Thursday, March 14, 2013


VT Representative Kesha Ram posting on the Burlington Front Porch Forum this month the following regarding plugging the leak in transportation funding:
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
Switching 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 Virginia (not progressive) repealed their gas tax last month and went to an across the board sales tax (0.8%) dedicated for all transportation needs (food exempted).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;

1 comment:

  1. Tony, while I understand that you would like to see a better solution, you must support this practical application of a passable increase for Transportation funding. I know we share interest in seeing our Vermont transit infrastructure improved but we do not want "to cut off our nose to spite our face."

    This is the 1st time that the legislature has dared propose and made an increase to transportation funding (other than stop gap bonds), in almost a quarter of a century. Think what gas cost in 1990... under $2.00. I would argue that when we see gas swing in price by as much as 50 cents in a month this increase is chump change... and we should have gone for 10 or 12 cents... but that would probably never pasted political muster.

    If you can pause and support a V TRANS that is looking forward, and lend your hand I think you can help us built a supportable Vermont transportation future. I find Brian Searles, Chris Cole and Sue Minter to be big picture leaders who I believe will shepard the State into this sustainable future.
    This new and creative appraoch to the old gas tax is an example.