A couple of tax increases have been proposed by two leading members of the Senate, who say their modest plans will help solve a couple of major problems. Senators Wayne Goode and Jim Mathewson are co-sponsoring each others bills. Mathewson proposes a four-cent fuel tax increase that will pay off more than $2-Billion in bonds the Transportation Department can issue – to boost road building and maintenance right now. Senator Wayne Goode wants voters to approve a 40-cent increase in cigarette taxes, with proceeds going into the state’s bruised bank account. The state’s general fund has been hit hard by the recession, and major programs and services have taken, or are in danger of taking serious funding cuts. Goode thinks his plan has a better chance of passage than the tobacco tax increase that narrowly lost at the polls last year. He thinks his plan would raise $200-Million to $250-Million, only about one-fourth the Holden Adminsitration says is needed to meet an anticpated budget shortfall next year. But Goode says the state needs to take a step in the right direction.
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