To the Editor:
There is a general consensus that our country’s roads, bridges and transit system, funded primarily by federal and state fuel tax, are basic to a safe and healthy economy and are in need of immediate repair.
The American Society of Engineers has stated that a $2.7 trillion infusion to our transportation system is required by 2020 if the United States is to remain competitive in the global market.
The Federal Highway Administration estimated that over $70.9 billion in repairs is needed now to maintain a safe infrastructure, yet our Highway Trust Fund is not keeping pace with inflation and vehicle fuel improvements.
In fact, the Federal gas tax has lost 28 percent of its real value since 1997; the last federal increase was 22 years ago.
Currently, the federal tax is 18.4 cents per gallon and the average state tax is 31.5 cents per gallon – for a total of 49.9 cents per gallon.
Wikipedia lists South Carolina state tax, last raised in 1987, at 16.8 cents, for a total of 35.2 cents, as third lowest of all 50 states.
AAA’s survey showed Americans favor higher gas taxes if it leads to better, safer roads, bridges, etc.
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy made recommendations including linking an increase to inflation- gas prices-construction costs; Georgia, currently at a total 45.9 cents, has proposed a gradual increase over time.
A long-term, dedicated solution is needed. Meanwhile, while gas prices are at their lowest in years, we need state and federal legislators to act now to safeguard our transportation network.
Hilton Head Island
To the Editor:
The Emily Geiger Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution offers sincere thanks to the participants of a successful event on Saturday, March 14, that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. NSDAR seeks to bring honor and recognition to unsung heroes – Vietnam veterans.
More than 150 veterans graced the event and Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka offered a proclamation. The Sun City Color Guard, the Bluffton High School JROTC Rifle Team, Bluffton JROTC Cadets and the S.C. State Guard added decorum, as did dignitaries Karen Lavery, Wes Newton and Jerry Stewart.
The gathering featured the Port Royal Sound Vocals, who provided renditions of the Armed Forces Salute, our National Anthem and patriotic songs. Maj. Gen. Larry Budge presided over the event as guest speakers from branches of the military communicated their thoughts, memories and accolades to all veterans.
Ann Mixon of the South Carolina Quilts of Valor presented quilts to three veterans, again bringing awareness of the sacrifices that must be recognized.
The feedback has been heartwarming as gratitude continues to pour in. Many veterans indicated that the event brought a closure and renewed pride of service. One vet wrote, “Having put the trials of my Vietnam experience behind me, because of you ladies, I now have a positive feeling about those years, and a more reasoned pleasure in the memories of my service. God Bless You and God Bless America.”
Our Chapter is gratified with this success and is hopeful that the healing, though difficult, will continue.
Regent, Emily Geiger Chapter NSDAR