Sussex County (Delaware) adopted a resolution urging Congress to rethink its plans to institute a tax bill. Please see the press release below from Chip Guy, Chief of Public Information for Sussex County.
Sussex County urges Congress to reconsider fuel tax bill
Georgetown, Del., Nov. 30, 2010: Sussex County Council is urging Congressional leaders to back off a proposal that would increase the federal fuel tax, an idea that, if enacted, would mean more dollars out of the pockets of Sussex Countians and millions of Americans.
County Council, at its Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010, meeting, adopted a resolution calling on Delaware’s Congressional Delegation to withdraw any support for the proposal to raise by 25 cents a gallon – or any other increased amount – the federal portion of the fuel tax to pay for infrastructure improvements, such as bridges and roads.
County leaders, at the behest of Council President Vance Phillips, said the timing of the proposal is poor, given record unemployment and the flagging national economy.
“People are hurting. They’ve lost jobs, they’re struggling to make ends meet. Businesses are hurting, too,” Council President Phillips said. “To ask the people to pick up one cent more of government spending is wrong, and for many Americans, it could break the bank.”
Council’s resolution is non-binding, but County leaders said they are hopeful their decision will send a message to Washington that actions there filter down to the local level and reach into the pockets of hard-working, everyday people.
County Administrator David Baker will forward a copy of the resolution to Sens. Thomas Carper and Chris Coons, as well as Congressman-elect John Carney.
A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL’S CONCERN THAT A PROPOSED INCREASE IN THE FEDERAL FUEL TAX WOULD BE HARMFUL TO THE CITIZENS OF SUSSEX COUNTY, DELAWARE, AND THE COUNTY’S OVERALL ECONOMIC HEALTH
WHEREAS, there is a proposal to increase by 25 cents the federal fuel tax, at a time when gasoline prices are nearing $3 a gallon; and
WHEREAS, a fuel tax increase of 25 cents a gallon would cost the average Sussex County household more than $700 annually; and
WHEREAS, a high number of Sussex County residents are already unemployed or unable to find full-time work, while the national unemployment rate is at the highest sustained rate since the Great Depression; and
WHEREAS, a gasoline tax is particularly burdensome to lower- and lower-middle income citizens in non-urban areas, where there are few public transportation options available; and
WHEREAS, the County’s agriculture industry is adversely affected by higher fuel prices in all aspects, from production to transportation of goods; and
WHEREAS, the County’s tourism industry relies heavily on regional visitors whose discretionary spending could be curtailed by a significant rise in fuel prices; and
WHEREAS, increases in fuel taxes are passed on to consumers, affecting the price of most goods and services, thereby affecting the overall health and stability of our economy;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Sussex County Council hereby urges the Delaware Congressional Delegation to withdraw its support for any fuel tax increase; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County Administrator shall send an official copy of this resolution, upon its adoption, to each member of the Delaware Congressional Delegation for their consideration.