VT Representative Kesha Ram posting on the Burlington Front Porch Forum this month the following regarding plugging the leak in transportation funding:
"TRANSPORTATION Vermont's transportation system has faced some extraordinary challenges in recent years, with four federally declared disasters in 2011, including spring floods followed by Tropical Storm Irene. This year we face a different transportation challenge – fully funding our transportation needs. An additional $36.53 million in state funds are required to fully fund the proposed FY2014 transportation budget. Without action, we risk our ability to match significant available federal transportation dollars. The Governor has proposed the following to fill the immediate funding gap: 1) Transportation Infrastructure Bond proceeds of $9 million; 2) a decrease in the current per gallon gas tax by 4.7 cents per gallon with a 4% assessment on the retail sales price; and 3) indexing the per gallon gas tax to inflation, which partially assists with long term structural funding…"
This was my response to Rep. Ram's posting:
No to Tripling 4.7¢ Gas Tax "Adjustment" - Use Income/Progressive Taxes
TONY REDINGTON – NORTH WINOOSKI AVENUESwitching a 4.7 cent gas tax to a 4% sales tax on retail tax means--for gas at $4--a 16 cent per gallon tax, more than tripling the 4.7 cent tax "reduction." For what? For whom? Virginia (not progressive) repealed their gas tax last month and went to an across the board sales tax (0.8%) dedicated for all transportation needs (food exempted). Massachusetts the second state in the revolt against gas taxes this year as the base for transportation funding moves, as proposed, to the progressive income tax. The car age is over. Car travel likely declines this decade in Vermont. We need commuter rail and public transit (not a single person added to those using a car to get to work 2000-2010--9,000 added in Vermont to those using public transit, walking, bicycling and working at home--not a single additional commuter by car). Transportation needs to be viewed now as a necessary human service and added to the those unmet needs the legislature is grappling with--no more regressive taxes like gas and license fees which hit those least able to afford it. Tony Redington Blog; TonyRVT.blogspot.com