2017-09-27 / Letters

Vote “no” on road bond

Dear Editor:

To vote “yes” to Governor Jim Justice’s, “Roads to Prosperity, Senate Joint Resolution 6” referendum on October 7 is a vote against yourself. Here’s why: taxes were raised July 1, 2017 and since then, four months, an additional $130 million dollars on top of the current taxes has increased the State Road Fund from the extra taxes on sales, gasoline, motor vehicle fees, DMV fees, privilege tax for buying a car, etc. These additional taxes, excluding current taxes, are expected to produce $3.2 billion dollars over a period of 25 years without any debt attached.

The West Virginia Governor and Legislative Delegates want to dedicate the $3.2 billion dollars that will accumulate from the additional increased taxes to pay off $1.6 billion dollars over 25 years using bonds. In short: tax payers lose $1.6 billion dollars if they vote “yes” on October 7, to borrow against money that will accumulate or already have in the State Road Fund.

W.Va. Delegate Eric Nelson, House Finance Committee Chairman, publicly supports the trade off on paying out $1.6 billion dollars in bond interest is worth it to obtain $1.6 billion dollars (up-front money) over four years than waiting for the $3.2 billion dollars from the additional tax money to trickle into the State Road Funds. However, $130 million dollars collected every four months from the additional taxes are not what I call trickle in money.

The taxpayers can’t carry that type of burden to be taxed $3.2 billion dollars and receive $1.6 billion dollars in road and bridge improvements. In essence, a vote “yes” by the taxpayer is putting your hand in the lion’s mouth.

Marty Gearhart, Chairman, House Roads and Transportation Committee, said, “I just do not believe that we don’t need to go into debt on that level. I really think we put the cart before the horse by passing the tax prior to the bond being considered.” Also, Delegate Tony Paynter, Wyoming County, posted in June 16, “the state failed to spend $158 million in highway funds two years ago and $74 million last year. They shouldn’t throw more money at an inefficient bureaucracy and need some accountability on how the state’s money is spent.”

Is there a need for the Road to Prosperity Amendment?

Curtis Perry

Keyser

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