At The Pump: Central Valley Residents Upset Over Gas Tax

California residents will now have to spend more at the pump now that a 3.5-cent tax increase has gone into effect.

The tax hike may just be pennies-per gallon, but many residents say that it will stretch their already strained budgets even further.

"I don't like it. it's expensive enough as it is," said Florence Hughes, a Central Valley motorists who is upset by the tax hike.

The increase makes California has the highest gas tax in the country. The state says the tax hike is needed to close a shortfall in gas tax revenue.

"The way I see it, as it keeps rising our family is going to have more and more trouble paying it," said C.J. Taggett, as he filled up his car on Monday afternoon. "It really adds up over time, especially if you have to fill up multiple times."

Michael Kifer commutes to and from the Central Valley foothills to work each day and he says that the amount he already spends on gas hurts his wallet, but with the tax increase, it could become even tougher. {}

"It's very difficult and I try to minimize the driving as much as possible," kifer said.

Like kifer, many central valley motorists say that it has become difficult to find where they can make even more cuts in their already stretched budgets.