Sunday, April 21, 2013

The road we're on....

   There is currently a highway funding bill moving through the Indiana Senate that will penalize counties that haven’t adopted a local wheel tax. My home county, Wayne, stands to miss out on getting a little over half a million dollars a year from the state, which would be used to supplement its three and a half million dollar road budget. It makes you think about where the money really comes from, and where it really goes.
   I’d guess that there are about 68,000 people in Wayne County. I'm guessing that about 41,300 of them drive. I'm also guessing that each driver probably averages using about 15 gallons of gasoline a week. Like I said, I'm just guessing.

   If those guesses are anyways close to being right, that means Wayne County drivers buy about 32,214,000 gallons of gasoline each year. We pay 56 cents in road use taxes for every gallon we buy. That totals up to about $18,039,840.00 per year from Wayne County drivers. That doesn't include the 28 cents in sales tax we're also paying on every gallon. It doesn’t include the diesel fuel that brings in 74 cents per gallon, either.

   The state and federal government gets the lion’s share of our road use taxes, and before they send a small portion of it back to the counties, they spend a big portion of it on a lot of projects that don't involve roads.

   I guess I believe that before any branch of government starts demanding more road use taxes from us, all levels of government need to spend the money they have already taken from us for its intended purpose, roads.

   I guess the government doesn’t believe that.

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