The conservative majority in the North Carolina General Assembly’s lower chamber did its duty and overwhelmingly approved, on Monday, legislation to hold the current state gas tax at 35 cents per gallon and put off a scheduled rate hike from Jan 1 to July 1. The legislation makes sense. We are in the midst of a horrible economic climate. North Carolina has the highest gas tax rate in the southeastern United States. General Assembly Republicans got an overwhelming mandate from voters in 2010 to roll back taxes and regulations. So, what’s the problem?
To the delight of the newsroom at The N&O, state senate president Phil Berger (R) is expressing reservations about the legislation’s prospects in his chamber:
Senate leader Phil Berger expressed concerns about the bill, particularly because it defers decisions about cutting road projects to the executive branch. “I have expressed concerns about … a bill that does not specify which projects are dealt with,” he said.
So, tax relief for economically-ravaged North Carolinians is being held up over some political turf spat? Unbelievable. Taxes are THE defining issue the GOP has over Democrats. If Raleigh Republicans can’t warmly embrace tax relief, why keep them in power? We’ll be in the same position with the Dems in power.
Berger and the boys need to grow a pair, and do the right thing: get this cap passed.