To the Editor:
OK, so we need revenue to fix Indiana’s bridges & roads. We know that.
State Representative Randy Frye’s proposed House Bill 1002 hit several good points, but HB 1002 is not the answer.
The proposed gas and special fuel tax increases make sense. The motor carrier surcharge tax is long overdue. As Randy Frye stated in his letter of January 26th, 2017 (page C-2), the last time these fees were increased was in 1998 and 2003, respectively. It makes you wonder why heavy trucks have been getting such big tax breaks for the last 18 years, especially when these big trucks are tearing up our roads. Indexing (or built-in increases) based on inflation is a fine idea.
The proposed annual fee of $15 per vehicle seems reasonable, although the $150 fee for electric vehicles is an unfortunate addition to the bill. Why discourage investment in transportation technology that would help America advance globally & would also help protect the environment?
This is where HB 1002 starts to fall apart. At the end of his letter, Randy Frye slides in “a waiver request to the Federal government.” That’s politico for privatization and tolls on our roads. Tolls are a horrible idea. Think about any toll-road that you’ve been on. They’re in terrible condition, traffic is awful & no one wants to drive on them. Tourism and boat revenue would suffer. Imagine having to pay every time you cross the river. Privatization is even worse. Who exactly would end up owning our roads? The answer is: anyone who wants to.
House Bill 1002 is a menace to our security and freedom. Our highways are an American legacy. Let’s not blow it on a short-sighted quick fix.
Please let Randy Frye know that we do not support House Bill 1002.
Telephone: (317) 234-3827
Plum Creek Road