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Letter to the editor - Feb. 28

February 27, 2012

Gasoline tax hike is an ill-conceived idea

To the editor:

The proposal to raise the gasoline tax is an ill-conceived idea. The cost of maintaining our highways and bridges is driven up by poor administrative policies. Policies that affect the maintenance and construction of our roads need to be evaluated for efficiencies of cost. The roads used to get products to market and people to their place of employment are an integral part of commerce. The increased cost of gasoline will drive up the cost of all products for the consumer. The impact is not just the price of fuel itself.

The motoring public will find less-expensive fuel in the bordering jurisdictions. The distance to bordering states is not far enough to make this a nonissue, thus causing Maryland to lose much of the revenue it currently enjoys and perhaps experience a net loss of revenue. Remember, when D.C. raised its gas tax, this is exactly what happened. Maryland needs to remain competitive, and adding a gas tax of this magnitude will cause another loss of revenue in jobs and sales of other products affected by the additional costs added.

Many questions come to mind regarding the need for highway funds. What happened to the monies collected and allocated to maintenance of public roads? Are these funds secured for their purpose only? Are all these projects put out to bid? Is the bidding contractor required to use union labor? 

I drive on the highways and do not expect a free ride. Gasoline tax is in reality a user tax, and the users of highways, bridges, etc., have a right to know that their tax monies are being wisely and professionally managed to deliver a safe reliable product.

Richard Hays
Hagerstown Tea Party

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