As a Fox 44 News article pointed out on Tuesday, some of Vermont’s lawmakers are concerned about the high cost of gasoline in the state:
Gas prices continue to be a touchy subject matter. Tuesday night a public hearing was held in regard to prices in Vermont. The national average is $3.27 a gallon. New Yorkers are seeing 3.69, Vermonter $3.54 and Granite stators are seeing $3.40.
It’s those prices that have people fuming. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders called for an investigation. While there are still a lot of unanswered questions as to why we pay more in Vermont, it is clear that representatives are asking the questions and making note of the public’s frustrations.
According to AAA, the state is the 7th highest in average gas prices. Tuesday legislators met with the public to hear their opinions.
“This is mainly for us to get information from the public on their feelings,” said Chair of House Transportation, Patrick Brennan.
Never fear, the Shumlin Administration has an innovative solution to this problem. They are proposing a new tax on gas. Here is the story from the Vermont Press Bureau:
Saying it’s still open to other options, the Shumlin administration this afternoon unveiled its plan to raise $36.5 million in new revenue for upkeep of roads and bridges.
It’s a little complicated, but the proposal calls for an increase in one gas tax, a decrease in another, and a $9 million bond that would be paid for by an existing revenue stream.
A new, 4-percent tax on the retail price of gasoline would raise about $43.5 million in new revenue. The administration then would cut the existing 19-cent per gallon gas tax down to 14.3 cents, which would cost the state about $15.5 million in revenue. The $28 million in net new revenue, when combined with the $9 million bond, would raise the money that Transportation Secretary Brian Searles says is needed to maximize federal matching funds.
A rational person would think that kicking our spending addiction would make more sense as a solution than raising taxes on a commodity that is already recognized as priced too high. Where is Bernie’s outrage when it is really needed?