Raise the gas tax in Colorado to help fund road construction and maintenance (letter)
In an attempt to fund our deteriorating roadways, Propositions 109 and 110 went down in flames because they were simply ill conceived. Funding through sales taxes is regressive, and selling bonds without a revenue stream to service them just takes money away from other priorities.
Suggested solution: Require the users of our roadways to pay for their construction and maintenance. In other words, raise the state tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. At 22 cents per gallon for gasoline and 20.5 cents per gallon for diesel fuel, Colorado’s tax is one of the lowest in the nation and it hasn’t been adjusted since 1991. Meanwhile, inflation has risen 85.6 percent and vehicles have become more fuel efficient, reducing the effective revenue stream.
Raising the tax 18.8 cents would offset inflation, and adding another dime for our expanded road system would put us in the top quarter percentile for state gasoline taxes. Diesel should be increased at least as much. This is where Colorado needs to be because of its climate and mountainous terrain, which makes road construction and maintenance very expensive.
What about electric cars and hybrids? Using average miles driven per year (say 12,000) and an average fuel economy (say 28 miles per gallon), charge them an equivalent tax at vehicle registration.
I’m a believer in the principle of “the user should pay.” Raising the state tax on gasoline and diesel fuel makes sense for funding our roadways.