Regarding “Gas tax hike wins initial vote in Missouri Senate” (March 10): As a lifelong conservative, I have always looked cautiously at all proposed tax increases. Many times these increases, in my judgment, are simply ways for legislators to favor one set of citizens at the expense of another. The gas tax is very different.
There is no question that the maintenance of infrastructure, including roads and bridges, should be a government responsibility, but we have had tremendous challenges doing that in recent years. It’s an expensive responsibility. The solution is there in front of us: the gas tax. We have one of the lowest gas taxes in the nation. It hasn’t been increased in a quarter century, and dollars to keep the highways safe are hard to extract from other parts of the budget. The gas tax ensures that those who use the highways will help pay to maintain them. A use tax is the fairest way to place the responsibility to fix the problems in the hands of those who helped create it.
Deane Looney • St. Louis