Jim Cameron is a great advocate for mass transit and he is always looking for increasing taxes on other businesses to get more funding for mass transit. The reason is that mass transit costs more to run than the revenue it generates through user fees. Put a different way, mass transit loses money every single day.
The state of Connecticut had the highest gasoline tax in the entire United States. What did we find with the investigation about that? We found that the state actually increased the retail price so high due to the taxes that it actually generated less tax revenue than before the increases.
We also learned — and this was key — the gas tax revenue was diverted from the intended purposes. Cameron also fails to mention that we now still have the second tax on gasoline called the Gross Receipts Tax which was intended to fund underground gasoline tank leaks. That program is canceled, but the tax remains, generating millions of dollars and are not used for their intended purpose.
Do you see a pattern here? Taxes, once put in place, generate million and hundreds of millions of dollars that do not go to their intended purpose and, more importantly, when that intended purpose goes away, the tax remains on us, the taxpayer!
Michael J. Fox is Executive Director of the Gasoline & Automotive Service Dealers of America, Inc.