couldn't do much about gas prices shooting up 12 to 13 cents per gallon.

“;I heard it on the news, but I didn't know they would do it that fast,”; said Mandee Akiona, who pumped gas into her sport utility vehicle at Lex Brodie's in Kakaako yesterday. “;It's crazy. With the economy going down, prices are still jacking up. I can't drive less. I wish I could walk to work, but I can't.”;

According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Daily Report, Hawaii has the most expensive regular unleaded gasoline in the nation at $3.135, updated before state taxes were added yesterday. The dramatic increase was a result of the state Legislature failing to extend a tax exemption on gasoline sales. The Senate passed a bill to extend the exemption, but the House killed it to generate $40 million.

“;When I was watching the news, I didn't realize it would be this bad,”; said Scott Park, who put in gas at Shell gas station on Ward Avenue.

Gas prices at Shell jumped 13 cents overnight to $3.22 for regular unleaded.

“;Gas prices are terrible, but (the government) gotta get (money) some way. What can you do?”; said Park.

Gina Fukumitsu of Manoa heard about the price increase on the radio but said it won't change her driving habits.

“;I don't really pay attention to it cause I gotta put in gas,”; she said, recalling when prices were much higher one year ago. “;The hard part is things didn't go back down.”;

Deryl Seino filled his SUV at Lex Brodie's and said the price hike didn't faze him. He glanced at the pump, which read $3.19 per gallon.

“;It fluctuates. That's why I don't even pay attention anymore.”;