Gov. Butch Otter has dismissed Democratic challenger Keith Allred’s proposal for a 3-cent cut in Idaho’s 25-cent-per-gallon gas tax and a corresponding hike in fees on heavy trucks, saying it shows “a lack of leadership and credibility.” Allred’s proposal came after Otter’s transportation funding task force received a new report showing cars and pickups are overpaying for their impact on Idaho’s roads, and heavy trucks are underpaying; the task force also indicated it sees a gas tax increase as the best way to fund more road work in the future.
“I can understand wanting to have the perfect solution in a campaign cycle, but the bottom line is the task force has not completed its work, we need to respect its bi-partisan process,” Otter said in a statement. “Leadership requires we deal with reality rather than theory. There are many factors to consider, but once again my Democrat opponent chooses to posture and ignore reality–his plan simply shows a lack of leadership and credibility.”
Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who chairs Otter’s task force, also commented in the statement, saying, “Talking about a tax cut when what he’s really proposing is hiding a tax increase from consumers might be good politics, but it’s very bad public policy. This idea shows that Mr. Allred is not credible, out of touch with the marketplace and the realities of Idaho’s transportation needs — even our immediate needs and realistic options, much less addressing a long-term solution.”