Opinion: Electric vehicles should not get a free ride on road maintenance tax

Electric vehicles should not get a free ride on road repairs

Wow, isn't it wonderful with all of the electric vehicles on the road today! This is so good for the environment. But no one is addressing the elephant in the room. Last year Tesla shipped about 500,000 electric cars. Hertz has ordered 100,000 Tesla vehicles. Every car company in the world is pouring billions of dollars into electric car production.

The problem that I have with all of this is that while I am paying almost 50 cents per gallon of gas in taxes that go toward the upkeep and repair of the roads that we all drive on, the electric cars pay no such tax and are driving on the roads for free. The government could either charge these owners a yearly fee or better still, charge them per mile driven. The number of miles could be determined at the time of the yearly state safety inspections.

In the Cape Cod Times, Cynthia Stead wrote that “The gas tax helps fund the state's Chapter 90 road formula, which is one of the fairest and best-distributed levies we have.” (03/10) It was fair at one time, but every day it becomes a little less fair as new electric cars hit the roads.

Several car companies are saying that they will produce only electric cars as soon as 2025 and 2030. President Biden plans to install half a million charging stations. The time is coming: electric cars are here to stay and now is the time to start charging them for driving on our roads.

Jim King, Brewster

Leaders opposed to suspending gas tax don't care about constituents

Thank you to Mr. Cyr and the 28 other civic leaders for providing me with yet another reason to vote against you in any election you happen to run in. It’s amazing how Massachusetts politicians have no issue raising taxes and voting themselves raises but refuse to help lessen the financial strains on constituents at every turn and opportunity. ("Cyr calls gas tax suspension a bad strategy", 4/1). The suspension of the gas tax will help everybody. The idea that the state’s bond rating will suffer is ludicrous and a scare tactic at best. I imagine that just by mentioning raising your salary you will start discussing the $700 million surplus and how you and your fellow “leaders of the commonwealth” can line your pockets. I hope you have a pleasant weekend and are not too bothered by the suffering of your voters.

Brendan Mruk, Eastham

Statewide high school civics project a candle in the darkness

A ray of hope in troubled times is our state League of Women Voters' effort to launch a student-directed civics curriculum. The state Legislature voted to strongly support this effort with the knowledge that educating our young is critical to maintaining a democracy.

Implementation of any plan can be the greatest challenge. Students choose nonpartisan projects to advance. General ways to advance any cause are shown along with the channels in government and society that are to be navigated. As the focus is on individual choices, textbook lessons, if there are any, are scarce.

Dennis resident Karen Mazza has directed the effort in her retirement from curriculum superintendent in the Chelmsford public schools. Her gentle intellect could not be better suited to helping students find and develop projects that motivate them in the public school environment. Framing the right questions is an art in itself. Karen is a champion. Four school systems on Cape Cod are involved. Barnstable and Falmouth are in the lead in launching the effort. Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School is taking a multi-generational approach.

Leaders across the state met on Zoom recently to share progress. Each community has its own talent and interests. Needham excelled with homegrown videos on a number of relevant topics which would get shown on local TV. A popular approach was to create storyboards for public viewing.

May we dwell on the project as an effort to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

Paula Bacon, South Dennis

This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Cape Cod Letters: Electric vehicle owners should pay for road repairs