To me our choice is simple: Either we pay 100 percent of the cost to maintain our roads and bridges through increased property taxes, or we pay 65 percent of the cost and let those out-of-state who use our roads pay for the rest through a modest gas tax increase. And this increase shouldn’t fall solely on consumers; big oil corporations should pay a share as well.
A modest gas tax increase, partially paid for by big oil, would still leave us with the lowest gas tax in the region and avoid the property tax explosion. Without a gas tax increase, we will end up paying $11 billion over the next 25 years to subsidize out-of-state drivers, and that is without any new road or bridge projects. Not one! As a conservative, I believe that a tax paid by those who use the roads (including those out-of-state) is fairer than a property tax increase to fund the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges.
Steven Oroho (R-Sussex)
Senator Steven Oroho’s statements echo those of President Reagan who in 1982 understood that infrastructure was critical to the country’s economic growth. In a speech to the nation in 1982, Reagan said:
Common sense tells us that it’ll cost a lot less to keep the system we have in good repair than to let it crumble and then have to start all over again. Good tax policy decrees that wherever possible a fee for a service should be assessed against those who directly benefit from that service. Our highways were built largely with such a user fee — the gasoline tax. I think it makes sense to follow that principle in restoring them to the condition we all want them to be in.
Steven Oroho (R-Sussex) is one of the most active and effective lawmakers in the state and he is supporting a bi-partisan plan that will not only avoid a Transportation Trust Fund crisis that will lead to higher property taxes if not addressed but also provide tax reform for seniors, farmers, and the middle class.
Read Oroho’s full Opinion here.