We’ve vented our frustrations repeatedly on this site about North Carolina’s obscenely high gas tax. With gas prices skyrocketing, the economy tanking, and the unemployment rate skyrocketing, we thought cutting the state gas tax would be a no-brainer for the conservative majority that took power on Jones Street following the 2010 elections.
The state House hurried a tax cut measure through during the waning moments of the session, and sent it over to the Senate. The upper chamber NEVER voted on the House bill — citing a lack of time. Yet, they had plenty of TIME to approve a gay marriage referendum. (*I wonder if talking to the guy at the convenience store about gay marriage will get me a discount on my gas purchases.*)
I recently chatted with a General Assembly insider who also is a frequent reader of this site (and background / QT commenter on its content). This person knows my position on the whole gas tax debacle, and decided to throw me a little background on the episode:
“The out-of-time story is nonsense,” my source told me.”The gas tax cut was stalled as a favor to Speaker Tillis and his team. They’ve spent so much that they need EVERY cent of that gas tax revenue. They have talked a conservative game, so they can’t come out openly against a tax cut. So, the Senate leadership helped out the House by running out the clock. If people were to look closely at the record from this past session, they would find a lot of loud talk and chest-thumping about conservatism and limited government. But looking specifically at what got done and what didn’t get done, you begin to realize that ‘Emperor Tillis’ has no clothes.”