Letter: Gas tax will help us pay as we goAfter reading "Taxpayers lose at Capitol" (R-E, April 11) I find it necessary to point out some inaccurate statements.
By: Brian J. Johnson, Cannon Falls, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
After reading "Taxpayers lose at Capitol" (R-E, April 11) I find it necessary to point out some inaccurate statements.
The letter claims the transportation bill will cost families over $500 a year. Thirty dollars is the cost of a 5 cent increase for the average motorist driving 11,000 miles a year with a car getting 20 miles per gallon. After considering the $25 tax credit offered to low- income motorists, the total comes to a $5 increase in gasoline costs.
Consider the costs of not acting on the issues this bill addresses - Minnesota witnessed the catastrophic danger of neglected bridges last summer. It took bipartisan support to override the governor's veto. A Republican representative described his vote in favor of the bill as stemming from his "concern over the safety of the roads."
Other costs of not acting include the cost of wasting time in traffic, wasting fuel, and needing more frequent car repairs. These costs average up to $700 in time and $300 a year in repairs.
To put the transportation bill in context, prior to the bill Minnesota paid one of the lowest gas taxes in the country. According to the American Automobile Association, on March 1, 2008, there were only three other states with lower gasoline costs. After the increase Minnesota will be right at the national average, still below Wisconsin.
Furthermore, Minnesota hasn't had a gas tax increase in 20 years.
This bill should be seen for what it really is, an investment in Minnesota's infrastructure and the state's economy. There is potential for creating 33,000 jobs a year in our state.
Critics don't deny the existence of these problems, but they don't want to pay for them. This bill demonstrates the responsible "pay as you go" practice for the projects we need. We should be thanking and encouraging our legislators for their demonstration of responsibility. After fully understanding the bill, it's apparent the benefits to our state far outweigh the cost of a nickel increase to our gasoline.
Brian J. Johnson