David Reynolds: Alice in Wonderland in Virginia
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s letter (Jan. 24) defending his transportation reform plan strikes me as more of an exercise in semantics than an innovative way to pay for the roads the state badly needs. Calling for a hike in the sales tax while eliminating the gas tax is certainly a novel idea. However, I have not read of any of the other 49 states thinking along such lines. There are good reasons. A tax paid on the consumption of gasoline comes as close as possible to an ideal tax. It is easy to administer, the user is the one who pays and it is environmentally friendly by raising the price of a pollutant. However, none of these features seems to matter to those who refuse to raise rates on any taxes except those they prefer not to call a tax. Welcome to Alice in Wonderland in Virginia.
Letter from David Reynolds/Lexington, Va.