Profiles in courage from NC Chamber

| January 31, 2015

Chris Fitzsimonby Chris Fitzsimon, NC Policy Watch and NC SPIN panelist, January 29, 2015.

Folks at the North Carolina Chamber want state lawmakers to do something about the shortage of funding to build and maintain roads in North Carolina, but would rather not talk about how to raise the money to pay for it.

Chamber leaders held a news conference this week to lament the multi-billion dollar shortfall in highway funding over the next decade—with some estimates as high as $60 billion. But Chamber President Lew Ebert refused to talk about raising any taxes or fees to solve the problem, saying “that’s what elected officials are here to do.”

But as the News & Observer and other media outlets pointed out, the Chamber was more than happy to give lawmakers advice in recent years about cutting taxes. Raising them, that’s something they’d rather not discuss.

The N&O did mention that three of the recommendations to raise highway money made in a report by N.C. State that the Chamber is touting include raising the sales tax on cars, increasing fees on trucks and eventually shifting from a state gas tax to a levy on miles traveled by every vehicle.

All of those, especially the new charge on miles traveled, are very controversial among the right-wing base of the Republican Party, a fact not lost on Ebert, who also refused to endorse whatever state leaders proposed to fill the highway funding gap he is complaining about.

How courageous of him.

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Category: NC SPIN Perspectives - Opinions from NC Leaders & Organizations

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