So we are going back to our extravagant ways (Drivers take to the Road Again as Gas Prices Fall, New York Times, October 30, 2008:B1, 14). The fall in gasoline prices opens up a major opportunity for enhancing state government revenues -- and boy, do they need enhancing.
We mostly adjusted reasonably well to gas prices of about $3.80. States should therefore increase their gasoline taxes to about $1.00 to bring gasoline prices back to the $3.80 level. Here in Massachusetts, the gas taxes are $0.23. An extra $0.75 would enable us to abolish tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike; provide much needed funds for the repairs to our tolls and bridges; and provide some relief to the poorest among us who might be harmed financially by the gas tax increase.
By increasing gasoline taxes, we will also encourage the development of fuel efficient cars and trucks. Surely that's a win-win.
Sent to New York Times