Mark’s Musings – March 3, 2019

| March 12, 2019

Mark Fortune

Local high school wrestlers performed well at the OHSAA state wrestling tournament that was held late last week and weekend in Columbus. Wrestlers from Coshocton, River View and Newcomerstown qualified for the state meet and Redskin junior Lucian Brink won first place in the 113 pound weight category. Congratulations Lucian!

A Beacon reader popped in our door this morning to talk briefly about the new gas tax that is being discussed in the Ohio legislature. Basically, their view is that the $100 charge for having a hybrid vehicle is a “penalty” not a tax. “After all”, they said, “I bought that vehicle to help things – and now I have to pay a penalty for having it.”

All of us want nice roads to drive on so we can keep the vehicles we do have in decent shape and not beat up the tires, suspension and frame. Having any of those things fixed or replaced is expensive if you have done that lately. And just so you know, it’s probably not the auto repair shop or the tire shop that is making the money here – it’s the manufacturer of the tires and parts and the folks that sell those parts to the shops for final resale to us consumers.

Is there another way to fund ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) without an increase in the gas tax? Could we use actual miles driven maybe? How would you like to be a truck driver or someone that owns a freight company? The tax on diesel fuel is expected to increase more than the “regular gasoline” tax – will truck drivers just stop short of the state line to fuel up and drive right through? You know, folks just might think of doing that just like a lot of Ohioans drive through our neighbor to the southeast (West Virginia) to avoid their higher gas prices due to taxes. With today’s more economical vehicles (when it comes to fuel mileage) you can drive quite a lot of miles on a tank of gas. And thusly is the problem.

More miles per gallon equals less gas tax being paid that ODOT can use to fix the highways and byways. And paving a mile of highway is expensive.

Can the federal government chip in? I think they already do and an email hit my inbox this morning reporting that the federal deficit is now at $21 trillion and climbing rapidly. According to this email, fewer Americans than ever believe that reducing spending or the federal deficit should be a top priority of the federal government. The percentage of people that consider it a high priority is down by 20% in just five years. That’s called taking our eye off the ball – or in other words – our eye is being taken off the ball by “other” discussions that in some cases are pointless. Wake up America or our kids and grand-kids will inherit a mess of problems. And oh yeh, you know that stuff that we older folks are expecting – Medicare at 65 and Social Security? That could change too. Any thoughts on this?

Okay, let’s move on here to things of local interest and the positivity that is flowing throughout the community! The annual Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce auction starts on Friday, March 15 at 9 a.m. and ends on Saturday, March 23 at noon. Bid, bid and bid some more! This IS the Chamber’s largest fund-raiser and we all benefit from a strong Chamber of Commerce. Thank you!

Category: Mark's Musings, Opinion

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