Ending Gas Tax: Reader Reaction

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The governor's proposal was one of the most talked-about topics on The Gazette's Facebook page this week. Here's what some readers had to say:

Craig Wood
“Does it really matter? If the government doesn’t get our money one way, they will find another way. I’m all for paying my fair share, but the Gov is talking about eliminating the gas tax, increasing the vehicle license fee and increasing the sales tax. Why do I feel like that’s going to cost me a lot of money? And there are still potholes in front of my house.”

Janet Crowder
“Not a good idea. He plans on increasing the sales tax to make up for the gas tax, so we’ll end up paying more.”

Annetta Stanley
“Everyone knows that the sales tax hurts the poorest people the worst.”

Jerry Cock
“The governor has completely lost his mind. Visitors who use our roads help pay a significant portion of the gas tax, while sales tax falls mainly on Virginians. A better idea would be to cut the gas tax to between 4 and 10 cents per gallon and then add the 5 percent sales tax to the wholesale price of gas. Dedicate all the revenue this generates to transportation. The annual fee for alternative fuel vehicles is a good idea. Just add it to the cost of registering the vehicle.”

Catherine S. Read
“Why are Virginians paying what appears to be a phantom gas tax — and seeing none of the benefits in roads, tunnels and bridges? Why do roads in North Carolina seem to be in significantly better repair than in Virginia? A sales tax is regressive and spreads the burden to everyone — including elderly people on fixed incomes who no longer drive and poor people who take public transportation and young people with their first jobs that don’t own a car. We don’t pay lower gas prices than neighboring states, despite a lower gas tax. That money is going in someone’s pocket.”

Steven Suessmann
“Raising the sales tax will put the burden for the roads on those who may not even own cars. Dumb. First the McGov wants tolls. We suggested raising the gas tax instead, yet still lower than the N.C. gas tax. Now this even dumber idea of dropping the state gas tax entirely, replacing it with an increased sales tax. Just when you think the politicians can’t get any dumber, they prove you wrong!”

Russ Cox
“We would save $17.50 for every 100 gallons of gas, pay $15 more for license plates. This part would actually work out good for me.”

Clinton Surratt
“The gas tax is a state’s biggest source of capital to fund transportation projects. A state’s gas tax normally brings in a certain amount per gallon bought (17.5¢ in VA) and fills the state’s non-general fund with the cost of inflation eating away at that year by year. Eliminating this tax will essentially give the lawmakers the ability to tap into the general fund to finance transportation projects rather than using the non-general fund, which is how it is currently financed, meaning more capital available for more projects rather than having to earmark a certain amount… Using the proposed method, we will probably see a larger investment in transportation infrastructure, hopefully meaning better/faster roads, bridges, subways and trains, as well as more construction jobs. A state having a strong efficient transportation system directly correlates into a higher rate of commerce exchange, as well as an all-around increase in revenues."

Gary Leagan
“The problem is that there will not be a decline in the price of gas by 17 cents. The oil companies will look at what is the going price in neighboring states and adjust our gas prices upward to the point that they are equivalent and competitive with those prices. So, who pockets the 17 cents? As drivers, we will not get the benefit of cheaper gas prices. So, oil companies have a windfall. The simplest thing is that the government bite the bullet and increase the gas taxes. I do believe that the state should be divided into three gas tax zones: From the coast to I-95, from I-95 to I-85 and from I-85 to the Tennessee/Kentucky line. Gas taxes collected in each zone would go to building or improving roads and snow removal. That way, each area of the state benefits from the tax.”

David E. Roberts
“This proposal leaves the governor’s signature initiative to begin tolls on existing interstates totally unmentioned. Since he didn’t disown that plan, it seems he also plans to proceed with that kind of taxation, as well. Also, there is little mention of mass transit. And, Southwest Virginia is largely left out of the equation.”