Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

New Gas Tax Plan

The RTD says the Senate has proposed a new gas tax plan. This one levies a 5% tax on wholesale gasoline, which will obviously be passed onto the consumer. The kicker is that consumers will be able to get the tax they pay rebated by saving receipts. Luckily Speaker Howell shot this down quickly.
First off, if we are going to have a tax; why are we going to rebate it? Second, if this rebate is based on the price we pay at the pump and the 5% is based on wholesaler prices there will actually be rebated more than what the state receives if everyone got their rebate.

Terrible idea folks.

7 Comments:

  • At 2/16/2006 6:40 PM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said…

    I don't support raising taxes for transportation.

    However, if it is to happen, then we need to raise a straight forward tax that the public can see. No creepy fee increases.

    A gas tax increase is a user fee for transportation, and if you're going to raise money for roads, it makes sense (this rebate is a bit silly, however).

    The "Abuser Fees" plan is quite dumb. It's being advocated by people who claim to be anti-tax.

     
  • At 2/16/2006 7:41 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I dont deny that new taxes for roads, if we are going to pass any, need to be gas tax related.
    What I dont understand about this bill is how it will actually raise any revenue since its all open to be rebated.

     
  • At 2/17/2006 2:48 AM, Blogger ED Skywalker said…

    You could always tax automobiles based on their weight. That's what they do in Europe because the heavier the car the more it wears on the road. Abuser fees are stupid, if that is the case just raise the costs of tickets in general. If you make someone pay $200-$250 dollars everytime they speed people will slow down.

     
  • At 2/17/2006 11:42 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    The problem with any arbitray tax per vehicle is that it doesnt take into account the wear and tear it actually causes.
    Driving makes the biggest difference (even though weight certainly plays a role).
    I cant say exactly what I think of abuser fees since I havent seen a very detailed plan of what it will be.

     
  • At 2/20/2006 5:42 AM, Blogger AWCheney said…

    Frankly, the idea of raising ANY tax during a period of surplus is quite outrageous! The State Senate just wants to make sure that they can continue spending all this money to their heart's content when a great deal of it should be going into the transportation fund...which should be locked. I believe the idea that the money should be going only to short-term projects is also ridiculous. I can't see any reason why it can't be banked in the transportation fund, in some fashion, for future shortfalls.

    It's time for the GA to start thinking in terms of budgeting, as the common taxpayer must, and not in terms of unlimited resources. I can understand raising the gas tax a few cents on the same basis upon which it is applied now (per gallon)...it could be raised significantly and still keep us in the bottom 50% nationally. But the idea of placing what amounts to an additional sales tax on gas when the prices have already sky-rocketed is truly UN-VIRGINIAN! The average taxpayer might be ok with it now, but what's going to happen when the enormous surge in the economy starts to tank until it reaches a more normal condition (Is anybody out there foolish enough to believe that housing prices, for instance, will remain at their current level?). It might become possible to lower the tax in the future...but how often is the basis for calculation of the tax (per gallon tax vs. sales tax) going to be altered. We'll likely be stuck with it.

     
  • At 2/20/2006 5:08 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    While I do not support raising taxes, I dont understand why you support raising the gas tax but oppose imposing a sales tax on gas.
    Whats the difference, assuming its based on a revenue neutral proposal?

     
  • At 2/20/2006 6:17 PM, Blogger AWCheney said…

    I actually don't support raising the gas tax, in any form, at all. My point is that the MANNER in which it is proposed to be raised is far more egregious than the tax itself. Ex.: With a gas tax increase of 5 cents/gal., a fill-up of 10 gals. would increase the cost a mere 50 cents (10x2.00+.50=$20.50, utilizing $2.00/gal. as an easy average for calculation). Adding a 5% sales tax (essentially) to the formula, the increase would be double that (10x2.00+ [20.00x.05] =$21.00). Now, with the price of gas fluctuating anywhere from $1.78 to $3.50/gal., that adds insult to rip-off! THAT'S my point.

     

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