by Max Brantley
John Lyon of Stephens Media highlights a critical bit of fallout from the apparent implosion of the idea to increase the tax on diesel to pay for repairs to the bridge freeway routes that truckers regularly destroy.
A second highway tax proposal would increase the sales tax to build new four-lane highways (in the unproven but faith-based belief that freeways create jobs.). Does it really make sense to raise taxes to build new highways when we can't maintain the ones we have? House Speaker Robert Moore talks of promoting a sales pitch that will make voters feel better about this, but the proposal is to build new highways, not make all taxpayers shoulder the burden to pay for truckers' damage to existing roads.
Unlike the diesel tax, however, the sales tax increase is headed to the ballot regardless. The diesel tax is an optional election, up to the governor to call.