From the AJC’s low-hanging fruit “ACK! MORE TAXES?” article this morning…
As gasoline prices climb rapidly past $3.30 a gallon, the Legislature is considering a change in the state’s gas taxes that could well push the price even higher.
The change, part of a sweeping proposal to overhaul the state’s taxation system, would address a huge problem in Georgia transportation funding: Much of the state’s gas tax does not rise with inflation. Under the bill introduced last week, that would change.
The complex proposal does have a possible upside for drivers’ pocketbooks, sort of. If the price of gas went really high, although the total revamped gas tax may still go up, it could go up less than if legislators make no change.
According to the article, currently the gas tax is 50% a flat 7.5 cents/gallon and 50% a “per-gallon charge that changes according to the price of gas”. The proposed tax currently before the legislature would line up both portions of the tax with the annual cost of road construction. As of 2011, that would equate to a 6 cent increase in the tax.
Arguments against include…
“I really don’t want to pay more than what I’m paying now,” especially considering the rising price of gas, said Marc Cain, 36, of Conyers. “It comes off as 5 cents but that adds up over everyday travel.”
Ahh…OK. Well, then sir, can you choose which roads and/or bridges we’ll be shutting down or neglecting in the coming year? Yeah. But seriously, this sounds like a pretty decent proposal, if it operates as intended. Tie the cost of roads to the tax annually. If people want to push the tax down, they’ll be faced with the immediate result of less road maintenance.
Nothing’s ever as easy in politics as it first appears, but I’m having trouble finding reasons not to really like this idea (which usually means it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of being passed).