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George Coleman: Taxes change...few take notice

George Coleman • Updated Jul 8, 2017 at 2:00 PM

So, I go to the gas station last Friday. I need to fill up, as my wife and I had to go to Morristown to attend a funeral. And there’s a line. Really? Asking a few questions, I find out the gas tax is going up by 4 cents a gallon Saturday, and everyone wanted to beat the increase.

Folks at The Democrat will tell you no one wants to save a buck more than me, so I get my pretty day car out – 1994 Camaro Z28 convertible, red, of course – and fill that baby up, too.

Feeling justified, I take the trip out of town. Then, I come home Sunday and drive past the gas station. And there was no change in the price of gas.

Huh?

My guess is the folks who sold gas knew everyone was going to flock to the pumps Friday. In the meantime, the wholesale price of gas had probably declined due to the recent drop in the price of oil. So the sellers said to themselves, “Why lower the price just to raise it later?” So there you have it, no change in the price of gas.

Also notable this week was Gov. Bill Haslam’s visit to Houston’s Meat Market in Mt. Juliet. He and state Rep. Susan Lynn were discussing the benefit of the 1-cent reduction in sales tax on the price of food. 

So I’ve got a question for you. Is anyone else seeing a grocery bill decline this week? OK, my children are grown and gone, so the grocery bill isn’t a big one at my house. But still, 1 cent on the dollar is not a big change, even if you have a few growing boys in the house.

The point here may be that while our government representatives spent a lot of time discussing changing the tax structure, at the end of the day, for most of us, the change didn’t matter a whole lot. Gas is probably a little more than it might have been otherwise, food a little less. But I doubt most folks are having to make changes in their household budgets.

So maybe our representatives got this one right. We now have more money flowing into the highway fund, which we desperately need, and less going into the general fund, which currently has a nice “rainy day” fund at its disposal.

So from my point of view, hat’s off to the legislature and Haslam. I believe you have struck a balance where we can move forward with the necessary work of improving our roads in such a way the citizens aren’t feeling the pain.

George Coleman is publisher of The Lebanon Democrat. Email him at gcoleman@lebanonpublishing.com.

 

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