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Your Opinion: Oppose sales tax for highway improvements

Dear Editor:

Why a highway sales tax? Why now, in the middle of a recession?

Sen. Mike Kehoe, a Republican, is proposing a ballot measure that will increase your sales taxes by a full 1 percent to pay for new roads and road improvements. What ever happened to the 17 cents per gallon we already pay in fuel taxes? We deserve an accounting of why this isn’t enough. He has a lot of explaining to do.

Oh, this time the tax isn’t on food or medicine, but the result will be about $100 per year tax increase on the working class and the elderly. Sales taxes hit low income people the hardest because they have less income to begin with.

Did it occur to Sen. Kehoe that the proper tax for highway construction is the one that is paid by the people who use the highways? The fuel tax that we already pay is the tried and true and the fairest tax for new highway construction. If more money for roads is needed that is the proper tax to increase not the sales tax.

His assertion that this will put money into the economy is simply false. This is a very strange statement for a Republican to be making given their traditional aversion to tax increases.

The $8 billion tax increase will be taken out of your pocket and into the governments pocket, which will result in no net gain to jobs or the economy. It is a simple transfer. You will have less money to spend on your family and the government will have more of your tax money.

Whatever happened to the traditional Republican anti-tax increase stance? Usually they claim that taxes reduce economic activity.

Why not impose an additional license fee on semi trucks? Semi trucks pound our highways to smithereens in short order.

This sales tax increase is Sen. Kehoe’s idea of paying for roads without taxing the big trucking firms who would oppose any fuel tax charged on a per gallon basis.

Call or e-mail Sen. Kehoe or your own state senator and tell them to oppose any more sales taxes.

It’s your money. Keep it in your pocket. We pay enough already. This must be defeated.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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