Letter: Raise the diesel tax
Your editorial on a long-term fix for the federal highway fund focuses on the impossible and the silly (Sunday Monitor Opinion, July 13).
We have a problem, and it needs a quick solution. However, you propose to use general funds “paid for” by eliminating tax credits for the oil industry and increased fees for utilizing federal lands.
Good luck with that.
Why not a quick and practical New Hampshire solution? The modest recent gas tax increase was not enough and was misapplied. The increase should have only been on diesel and raised to a level just below those in Vermont and Maine.
We want users to continue to have an incentive to buy diesel in New Hampshire but a diesel tax, versus a gas tax, correctly charges the heavy trucks that hammer our roads and bridges and enormously increase roadway construction costs.
Make no mistake, excessive truck weights are the “enemy” and those with these far heavier vehicles should pay their share, which is not the case today. They don’t even come close.
New Hampshire and its neighboring states would be well advised to apply heavier diesel taxes as a short-term solution to replenish state highway funds. Why should we depend upon and wait for the feds? We can collect and spend our money better than they can – remember the bridge to nowhere? As a start, raise the tax on diesel 5 cents per gallon!
MICHAEL V. SMITH
(The writer is president of the Finger Lakes Railway Corporation in Gilmanton.)