Over the river and through the woods

Monday morning I got up bright and early and headed in to our county seat for the Legislative Breakfast.   Hendricks Power sponsors the events, which draw several hundred people.  Our local legislators each present and then open up the floor for questions.

While I had heard of them before this, yesterday was my firs topportunity to attend.  I was very impressed.  Our legislators did a reasonably good job of presenting what they are working on in a non-partisan way.  Only one of them really seemed to focus on issues that are really applicable to the county and to the local governments, but that made sense — the others talked about the bills they introduced and the committees they worked on.

One bill caught my ears: House Bill 1286.  I have spent the last eight years working in and around legal issues associated with highways.  House Bill 1286 addresses highway funding, an area of public funding that has been decreasing as we drive more and more fuel-efficient cars.  The bill proposes raising our state gasoline tax by a penny a gallon, and then allocating those funds to local governments for needed street improvements.

A tax increase! some might say.  But here’s the thing: 1 penny a gallon turns into more than $75 million dollars a year — which is a lot of road improvements.  Here’s the other thing.  For me, one penny a gallon would come out to about 52 cents a month, a tax increase I’m pretty sure I won’t notice.  I also know that if the roads are bad, I will end up averaging a lot more than 52 cents every month to deal with the costs of the roads — from backed up traffic, reduced fuel efficiency, damage to my alignment, and reduced life of  my tires.

Just a thought, on how a tax increase might not be so bad after all.

(c) K.C. Davis