Earlier this week a little news item caught my attention enough to steal me away from checking my Facebook status updates on my mobile device.
It seems a study was released recently that suggested Texas lawmakers could help balance the struggling state budget by adding a tax on sacred cows. I almost dropped my iPhone.
Who in the name of Sam Houston is attempting to impose a gas-guzzler tax on the state vehicle of Texas (pickups)? Who is committing political suicide in the year of twenty bucks and eleven cents?
A little research shows that no one has stepped forward (as of yet) to enter a bill in the state house or senate despite this “study” promising the state untold riches should they tag an extra $100 to the price of every truck and large SUV sold here.
In an effort to quickly reassure voters of the lunacy of such an act, response was swift from the boot- and hat-wearing legislators currently in session in our State capitol.
Texas is the leading market for pickups and one of the top contenders in sales each year for large sport utes. The intention of the proposal is to levy an additional fee upon these vehicles due to their enhanced burden on the environment and infrastructure, I guess something along the “You can pay me now or you can pay me later” line of thinking.
A federal gas-guzzler tax already exists and exudes additional monies from the likes of supercharged Jags and Mercedes while few domestic cars are affected. And trucks and heavy SUVs are exempt, hence the suggestion to impose such a levy at a more local level.
I can also see the argument that owners of these fossil fuel chug-a-luggers already pay a heavier tax as they use more fuel so they are paying higher fuel excise fees each time they fill up the tank. And if state registration fees are based on vehicle class and weight, well, there you go again.
Since the new Survivor series on TV is so heavily laden with “What if” cutaways, let us ponder what would happen should such a tax be added at the state level.
Fewer folks buy new trucks. Fewer folks drive new trucks. Fewer folks “pay at the pump.” Fewer taxes are collected. OK, Mr. Feasibility Study, what now? What about that “Rainy Day Fund?”
In the words or our well-dressed Governor, “It’s raining folks.” I might add it may be a bit late to put the top up on the convertible and it is increasingly difficult to find a newspaper to put over your head because you forgot your umbrella.
No problem. Everybody just carry a copy of this study with you and we may never get wet.