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Gubernatorial candidates on gas tax

READ MORE: Gubernatorial candidates on gas tax
WILMINGTON -- Gov. Mike Easley has come under fire in recent months about gas tax money being diverted to the state's general fund. The revenue from the tax is supposed to fund roadway projects. Candidates for state office tell NewsChannel 3 what they would like to do with the money. Right now, North Carolina's gas tax is as high as it can go, after Gov. Easley capped it last year. It now stands at 30.15 cents. That makes it one of the highest in the nation. It's the main source of revenue for road projects, and many feel should have gone into the state's highway trust fund. But candidates question why the governor and state legislature have been transferring a portion to the state's general fund instead. Justice Bob Orr is running for governor. He said, "Ever since the highway trust fund was started back in the 1980s, the legislature has held out about 180-million dollars each year from the trust fund. And I think clearly that money needs to go into the highway trust fund for road projects as opposed to the general fund." Opponent Pat McCrory wants to bring back as much money as possible to the highway trust fund that he says has been stripped away by Gov. Easley and the legislature over the past eight years. Bill Graham would ask that the transfer of money from the highway trust fund be stopped immediately. He says he would then propose a bond to relieve congestion on interstate systems and begin repairing bridges. Fred Smith also wants to dedicate 100 percent of highway trust fund and other transportation resources to highways and infrastructure by stopping the transfer. He also proposes issuing $4 billion in new transportation infrastructure bonds to accelerate the construction of critical projects and improve highway maintenance. He says the $172 million annual transfer of funds can provide the resources to repay this debt, and we can pay for the Highway Patrol and driver education out of the general fund. On the Democratic side there is a similar view from Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue. Perdue said, "I'd stop the transfer from the highway fund to the general fund very quickly. And I'd use that money to have a million dollar or more bond issue to address congestion needs and gap funding for areas like Wilmington." Perdue's opponent Richard Moore stands alone from the crowd."It's simplistic to say stop the transfer unless you're going to say, well, OK, it's coming out of the same pie -- what are you going to do to fix the money you just stole from? What are you going to do with the kindergarten or More at Four programs or the community colleges that you just took their money?" Moore said. "The real answer is making better use of the dollars that you're taking in and maximizing the resources that you have." And here's what US Senate candidates Kay Hagan and Jim Neal have to say on the issue: Neal said, "Gas taxes were supposed to go toward road projects, that's where they should have gone." Hagan said, "Well, I think if you look back in the history of how that took place it used to all go into the general fund, and then it was decided let's set up a separate entity strictly for roads, but yet it held harmless the original general fund money. It's really the fact that we probably need to pull away and start putting that back into the roads. It's not like you usurped it -- that's just the history of how it got started."

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Wish them all away to the

Wish them all away to the corn field......

I think the McCrory plan is

I think the McCrory plan is the best, because we need to make up for years of mismanagement.

Gas Tax

The money is being taken from us to put in a Highway Fund to take care of our roads. The money needs ( 100% of it ) to go to the Highway Fund and not the General Fund. Too much money goes to the General Fund that the people of this state never see any benefits of or even know where it went. Example a few years ago the state & federal goverments pulled money to help move a condo complex in Carolina Beach but when the homeowners found they had to put some of "their money" in also they said no. The states money was pulled from the Unemployment office as I was told but it ended up in the General Fund an unemplyment benefits were cut that year to those that needed it. The state takes our money for something, it needs to go to the area it is being taken for and not for pet projects of our " leaders ".

Less Moore

"-- what are you going to do to fix the money you just stole from?"...ummmm isn't "stole" what happened to the highway trust fund in the first place? I guess it's wrong to "un-steal".

Great, more tax and spend

This is your Democrat Governor doing his best tax and spend shuffle. He needs to be doing jail time for destroying public documents.

Trust Fund? Yeah, right

Justice Bob Orr said, "Ever since the highway trust fund was started back in the 1980s, the legislature has held out about 180-million dollars each year from the trust fund". Can you people not see that we have no control over our government anymore? I am not anti-government, but this one has gotten just too big and way out of control. This is a prime example of how politicians tell you one thing just to get elected, then turn around and do another. Over $50 billion dollars have been stolen from you and I since 1985 and they have the nerve to call it a "Trust Fund". This is just one reason I wouldn't trust a politician in an outhouse with a muzzle on. 30.15 cent per gallon in state taxes not to mention another (appr.) 20 cent in federal taxes on every single gallon. You do the math. We have been and are being played for fools by politicians, and not just with gas tax money either. Why are not more politicians in jail for corruption of this magnitude?

It's not only highway funds

The state E911 fund was looted too, to the tune of $57 million. You were told the tax would go to improve 911 services, but then Easley took it and spent it on his pet projects, like "More (waste) at Four." Which of the gubernatorial candidates would support a State Constitution Amendment that would require every tax collected for a specific program to go ONLY to that program, and nowhere else?