There is a lot of talk these days about electric vehicles, cars and trucks. While it all seems like a viable utopian plan, the law of unintended consequences is rarely considered.
I have commented on some of these issues before, but an important new discussion is beginning to emerge. Who pays the road toll when too few people pay fuel taxes?
In today’s world, every gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel is subject to state and federal taxes, sometimes at the wholesale level. The logic behind this is that the motorists who use the roads the most should bear most of the costs of operating and maintaining the roads. That’s okay for me. But electric car drivers don’t buy gas. Hybrid owners consume very small amounts.
Road maintenance costs billions of dollars annually, but the electric vehicle fleet is not currently paying its share of those costs.
In the most recent example, the Palisades Interstate Parkway Commission wants the New Jersey Department of Transportation to take on the maintenance of an 11-mile segment of the road in Bergen County because the commission gets its funds from gasoline sales at rest stops on the parkway, which it recently swooped on laid down.
The Palisades is a small freeway system compared to the Garden State Parkway or the New Jersey Turnpike, but it has fallen victim to lower fuel revenues. As EV usage increases, the cash inflow will dwindle, requiring a different revenue stream.
The logical substitute source would be a tax on the use of a charging station at home or in public places. However, that would negate some of the savings from the lower running costs of electric vehicles.
Mike Kozub, Highland Lakes
Responsible gaming can be a function of age
Regarding the recent comment “A New Jersey sports bettor says it all and issues a warning: don’t do it” by Aaron Ernst:
I’m not a millennial like Ernst; I’m an 80-year-old who’s been at it for a long time. I started playing in college because I thought my knowledge of sports would give me an advantage. How could I have been wrong!
There have been times when I’ve bet over my head and once my life was threatened over a gambling debt. The amount I owed seems trivial by today’s standards, but for an unemployed college student it was enormous. Since then, I’ve always managed to keep my gambling in check and have never missed a mortgage payment.
Today I have four online gambling accounts and managed to come out on top on three of them. I treat these gambling sites like bank accounts and have watched them grow in small increments.
Most of my bets on sporting events are “live”. I’ve found that I’m no longer being included in the “easy as pie” promotions that I used to receive on a regular basis. As players know, these promotions have always been an easy way to top up your website balance.
I sometimes play blackjack or spanish 21 at online sites and have been a consistent winner for a while. I’ve used the same disciplined concepts in these games, but my win rate has suffered over the past few months. Is it possible for online casinos to use software that adapts to a particular bettor’s playing style?
I am appalled by the commercials on TV promoting gambling. It seems deceptive that these institutions are allowed to fool a new and naïve generation of bettors. All they advertise is a same game parlay or a 3-4 team parlay.
I welcome Ernst’s warning, but fear it will fall on deaf ears. When you’re young and naive – like I used to be – you really believe that you can “beat the system”.
Paul Mulvaney, Flanders
Op-ed failed the test
Referring to the recent op-ed: “The SAT, ACT are levelers and predictors of success. Colleges should use the scores,” by Eva Addae:
Do you really think it enlightens your readers to write a commentary on the merits of SAT and ACT tests as a measure of future college success, written by someone who runs a company that prepares students for these standardized tests – like Addae?
Of course, she will be an advocate regardless of the value of the SAT or ACT. Why not post a comment written by someone at the colleges whom the author cites as having conducted research demonstrating the value of these tests in predicting college success?
Rudy Larini, Somerset
Every good deed goes unacknowledged
Isn’t it about time we eased up on US Rep. George Santos, RN.Y.?
Despite reports that he’s a pathological liar, he’s actually a pretty humble guy. You never hear him brag about all the years he’s spent as Pope while touring with Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band.
There are also all the toys he brought for the little girls and boys. What, you’ve never heard of “Santos” Claus? How about all the poor people that “Brother George” helped along with Mother Theresa? The list is endless!
We’re generally cynical about lying politicians, but George Santos is the GOAT. Did he ever tell you about the…?
Les Stolarz, Boonton
Whistle louder for this sporting misconduct
In addition to the remedies cited in the recent article, “NJ may increase penalties for assaulting youth sports officials following an explosion of misconduct.” Proposed legislation should include arrests, heavy fines and mandatory redress for any personal injury resulting from such abuses.
Legislation should also prevent offenders from participating in youth sports activities until they have completed an anger management program and demonstrated that they have learned to control themselves and behave like responsible adults.
Violent attacks on umpires and referees are a dangerous example. Some will think it is acceptable to physically attack an officer who has made a call or a decision they disagree with.
Freya Gervasi, Denville
The scoop on golden salmon and the two “Bares”
Having never heard of hollow bagels, I was particularly interested in a recent NJ Advance Media article, “Are ‘Scooped’ Bagels Evil? An investigation.”
But I really don’t think the reporter “… couldn’t naked to watch him [the person preparing his order] ripped the soul out of my bagels.”
In fact, I think the author couldn’t bear to look. Any nudity in a bagel shop would probably be unacceptable!
Penny Jones, Morris Plains
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