Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pay to drive

    On May 20th, unless you vote earlier at the Old County Courthouse or by absentee ballot, Blaine County will ask your support for a two-year tax levy to maintain the city and county roads in our community. Most of us drive or ride on city and county roads for business, pleasure and recreation; all of our visitors do that, and our emergency service vehicles drive them to save your lives and property.
    None of us want to pay higher property taxes, but all of us want to have a road system that allows us to go where we need to go and that provides a safe and well-maintained surface to get there. Unfortunately, the state of Idaho has not increased the tax on gasoline for more than 20 years. This gas tax is the primary source of funds for county and city road repair and maintenance. While we all applaud the reduction in gasoline usage, that reduction also means fewer gas tax dollars for cities and counties. Couple that with increased costs for asphalt and road equipment and you get a huge deficit that forces cities and counties to obtain repair and maintenance funds from their taxpayers. There are no magic solutions here; the money has to come from somewhere.
    No one likes the “Pay to Play” politics that keeps gasoline taxes too low to cover the cost of maintaining roads, so the rest of us have to “Pay to Drive.” Please do your part and vote “Yes.”
Len Harlig
Blaine County


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