After failing to push a gas tax and fee increase through last legislative session Tarrant County officials are foolishly pushing for an even larger tax and fee package.

Vic Suhm is the latest name to add to the fold of tax increase leaders like Vicki Truitt and John Carona. These officials want to skip bold moves in upstanding taxing policy and transparency opting instead to vastly increase taxes.

Some of the old tax and fee increases are still present in Shum’s Omnibus Transportation Investment Act but what’s more laughable than pushing tax increases during this economic season is his lip service to ending diversions something that had been lacking from previous plans, and is still lacking in Shum’s.

He does advocate ending diversions in one bullet point only to immediately contradict himself proposing an increase in diversions by allowing fuel taxes to subsidize costly and under achieving rail initiatives.

Then Shum moves from contradiction to extortion suggesting we “Amend the Constitution to allow indexing and prevent diversions.” This should make any taxpayer’s blood boil. Elected officials holding hostage important protections like preventing diversions to get what they want, in this case an indexed gas tax, is evil.

Shum eventually comes to the conclusion that “the anti-tax interest prevail.” Shum like many others are desperately trying to recast those in opposition to their plan as anti-tax when really they are anti-waste and pro transparency, neither of which are addressed by officials pushing for higher gas taxes and fees in plans like Shum’s.

Our elected officials should be considering these options before hiking taxes.

1. End the gas-tax diversions. Put every state gas-tax dollar into road construction and maintenance.
2. Enact strong online transparency for every local and regional entity that receives gas-tax money.
3. Enact strong accountability for each gas-tax dollar, forbidding tax-funded lobbying while allowing the state comptroller to or auditor to audit those entities books.
4. Require that congestion-relief drive spending decisions by allocating gas-tax dollars only to those projects bringing the greatest relief, and not to boondoggles like “light-rail.”

The breaks need to be put on these egotistical plans that are “large enough to make a difference” because they are too large to sustain and large enough to bring our economy to the ruinous levels of California and New York.

DMN Piece can be found here:Blog Post

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.


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