Wednesday letters: It makes sense to raise gas tax

May 8, 2013 

— After reading that a bipartisan group of senators proposed raising the gasoline tax to pay for repairs to roads and bridges, I wrote my state representative stating that while no one wanted higher taxes, I support this attempt to address a problem facing South Carolina, and I copied those with whom I share political thoughts. The response was overwhelming and immediate: distrust of how legislators would spend our money.

Borrowing to fix neglected repairs will only lead to increased taxes anyway. Waiting for the problems to reach crisis proportions will certainly increase costs, and thus require more taxes.

If I drive on the roads, I should pay my fair share. If I ride the bus, then as the price of gas goes up, the cost to run that bus will go up and so will the cost to ride that bus, eventually.

We have a problem that needs a solution. It seems reasonable for those like me who add to the problem by using the roads and bridges to pay for the repairs, particularly since our gas tax is lower than our neighbors.

Will I want to pay more at the pump? Certainly not. But it’s a better alternative than raising my income taxes or the alternative: closing the schools, laying off the police and firefighters and shutting down the public libraries and other state government.

At some point, our legislators have to regain our trust through spending precisely like they tell us they will when they take more of our money.

Warner Wells

Columbia

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