Connectivityhas work cut out for it
Connectivity proponents are going to have their work cut out for them on Thursday when county commissioners debate the second reading on increasing the gas and sales taxes.
We think the gas tax will have the easiest time. There were four votes for it in October, which means two commissioners would have to switch their votes in order for it to be defeated.
The county hasn’t been this close to approving the tax in a long time. Prices are the lowest they’ve been in a decade. With the exception of one gas station owner at Lake Tahoe and the folks who oppose most taxes, there isn’t much opposition.
The sales tax, on the other hand, so far has one opponent, who will be all that’s needed to kill it on Thursday.
Commission Chairman Doug Johnson opposes the sales tax increase, and either he or Barry Penzel will have to change their vote for it to survive.
The sales tax is expected to raise $1.5 million, not quite twice the revenue from the gasoline tax, but a big chunk of what the county says is needed to move connectivity forward.
If the sales tax fails that means the $900,000 raised by the gas tax is less than a quarter needed for federal matches.
We wouldn’t buy bonds with money based on how much gasoline is sold. We can guarantee that gas consumption will go down over time, even if prices remain reasonable. The concern is that the amount of money raised will not cover the bond payments at some point.
We figure we’ve been paying the extra for gasoline for the last 20 years. However, we feel that money should go directly to improve county roads.