Our state Senator Kevin Eltife is making news across the state by proclaiming that an increase in taxes is needed to fund transportation needs.
Senator Eltife is on a mission to get other lawmakers to join him and address a big budget shortfall in the Texas Department of Transportation. So, Eltife has suggested that one solution is that we need to increase taxes on every gallon of gas by at least ten cents.
Now those are potentially some caustic words when you look at the source – a Republican Senator from east Texas at time when gas prices are moving up. But this is no different than the approach that Eltife used when he was mayor of the city of Tyler and drove a budget approach that ended up in the city being debt free and to this day operates on a pay as you go fiscal approach.
It is not perfect but this approach does work. If it can work at the state level is yet to be seen but the D-O-T must have increased funding if they are going to plan and build more roads and maintain the ones we have.
Certainly, more toll roads are not the answer, Texans deserve a better long term approach. Tex Dot needs an additional 4 billion dollars beyond their projected budget of 10 billion to meet the needs of an ever growing lone star state. As Eltife says the credit card is maxed out and we need additional funding.
It is a challenge raising taxes but no real alternative has been presented so we need to consider it. Buying government services on credit is no longer and option and risking political popularity is brave especially if it results in a better East Texas.