The idea that users should pay for improvements to roads and bridges is appealing. Many people favor an increase in the gasoline tax rather than a three-quarter-cent sales tax over 10 years to finance needed improvements.
They say the gasoline tax is a users’ tax. Actually, a sales tax also could be referred to as a users’ tax. Most people who shop, pay a sales tax, operate a motor vehicle and use roads and bridges. The opponents say a sales tax hike would hit the people most in need of relief because of their economic status in life. This slight sales tax increase would not be imposed on food and drug items that are purchased.
The majority of people, particularly those who live where public transportation is limited, drive to work, to church, to take their children to school, to shop and to doctors. An increase in the gasoline tax would hit them hard.
The emphasis is on job creation in today’s economic world. Poor roads and bridges discourage industrial, commercial and residential growth. Good roads and bridges foster developments that enrich the quality of life. Transportation projects create and retain jobs!
An increase in the gasoline tax proposal would never get through the Legislature. There is a powerful truck lobby, among other negative blockades for an increase. If it did get on the ballot, voters would bury it in “no” votes because of already high gasoline prices.
An increase in the sales tax is the only option that offers a chance of approval. We support Amendment 7, the three-quarter-cent sales tax with a 10-year life. An increase in the state gasoline tax would be frozen for 10 years. Amendment 7 will be on the Aug. 5 ballot.
If you would like to see Highway 47 between Washington and St. Clair improved in the near future, consider a “yes” vote on Amendment 7.