SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif- The State Board of Equalization voted to raise the excise tax on gas three-and-a-half cents to thirty-nine-and-a-half cents a gallon, effective July 1st. This could be a good and bad thing for the central coast. The central coast has a unique location so tourism could actually see an up tick, but for the consumer, no matter what they are going to take a hit.
"If it goes up more in the summer it could be no vacation it may be just staying home," said Janice McBride, a SLO County resident. Most people don't like seeing the numbers at a gas station go up, but for tourism, Clint Pearce of the San Luis Obispo's Tourism Business Improvement District said it could mean more money for central coast cities.
"Because of how we are located here on the central coast, we are a one tank destination, that means it takes one tank to get here from our major markets LA, San Francisco and the Valley," said Pearce of TBID. So instead of flying to Hawaii this summer, some people may opt to drive even with higher gas prices.
"We are a less expensive staycation if you will, a short getaway than something more elaborate further away," said Pearce. Tourism has continued to increase, even when gas priced spiked last summer. "It didn't impact travel at all in fact we had great tourism on the central coast, and 2013 is shaping up to be even better than 2012," said Pearce.
However, people will feel the pain at the pump and in their pockets. "It's hard I'm on a fixed income like a lot of seniors and when everything goes up it just makes it more difficult," said McBride.
For Californians this could be particularly hard hitting as the gas taxes are already among the highest in the nation.
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