May 26, 2018
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Readers suggest savings possibilities for road budget


This week, ClickBack asked editorial page readers about Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to end increases to the gas tax.

Should the gas tax be replaced?

Contracting the roads to private companies for repair and snow removal would save millions, plus help the economy.


“How should the hole this will create in the highway fund be filled?”

By trimming the fat. I could save the state millions if they just put me in charge of the snow removal. It would be millions more if they also put me in charge of maintenance.


Roads have to be maintained. There has to be a mechanism for paying for that maintenance, and a mechanism that proportionally charges those who use the roads for that maintenance is the most fair. The gas tax provides that proportional fairness. You drive more or drive a larger vehicle that causes more wear, and you pay more.


You mean Gov. LePage has no idea of his own for replacing the gas tax formula? Isn’t this why he gets paid the big bucks to be our governor?


The idea of tracking how many miles I drive is another example of trying to solve a problem by more government intrusion in my personal business. Lower the gas tax or remove it entirely. Trim the fat in the budgets.

Cutting the gas tax would not only help the commuters heading to work but would help the truckers and those who would love to take out that RV and enjoy it.


The highway system is nothing more than a utility company. In this case, instead of a regulated monopoly like the telephone company, the owner is the government. The “tracking” that would be done would be for the purposes of charging you your monthly road bill. Nothing more.

Government has better things to do than observe your driving habits. They’d learn far more by looking at your phone bill.


I hate to sound like a tax and spender, but the facts are that when the price of gasoline and diesel go up, the number of gallons sold goes down. When the number of gallons goes down, so does state revenue that is supposed to go to highway and bridge maintenance.

We are saddled with thousands of miles of wagon trails that were paved over and not really built highways. Every year, most of us get to see how these roads hold up after another Band-Aid is slapped on. When we do rebuild a road to hold up to today’s needs, we only can afford to do short stretches.

It takes money to maintain and modernize our roads. We use those roads, so we should be paying. Change the tax from a per-gallon rate to a per-dollar rate.


First, eliminate the Maine Turnpike Authority. Increase the tolls on the Turnpike slightly. Mandate that all toll revenues are applied to Turnpike repairs and other state highways and bridges, not dumped into the general fund.

Pass legislation that 10 percent of the excise tax collected on auto registration goes to the transportation fund.


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