Raise gas tax to fix crumbling roads
Talk to anyone in York County and they will tell you that the conditions of the state’s roads are horrible and that the way to fix them is to generate additional revenue by increasing the user fee (gasoline tax).
Considering that the gasoline tax has not been increased in two decades and shortly we will be the lowest gas tax in the nation, this should not be a major legislative problem. Should be!
As I have watched the Legislature fumble this critical state safety and economic issue for several years, I wonder why. Are these political people (mostly men) who represent us in Columbia too ignorant of the scope of the problem? Are they predisposed to make a simple legislative problem far too complicated?
Or do some of them get their jollies from the power of obstruction? Possibly, the fear of rejection, in the next election, torpedoes doing the common good. Sadly the answer may well be, “all of the above.”
Hopefully in the few remaining days of the 2017 session an epiphany happens and those we send to Columbia wake up and do their job. The task is simple: Increase the user fee by 10 or 12 cents over the next 5 years. A 2-cent-per-annum increase is hardly noticeable when pump prices rise and fall daily depending on the wholesale price for refined gasoline.
Include in the increase legislation that all additional revenue be dedicated 100 percent to road repair, period. If they want to address the DOT structure, that is a separate issue not related to gasoline tax revenue. Go to work on that next session.
If there is far too much revenue sitting in the general fund, craft a tax rebate. This has nothing to do with roads repair and the gasoline tax issue.
Advise the governor that the Legislature will override his veto, and kindly not waste critical legislative time posturing for election. Additionally, advise the governor that funding road repair from the general fund or by a proposed revenue bond is irresponsible governing and fiscally irrational.
One-third of all gas tax revenue in our state is generated by out-of-state traffic traveling our roads. Why give them a free ride? North Carolina and Georgia understand this. Check out the condition of their roads.
I have seen this movie for several years and it never gets better. Possibly the time is coming to give some of the politicians their walking papers for incompetence.
Edmund J. FitzGerald
Simple solutions for safer driving
Drivers of South Carolina, after witnessing yet another terrible accident I would like to point out two ways we could make our roads safer. Two simple things that we can all do: Turn on your lights (front and rear), especially in rain or darkness and use your turn signals, even when changing lanes.
It is ridiculous how many drivers do not do these simple things. Travel is much safer when we can see each other and when we have an idea of where the other driver is going.
I also call on law enforcement to start ticketing some of these unsafe drivers. Maybe the word will spread.
These are not difficult things to do, the tools are right in front of you. And maybe, just maybe, the life you save will be your own.