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Poor residents are the ones to suffer

By Staff | Feb 25, 2011

West Virginia is seeking a gas tax rate hike in the middle of a recession.

We are well aware that West Virginia has one of the highest tax rates on gasoline in the United States.

Unemployment is at an all time high, people want raises, schools want more, everyone is grabbing at straws hoping they can come out a winner. But, can there be a winner in these troubling times?

The poorest people in the state will ultimately use more gasoline than the more wealthy, and for good reasons. With the invent of better fuel mileage vehicles, the price of gasoline will rise to accommodate the taxes we use to get from the gas guzzlers we own. Better fuel mileage means less revenue going into the coffer for road repairs and maintenance. Ultimately, the poor will suffer the most simply because they can not afford to buy the higher mileage vehicles. As with the “Cash for Clunker program” by the Obama administration, only the middle class benefited. Some of the so called “Clunkers” were far better on fuel, and safer to be on the highway than the majority of vehicles I see on West-Virginia highways today. On the same token, those that took advantage of the program and traded up to the newer vehicles, then lost their jobs are worse off than before the program, creating a huge market for used (sometimes unsafe) cars and trucks.

Any rise in taxes at this stage of the economy is unacceptable! If it means letting the roads crumble, closing some schools, laying off police and firefighters, or just taking a pay cut, these are hard times and change has to start somewhere. We can no longer draw straws and hope we are a winner. There are no winners! For this reason the gasoline tax increase is absolutely the wrong thing for West-Virginia. We can not raise taxes on the poor to benefit the person in the new Cadillac or BMW. that drives the same roads as we all do, nor should we be punished for making better fuel mileage vehicles. Major change is absolutely coming to West-Virginia and not in a good way! We can not tax ourselves back into the so called “good ole days”. Reform is on the horizon, and the best place to start with reform is to remove anyone from office that wants to tax a struggling state with more taxes. Raise taxes. Find another job. Better yet, since you are a public servant, you should not be paid at all.