Hiking The Gas Tax

Saying that he wants more money in transportation, State Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) recently said he would be pushing for higher gasoline taxes. He made his comments at the San Antonio Mobility Coalition, a group which describes itself as an “advocate multi-modal transportation funding solutions.” In other words: they want more money, all the time.

According to a blog at the San Antonio Express News by Terri Hall, an activist focusing on transportation issues, Darby had “open mockery” for those who want to end the current diversion of transportation dollars to non-transportation purposes.

Last session Darby proposed legislation doubling vehicle registration fees; that measure fell flat — something he blamed on “outside forces,” which is legislative code for “taxpayers.” In the past Darby has supported (unsuccessful) raising the gas tax by 10-cents per gallon.

Remember: Darby is a “Republican.” That’s the party whose primary voters this month overwhelmingly supported a ballot proposition calling for the abolition of a tax.

As Hall noted in her blog, it is of note that Darby said this in San Antonio, rather than at home in San Angelo. And after the primary election. Such is the courage of his convictions.

Taxpayers might want to check in with their “Republican” legislators to see if they will be following Darby off the fiscal cliff by hiking taxes rather than reforming spending.

The same party whose 2012 platform said that gasoline taxes “taxes should only be used for highway construction and not be diverted to any other use, including mass transit and bicycle paths.”

“Republicans” like Darby are less concerned with the will of the people than making sure his pals in the lobby get well-feed at the taxpayer trough.

The biggest advocate for a gasoline tax hike in the state senate is Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas). He talked a lot about his desire to hike taxes and revenues for several years. And he lost. To a guy promising not to raise taxes.

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Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael is president and CEO of Empower Texans. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

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