Ohio lawmakers should increase state gas tax

The Vindicator by Robin Schuler
Youngstown, OH
February 19th, 2017

Ohio lawmakers should increase state gas tax

A recent Vindicator article expressing the outlook from the Mahoning County engineer on our crumbling roads should not be ignored. Ohio legislators simply need to bite the bullet and raise the gas tax. The price of gas has bounced up and down a bit but has stayed very low. Americans like their independence, like to drive and like their cars – they need roads. It’s time to pay for the roads.

Obviously, Americans have fallen out of love with small cars – the shutting down of the third shift at Lords town is testament to that. If we don’t mind fueling up a Crew Cab or an SUV because of low gas prices, we should not mind paying a bit more per gallon of gas.

How many people do you know who have lost a tire or incurred worse damage to a pothole? Even more concerning is the potential for collisions as drivers trying to avoid a pothole cause an accident.

And what about the area’s public image? We are touting our potential as a high-tech job center. To continue that means bringing in new ideas and people. But can you imagine coming from the West Coast to stay at the new hotel downtown and having to navigate the many Third World trails we call roads in Mahoning County?

Auto maintenance repairs, higher insurance rates due to accidents and the area’s public image are all hidden costs that need to be considered. Just think, maybe better roads will inspire us to buy the Chevy Cruze again and not fear them being swallowed up by potholes.

And finally, our roads are buckling in part to dramatic changes in temperature, possibly due to auto emissions and climate change. Those who drive gas guzzlers will cry “No Way!” I say, “Ok! – just pay!”

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