Saturday, April 23, 2005

APC's Gas Tax Editorial: A High Five!

For this editorial: State gas tax indexing just guarantees more spending!

Here is a taste of that editorial:
If you’re an average Wisconsin driver with an average vehicle, the state gas tax increase that went into effect April 1 has cost you about 28 cents so far.

Didn’t notice? That’s one of the great things about this tax. Since 1985, the year Wisconsin began “indexing” the tax for inflation, the automatic annual gas tax increase has generated a total of about $3.2 billion for state roads. This year, the tax went from 29.1 to 29.9 cents a gallon. It goes up magically every April 1, so legislators don’t have to vote on it, and so gradually that their phones don’t ring off the wall.

Plus, the tax goes into a special fund, guaranteeing money for highways. Lawmakers don’t have to worry about whether the money should go to roads or schools or health care for the poor. It’s out of your hands. That can be a great thing, if you’re a career legislator.
Source: Appleton Post Crescent Editorial - April 21, 2005

I like the title of the editorial, it says increased taxes are naturally going to find a way to be spent. It also says "Lawmakers don't have to worry about whether the money should go to roads or schools or health care for the poor." I think this is not quite true our government here in Wisconsin has been more than willing to raid designated funds for the general revenue pool of late. Governor McCallum raided the tobacco fund (Yeah! That was nothing but a judicial tax imposed by a so-called civil action, remember that the next time government proposes to sue someone to "recompensate" a class of victims) and Governor Doyle is raiding various segregated funds to an extent not seen since the days of the Vikings!

How do we fix this? We freeze the gas tax at its current level and then when government wants more road money it asks! People say we don't need a TABOR, there you go a great reason for TABOR!