Olson agreed the gas tax is still the simplest way to generate funds for road projects, with the user paying. However, he said a lot of resistance can come from those who do not drive much.
“Technically you don’t have to pay if you don’t want to. You just can’t drive on the road,” Kinney said.
The motor fuel tax is used to help fund road construction. Kinney said that instead of asking legislators if they want to raise the gas tax, which he expects will get a “no”, they should ask if they agree in maintaining the current level of service for roadways.
“It’’s either you fund what we have and the level of services that we have or you’re choosing not to, so we’ll reduce the level of services and the system sucks,” Kinney said. “You’re talking about closing roads, closing bridges.”
He added that until legislators are given that question and choice, the easy out is to say they do not want to raise taxes. Kinney said taxpayers and legislators might not think about the fact that not supporting the tax increase can lead to the reduction of road services.