Point of View: Plan paves way to better roads, bridges in Oklahoma
BY BOBBY STEM
September 13, 2020
A recent study showed Oklahoma to have one of the lowest gas taxes in the nation (44th to be exact), yet we probably have more orange barrels on the road than 25 other states. This doesn’t occur by accident; our low gas prices are by design.
The Legislature has been very conservative throughout the past 40 years in its raising of the gas tax. But this by no means reflects lawmakers' commitment to transportation. In 2005, Oklahomans voted 84%-14% against increasing the state gas tax. The following year, the Legislature created a dedicated fund, the ROADS Fund, to begin addressing Oklahoma’s infrastructure needs. Ever since its creation, the Legislature has kept its promise to make sure the ROADS Fund is properly funded. This is evident in the recent announcement that we have moved from 49th in the nation in dangerous bridges to ninth!
This is proof that our Legislature found a way to make sure we are addressing our ongoing infrastructure needs while also keeping our taxes as low as possible. It has taken 15 years to fix thousands of bridges across our state, but it is going to take at least another 15 years to repair the roads that connect them all. Although we have worked hard to bring our bridges into a “Top Ten” status, our pavement conditions are still far below the national average.
View the full article: Oklahoma.com