Wednesday Wrap: Semantics antics

Posted February 11, 2015

— When is a tax cut not a tax cut? Senators couldn't agree on that Wednesday as they gave tentative approval to a bill that changes how the state figures how much its gas tax should be.

Republicans called it a cut because it lowers the current tax rate from 37.5 cents per gallon to 35 cents for the next months. Democrats called it an increase because it prevents the tax from its expected drop to around 30 cents per gallon in July – and is projected to keep the tax higher than it would be under the current formula for the next few years.

A final vote is expected Thursday.

Also Thursday, legislative budget committees will hear that state revenue is expected to fall $271 million short of projections for fiscal 2014-15, which could lead to cuts later this spring and could present a tougher-than-expected budget fight for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which starts in July.

In other news, the State Board of Elections has whittled down estimates of thousands of potentially illegal voters to 11 people who tried to cast votes in November.


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  • Dolly Butler Feb 12, 2015
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    Bob Smith, how do you suggest that we pay to update our bridges?

  • George Herbert Feb 12, 2015
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    The idea behind using gasoline tax revenues to pay for other forms of transportation is that having those other things available reduces the need to build highways with more lanes.

  • Bob Smith Feb 11, 2015
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    As a Tea Party person, we need enough gas taxes to pay for roads, but not be used for paying for other forms of transportation, such as rail lines. So I have no problem with higher taxes on gas as long as used for roads, and not subsidizing transportation not related to roads. And I am glad there is a shortage on estimated taxes coming in - this will force government to be more creative on finding ways to be more frugal.