A recent article suggesting adding a fuel tax to heating oil has to be the most outrageous idea I have heard someone bring forth. Here in Vermont, heating fuel is one of our basic needs. We have watched the price of heating fuel go from 18 cents a gallon, when we purchased our home in 1971, to a present cost of $3.69 a gallon. In addition, we have spent many dollars on insulation and sealant in order to cut our use of oil each heating season.
We have actually succeeded in cutting the number of gallons we now use, but the cost savings is hardly noticeable because the price of oil continues to rise every year. Here in Vermont, we do not have the luxury of “shopping around” for the best price. Why? Because the oil companies appear to have come up with a grand plan to keep the price of oil up each year and limit themselves to certain territories.
Whatever happened to the luxury tax that placed a sales tax on clothing items that were over $100? This tax could be reinstated on individual items now costing $200 so that we can earn revenue from those who can afford to pay. How about a financial transaction fee on the sale of stocks? Why do I pay a toll (or tolls) to travel in New Hampshire and Maine? Why is there no toll on our highways for people traveling to our state? How about a license fee for the purchase of guns, aside from a hunting rifle?
My point being there are many other avenues to raising revenues other than placing a tax on a basic need which ends up hurting the general population who are striving to do everything possible to survive in this economy. It seems our legislators could so some brainstorming and come up with better ideas than a heating fuel tax. Or is this really about paying back contractors who made large donations to politicians?
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