by Max Brantley
Legislation was filed yesterday, supported by legislative leadership, to repeal a sales tax break for big trucks and trailers approved in 2011. It was to take effect July 1 as compensation for voter approval of a 5-cent-a-gallon increase in the diesel tax to pay for a highway bond program.
Here's a potential rub: Rep. Nate Bell, the Republican who has compared Democrats to Nazis for legislation introduced for the public good (restrictions on cell phone use in school zones, for example), has declared on Twitter that he will not support this "tax increase." It is dishonest, close to a lie, to say this bill is a tax increase. It will prevent implementation of a tax break that has not taken effect. It was a break that was to be given in return for a diesel increase. What Bell is really saying is that he favors a further tax cut for people tearing up our roads. It is the best example yet of the folly of the Republican notion that if we just cut taxes enough, prosperity will abound. Perhaps. But you'll need an ATV to drive on the interstates to Memphis, Fort Smith and Texarkana. Does Bell have support from sufficient like-minded 'baggers to impede passage? We'll soon see.
Next time a rumbling rig blows you off the road or you get rocked by an interstate pothole, remember Nate Bell. He's got their back.