Gas Tax

MISSOULA - Missoula County's gas tax took effect Tuesday, but drivers might not see price change at the pump just yet.

The two cent per gallon tax was passed by voters back in June. The money raised is required to go toward infrastructure improvements in the City of Missoula and Missoula County.

"So maintaining and building public streets and roads," Missoula County Treasurer Tyler Gernant said. "It will mostly go, at least on the county side, towards repairs."

Raising money locally also helps the county get matching grants from the federal government. But Gernant said the public won't see a price difference at pump just yet.

"I haven't noticed it yet I don't pay that close attention," one driver said.

Every driver we talked to said they haven't noticed a change in price. That's because it's a retailer tax, so its up to the gas stations to pay that extra two cents per gallon of gas sold. That also means its up to the gas stations if they want to change the price at the pump. 

"This is the only tax on gas that is actually collected at the retailer level the rest of them are collected at the distributor level," Gernant said.

So the drivers aren't the ones actually paying the tax, at least not yet.

"I wouldn't expect to see an immediate increase on Tuesday when it went into effect I think it will phase in over a week or two would be my assumption," Gernant said.

The new tax is projected to bring in $1.2 million annually. First payments from the gas stations will be made on October 25th.

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