Gas Tax Breakdown
The closer you look, the more outrageous it gets
You can easily get lost in the mathematical curlicues of the N.C. Senate’s bid to “lower” the state’s gas tax rate, which is awaiting action in the House.
Boiled down: The bill reduces the current sliding rate, which depends on the price of gas, on the condition that the new rate can never sink below 35 cents per gallon. That’s convenient, since gas prices are expected to rise again, which will bring in more money to pay for road construction and maintenance while still allowing legislative Republicans to tell their constituents that they cut the gas tax rate.
Clever bastards. Shameless, too. Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews was a co-sponsor of the Senate bill, which members passed with astonishing quickness this month. Rucho’s an ethical black hole, the perfect choice to head up a large-scale shell game involving taxes. But here’s the kicker: The bill also would cut 500 full-time jobs from the N.C. Department of Transportation, the business end of whatever benefit the state might realize from extra money for roads.
The right-wing organizations Americans For Prosperity and Civitas Institute have openly criticized the bill, but on their usual one-note grounds that Taxes Are Bad. There’s something even more perverse about Senate Bill 20: a rank deception that belies these so-called conservatives’ principles by raising taxes while weakening the state’s economic skeleton, its system of highways, by cutting DOT jobs.
Regardless of which party you support, if you support any, how could you want to vote any of these people back into office?