Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pondering the impacts of Ann "Gas Tax" Rivers', well, gas tax and tab fee increase on Clark County.

As we all should know by now, Sen. Ann "Gas Tax" Rivers is responsible for sticking it to Clark County for $700 million in increased gas taxes and tab fees.

Of course, she isn't the only one: Sen. Curtis King, who both chairs Senate Transportation and represents a small portion of Clark County in the vicinity of Washougal also has some hand in this, but King never got elected on a pledge to oppose gas tax increases and tab fee increases.

I have been roundly smacked by a few who do not see Rivers' betrayal as, well, a betrayal.

Certainly, the deputy mayor of Battle Ground and a Washougal City Councilor have weighed in on my perspective; Kevin Tapani, who has some connection to a store front outfit that may realize some financial benefit has expressed his appreciation for Rivers' betrayal in the Reflector.

So, I certainly do acknowledge that those who benefit from this rip off certainly appreciate it (Battle Ground scored big) those who are personal friends to Rivers (As, I admit, I used to be) defend her, lies to get elected notwithstanding and those who may benefit financially certainly appreciate her efforts (As Mr. Tapani has shown.)

That she lied is difficult to dispute: here is a screen capture from her campaign web site before she took it down after I hammered her with it:

So, now, the question becomes:

Who wins and who loses because of this tax?

Well, those building the waste of $100 million known as the unnecessary Mill Plain/I-5 CRC project will certainly benefit from this scam.

Those working on these projects will make bank.

Those locating businesses in the vicinity of these projects, save for the idiocy of the freeway interchange project will do rather well at our expense.

But here's the problem: the people of Clark County are going to lose $500 million on this deal.

And where is that money going to come from?

Disposable income.

That's obvious: people will typically not be capable of  reducing their house payments or car payments or food budgets to make up for this tax increase.

The money has to come from somewhere.

As the costs for most everything else goes up, from clothing to car parts to lawnmowers to basketballs, typically at a faster rate than wages... what gets cut?

Those places where disposable income are typically used.

Newspapers (An already dying art, so to speak.) Restaurants.  Theaters.  Sports events.  Fairs.  Car washes.  Burger joints.  Pot stores.  (Even though they lied to get their initiative passed and this same senate, including ol' Gas Tax, cut their promised revenue requirement, by percentage in half.  You know... to punish them for defrauding the voters?)  Cable TV.  Internet.  high school football games.

Of course, those on the upper end of the spectrum... or even the upper end of the middle class like some Senators I know, won't feel it.

In all likelihood, *I* won't feel it.  But it's kind of like a bad tattoo.

No matter how much I cover it up with shirts and so forth, I still know it's there.

Over the next ten years, at the rate of $50 million per year... based on an approximate population of 450,000 in Clark County, every man, woman and child will be responsible for just over $111 per year in gas tax loss, effectively paying, literally, for nothing; or paying $156 year for the whole package... even assuming you could call the additional waste of the Mill Plain/I-5 rip off some sort of return.

Those who get hurt by this are those least able to afford it.  And those businesses struggling to survive are not going to be helped in any way by this effort.

It's the kind of thing that can happen when the GOP chooses to act just like the democrats they replaced since they decided to forget who sent them there... and why.

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