Ramblings of Silver Blue

19 Jun

While On the Subject of Taxes

….are the leaders in Hampton Roads that much of dimwits that they need to be shipped north to be with the Assemblyman from New York?

The majority of the Hampton Roads Metropolitan area voted down an increase in the sales tax to fund road projects. Now, the leaders have said “well, we’re going to do something sneaky and get what we want.” They want to increase the gasoline tax by 11 cents per gallon (on top of the 17.5 cents we already pay the state in taxes and the 18 cents we pay the feds per gallon). If we took that 35.5 cents off, gas would actually be under a dollar in some places. While we’re looking at that, let’s drop that archiac .9 you see at the end of gas prices. Face it. When was the last time you went to a station and said, dammit! I over filled by .009. I’ll have to put it on my charge card.

The second sneaky thing they’re trying to do is to put a toll on the area bridges and tunnels without making the necessary improvements. The Feds allow municipalities to apply tolls, only if improvements are made to accomodate the collection of said tolls.

Of course, they don’t want to do that. They want to get the money now, and perhaps do the improvements later. Did we learn nothing from Route 44 (now I264 East) which had a quarter toll on it for over 20 years? Talk about killing the tourism industry in the area, go ahead: put a $1-$4 toll on the HRBT, the MMMBT, and the JRB. You’ve already got a $2 toll to get into Gloucester (getting out is free — guess they feel sorry for you!). Crossing the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel is like $12 one way. The bypass to the Outer Banks is currenlty $1 or $1.50. Sure…. add all that on top of an 11 cent per gallon gas tax hike and see how quickly your tourism revenue dries up. With it goes your hotel tax revenue, your meal tax revenue (currently at 11 cents per dollar), your parking tickets, etc. etc. etc.

Like most things in Hampton Roads, people aren’t thinking before acting. The long range implications of the proposed gas tax hike and tolls will do more damange to the area’s economy than any road improvment could ever hope to afford.

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