As the state gears up for an extensive look at our transportation system, the Civitas Institute is planting seeds of false expectation in peoples’ minds with their claim that we can fix our transportation woes with no new taxes. Removing tax options from the transportation discussion before it has even started handicaps us in a way that is not productive.
The Civitas’ views, published in today’s Charlotte Observer , include misinformation  about “raids on the Highway Trust Fund” and government excesses. Looking past their misinformation, they offer some valid points:
- – Our growth patterns have changed and we do need to reassess where our transportation funds should be spent. For example, paving of most secondary roads has been completed and those funds could be redirected to higher priority roads.
- -The division between the state and local governments of financial and operational responsibility for local roads could be revisited.
- -Certainly, we should look for creative solutions but let’s not overlook the obvious ones in the process. Last year we capped the gasoline tax, which funds our road construction. Car dealers put the brakes on a car sales tax, another source of transportation funds.
The transportation system is the backbone of the North Carolina’s economy and is a critical component of business productivity in the state. Let’s invest in our transportation system, fix the problems and make it the safe, efficient 21st-century system that every citizen deserves.