Get Serious About Gas Tax
Governor Kulongoski has a plan to finance new road and bridge construction that would jump vehicle registration fees from $27 per year to $100 and charge $100 for vehicle titling fees. He also wants to up the gax tax by two cents a gallon.
Two cents? Gimme a break.
What is really rash is that people are complaining about it.
Drive around town and you see a large disparity in gas prices. I’ve noticed a difference of 12 cents between the highest price for regular and the lowest price on the same day.
I don’t know why people get gas at the Shell station at Southeast 39th and Stark, when the Arco station four blocks away on Belmont is always at least a dime cheaper. Yet the Shell station stays in business. Maybe it’s just more convenient.
In the past year, the price of gas has fluctuated by more than $2 per gallon. Somehow, we survived when the price was at $4-plus a gallon.
My point is that two stinking pennies is nothing when the price of gas changes more than that from one day to the next. Even a dime is not that big a deal. The governor should ask for at least a ten-cent hike in the gas tax. We won’t really notice it and it will pay for five times as many road repairs.
Of course, if he really meant to be green and save the planet, he’d be seeking a 50-cent or better increase in the gas tax, or perhaps a 20-cent increase per year, with the proceeds freed to go to improving railroads and other general fund uses. Some of the money could go to tax relief for people in rural areas where they have to drive longer distances.
A serious increase in gas taxes would get people to drive more fuel efficient cars or just drive less. I know, it seems un-American to force people to cut down on driving, but the way it is now, when gas prices increase, all that extra money goes into oil company profits and the coffers of unfriendly dictators around the globe. We might as well keep a little for ourselves.