I believe we need government and taxes, but in a very small and limited role.
Therefore, if we are going to increase taxes, do it in an area where the individual is given the choice to pay the taxes as much as possible. If an individual chooses to purchase an expensive house, vehicle, or boat, then they pay the appropriate taxes. If one chooses to buy cigarettes or alcohol then they pay the appropriate taxes. This way, when an individual decides to purchase goods or services that are not necessities, they are choosing to pay those taxes of their own free will.
In this day and time, reality shows if you are going to work and support your family, gasoline is a necessity. We as responsible citizens should promote that everyone carry their financial weight and support their family, but then some of those same citizens/legislators turn around and support a gasoline tax that adds an extra financial burden to the very individuals who may be struggling and are going through some tough times for whatever reason, but still keep their moral and ethical obligation to go every day and put in an honest day’s work and earn their wages. Those citizens should not be penalized for being responsible and staying off the government’s dole. There should be no special interest or charity within the government. The government should not favor the white or the black person, the rich or the poor person, the male or the female individual, but should respect the responsible, hard-working, self-supporting citizen whenever possible.
Give the citizens of the State of Alabama an individual choice whether or not they want to pay the additional taxes when possible. Also, every good and service purchased is effected by transportation/gasoline cost.
So in my opinion, a gasoline tax will create a double taxation for the individual citizen.
Let me explain with a simple economic example: not only will an individual pay an additional amount for the gasoline needed to drive to work or the grocery store, but he or she will also pay a higher price for that gallon of milk or loaf of bread they purchase at the grocery store due to the freight cost increases that are passed along to the businesses; who in turn, pass along the increase of the freight cost to the consumer by increasing the price of their goods. This procedure is called an embedded tax. If there is a real need for additional taxation for the roads and bridges in Alabama, at least increase the taxation where the individual chooses to pay for the tax of their own free will. The Alabama Trucking Association strongly supports the 10 cent gasoline tax. They claim to support the tax due to “safety of truck drivers and to deliver goods in a timely fashion.” They also know any increased freight cost will be transferred to the individual citizen.
I hope with all legislative bills, our state legislators diligently research and evaluate all the issues before they decide to support a bill or not, and don’t let any lobbyists’ financial contributions influence or persuade their decision.
In my opinion, one of the main aspects of keeping any economy strong is making sure transportation costs stay at a minimum. So I think our state legislators should go back to the drawing board and find areas to cut current spending and use those funds to improve our roads and bridges, or at least find a different state tax to increase.
Anthony Cooper, Rainsville
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