So, this week was the town hall on Motor Fuel Taxes. What I learned was that residents that want to run for office that don’t live in your area will show up to show off. We had several candidates for office attend. I guess they were looking to hone their talking points. The other thing I learned is that some people who live above their means want to blame the government for everything.
If I purchase a home that has 3 flights of stairs and I eventually get in such poor health or maybe by accident or disease that I can no longer climb the stairs, the logical solution would be to move, hire someone or install an elevator, right? Well I think the same holds true about property taxes. If I buy a home, say 3500 sq feet, and I live alone with my spouse and over time my taxes become more than I can afford for various reasons, well maybe its time to make some choices. I could take in boarders (my grandmother did this during the depression), I could sell and downsize to a home I could afford, or I could complain about taxes and blame everyone else for my situation. Granted if you and your spouse live in a small home, say 800 sq ft and you are having a hard time paying your taxes, well I have some sympathy for anyone in that situation. But at our gas tax forum that wasn’t the case and we had to keep reminding folks this wasn’t about property taxes.
Our forum wasn’t about property taxes however, it was about motor fuel taxes and the clear need to speed up the road improvement process. We have a need in the southern part of our county where the majority of the growth is to improve the roads. We have many new warehouses, lots more truck traffic and not enough space. Even the Governor has recognized the need to rebuild the bridge on I-80 in Joliet. Why it is the only place between New Jersey and Los Angeles that the posted speed limit reduces to 45 miles an hour. We can’t live in the past and continue to lament the pension problem the state has and blame it on the county and refuse to recognize ways to ease the growth. The motor fuel tax is lock boxed and can only be used for roads and we need em folks. We have waited too long to improve Weber and 55 and the cost to the county was well over $60 million by delaying. Lets build now and save $$. BTW, its been over 30 years since the Feds (who haven’t raised the tax) or the State (which did) have raised the taxes. Had they been tied to the cost of inflation, the increase would have been the same amount as it is today, you just would have seen increases all along. But due to the legislatures lack of action we didn’t get the increase until this year and the Feds still haven’t acted. With cars getting better mileage and electric cars, we have to raise the tax to keep up with rising costs. This doesn’t even begin to tackle our crumbling infrastructure but its a good first step. Don’t want the taxes? Well you can always drive over the county line and give your money to another county.