Back in 2017 the Rio Grande Foundation led a successful effort to stop a new 2 cent per gallon tax on gasoline. You can read the text of the ordinance which voters will have the chance to vote on in November, 2022. Not much has changed with regard to the specifics of this ordinance as opposed to the 2017 version. Here are a few points that need to be considered:
- Gas taxes are “regressive.” A new gas tax will affect a large number of low-income families;
- As the ordinance is written, the tax would be used to “rehabilitate transportation systems.” This could mean directly supporting or allowing existing dollars to be diverted to the controversial Albuquerque Rapid Transit program and the city bus system. Any gas tax paid by motorists should at least be dedicated to improving and expanding Albuquerque’s roads;
- A significant portion of the money generated by the tax will be spent on the creation of a collection and auditing apparatus. Some of the revenue created would have to be spent on additional bureaucracy to collect, audit and set up an appeals process relating to the new tax.
Finally, while it wasn’t as much of an issue back in 2017, with the Biden Administration and State policymakers making a headlong push for electric vehicles, it would seem that taxing drivers of gasoline vehicles is patently unfair. The predominantly wealthy drivers of electric vehicles MUST be included in any real effort to increase roads funding.