Friday, October 12, 2012 —
The taxes paid are also tied to the price of gasoline, furthering the increased collections.
The state’s Highway Fund and Highway Trust Fund take in about $3.1 billion a year right now. With federal highway dollars, the state spends about $4 billion on transportation.
That money, though, supports the second-largest state-maintained road system in the country, with over 78,000 miles of roadway the responsibility of state government.
The other day, I spoke to a group in Elizabeth City and one of the first questions was about the fate of a proposal to build a second bridge across Currituck Sound, a project that would cost $650 million but alleviate congestion created by tourists traveling to the Outer Banks.
A legislator, speaking about the project a couple of days later, said that the numbers don’t add up.
Maybe he is right. Perhaps, in this case, the costs don’t justify the need.
If, on the other hand, the state’s response to every major bridge or road proposal becomes some combination of can’t, won’t or toss your quarters here, maybe state leaders ought to start examining something that isn’t just broken when a catchy campaign slogan is needed.
Scott Mooneyham is a syndicated columnist for Capitol Press Association and covers activities of the N.C. Legislature.