letter --The Benefits of Gas Taxes

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Regarding the Dec. 8 editorial "Start Making Sense":

Some folks here in the Shenandoah Valley support a gasoline tax so strongly that for eight years we have been taxing ourselves 50 cents a gallon. We get together twice annually with a potluck meal, and when we add up the gallons from our credit card receipts, we usually collect about $1,500.

Our little group has given seed money to our town to build bike paths. We have sent money to a bike mechanics' school in Boston for inner-city youths. We have funded the purchase of bicycles for HIV/AIDS caregivers in East Africa and have sponsored a village's solar-power project in El Salvador. And we have trained ourselves to use less gasoline.

We long for smart leadership from Congress. Let's see a major gas tax hike soon. It would help solve many of our nation's problems in an efficient way.




The Post lauded the benefits of higher gas taxes to the public good, and it claimed that the idea was politically unlikely to succeed.

The idea The Post thought was not viable was a percentage sales tax rather than the existing fixed, average per-gallon tax of about 40 cents, about 23 percent of the current price of $1.75 a gallon. It would be palatable now, while prices are relatively low, to switch to a 23 percent sales tax. Today, there would be no change in the amount of tax paid.

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