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Letter: Where’s the money going?

The Monitor’s March 15 editorial, “We can’t afford not to pay for infrastructure,” needs to ask the better question before we ask residents to come up with more taxes for a particular need. The editorial stated that the Senate’s raising the gas tax would be a good place to start.

That is not the place to start. The place to start is to ask elective officials how much of the 18 cents per gallon that motorists now pay in a gas tax is spent on actually fixing and maintaining roads and bridges. Our state Constitution (Article 6A) states that the gas taxes “shall be used exclusively for construction, reconstruction and maintenance of public highways in the state including supervision of the traffic thereon and no part of such revenue shall . . . be diverted to any other purpose whatsoever.” Are our elected officials upholding the Constitution as they took an oath of office to do? Or is our gas tax money being used for other programs? We need that money to repair our bridges.

Recently Rep. Bill O’Brien offered an amendment ensuring that any increase in the gas tax would be used exclusively for repairing those roads and bridges that the editorial said is necessary. That amendment was defeated by the House. Doesn’t the House know that those funds could only be used for repairs and traffic supervision thereon? Rep. David Campbell, can you tell our citizens how much of the 18-cent gas tax is being spent on repairing our roads and bridges?



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