Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Increase the gas tax????

Bob, over at the Journey posted on McCloskey's call for more taxes.
He realizes the lower rate assures more purchases by people passing through or coming over from Maryland.
He opts for tolls over taxes, but states.... Oh, be sure to lockbox the gas tax revenues we're already receiving. Then you'll have maintenance covered.
I wrote a letter to the editor more than 2 years ago. I had and still have a different view.

The News Leader is correct. Fix the roads now. The News Leader is incorrect in its call for a tax increase to pay for the repairs and improvements.
The budget for the state of Virginia in 1997 was $8.1 billion from the general fund and $9 billion from the non-general fund, for a total budget of 17.1 billion dollars. The latest combined budget proposal by Governor Kaine is about $38 billion. The budget has more than doubled in about a decade. It has far outpaced inflation. Out of this $38 billion he has asked for $9.9 billion for transportation. That is greater than the entire budget from the general fund just 10 years ago.
The tax increase suggested by the News Leader is a 2-cent per gallon gas tax. The paper asserts that this would raise $50 million dollars. I don't know if the editorial board did the math, but that is just about .14 percent of the entire budget. Kaine has asked for an increase of $2.9 billion for this whole budget. I am sure the governor could find that $50 million easily from other areas. Maybe from the $67 million in increases proposed for grants controlled by the secretary of commerce and trade.
The General Assembly must prioritize spending. It must be controlled. The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy states that if the government is going to provide a service or spend taxpayer dollars, it should be done in the most effective and efficient manner possible. The service should also be analyzed to determine if it is meeting proposed results. I am sure the News Leader is not naïve enough to believe that there is no waste in our state's government. I am sure they realize that there are unnecessary expenditures. With this in mind, maybe the News Leader should lead a movement for good government. Maybe they could join with Attorney General McDonnell, Delegate Saxman and Americans For Propersity, for a better Virginia.(I guess we can update this to Governor and private citizen)