Regarding the article by Chris Dovi (“Guzzled Away,” News & Features, Aug. 5) discussing the supposed revenue shortfall in the state's transportation budget, I can only wonder what our politicians will come up with next. First and foremost, they are going to want yet another fuel-tax increase. The next thing on their agenda will be toll roads (usually amounting to double taxation); which will soon be followed by a desire to come up with some kind of GPS-based mileage tax scheme.
Now that consumers are responding to unstable gasoline prices and buying more fuel-efficient vehicles (what they supposedly want us to do, right?), revenues are falling short of expectations — since more people travel farther on a gallon of gasoline than in earlier years, thus theoretically paying less in gasoline taxes. Using the logic often employed in the U.S. Congress, maybe we should come up with a taxpayer-funded subsidy on larger vehicles that use more gas! Put everyone in a 3/4-ton Chevy pickup, V-8 Mercedes sedan or a Ford Expedition and our problem will be solved. Yeah, right!
I wonder why nobody has ever considered keeping all vehicle-related taxes (registration fees, taxes, etc.) and fuel-tax revenues out of the general fund, so that such money cannot be wasted on other pet projects. This is not as much a problem here in Virginia as it is in other states, but there are still too many politicians who view raising taxes as the first choice instead of controlling or cutting wasteful spending elsewhere. As Ronald Reagan once said, “No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity.”
Jeff H. Kleb Jr.