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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 11, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa What Gas Tax Plan Would Mean To You By Sylvia Porter NKW YORK - With a new team now taking command of our national energy policy and with our country yearning for a coherent program to slash our dependence on imported oil, it’s time you got a clear idea of what a “tax” on gasoline might mean to you. First, do not recoil in fright at that word “tax” — for a more accurate label would be a “refundable gasoline conservation fee.” Second, the proposal being considered is not extreme. Third, it wouldn’t even necessarily mean higher prices for you at the local gas pump. A stiffer gas tax designed to discourage excessive use of private cars is being seriously weighed by the President’s top energy policy-making officials. Rogers Morton, head of the new Energy Resources Council, has discussed the tax with reporters. Zarb In Favor Like his predecessor, John Sawmill, the newly nominated chief of the Federal Energy Administration, Frank Zarb, is said to favor a higher gasoline tax (assuming congress would approve). Federal Reserve Board Chairman Arthur Burns has publicly endorsed the concept So, before you shout it down, consider how it might work. Over the next three years, the price of a gallon of gas would rise gradually by 30 cents because of the fee. If, though, you restricted your purchases to 500 gallons a year or less, this additional conservation fee would be refunded to you in the form of a tax rebate. Even if you spent no money at all on gasoline but instead traveled by mass transit or walked to work or the movies, you would receive the same reward as a driver who kept his gas usage within the 500-gallon- per-year limit. This censrrvatien bonus would amount to $150 a year, once the price of a gallon had risen by the full 30-cent fee. Whether or not you drive, all over 18 years of age would get this money to spend on public transportation, food, clothing, etc. This plan would enable you, if you owned a car getting 20 miles per gallon, to drive 10,000 miles a year. If your car Sylvia Porter ^x•^x•x•x^•X\•X\•x•x^^•x•x•x■x•^x•x^x^\X■XvX•X\X•x•x•X■X■X•^x•X•:•x•x•x•X•x•x•x•Sx•x•x•X:X:x■:¥^^^^^^£:XvX:X!XvXy^ gets only IO mpg, you would have to cut your traveling to half this figure or pay the extra $150 The goal is clearly to discourage excessive use of private cars, not to penalize those who have no transportation alternatives open to them and who cannot afford to spend more to travel to work. The FEA estimates there are about 2,000,000 poor in the U.S. who fall into this category and who wouldn’t find it economically feasible to go to work if they were charged more for the gas they needed beyond the 500-gallon cutoff. Thus, under this proposal, the 30-cent fee would be refunded to citizens whose incomes are below a certain — as yet undetermined — level, no matter how much gas they bought. These drivers with very low incomes wouldn’t come out ahead, but they wouldn’t be penalized either — as would the more affluent who consume gas beyond the 500-gallon-a-year limit. Refunds vs. Revenues Overall, government refunds would initially amount to an estimated $23 billion a year — to be more than offset by the $28-$29 billion in annual revenues projected on the basis of today’s rate of gasoline consumption This is hardly extreme — particularly in comparison with taxes paid by consumers in other countries. Of the average 55 cents per gallon we were paying recently, 12 cents went to taxes. In Italy, the same amount of gas costs $1.70, of which the tax is a whopping $1.16. In France, of the $1.30 gas price, the tax absorbs 74 cents. In West Germany, the tax takes 75 cents of the current $1.24 per gallon price and in Britain, the gas tax has just been tripled to a staggering $1.59 of the total $2 09 per gallon price These taxes have helped curb wasteful use of gas. FEA statistics show that in other highly industrialized Western nations, the average driver uses 36 percent less gas than we do. Among other fuel conservation ideas the FEA is pushing hard arc an improved performance standard so that, by 1980, all new cars would achieve 20 mpg; fuel efficiency labels for new models; graduated tax credits for consumers who buy cars which beat the fuel standards, thereby promoting the production of these automobiles. The President is behind Project Independence. Whether any of the above will or will not be included in a final program, the time for real action has long since arrived We must move. ■Mi Three rhinos munch a snack at the Munich zoo in West Germany. The rhinos were recently purchased from South Africa for $20,000. Silver coins were minted and are being sold at Munich banks to underwrite the rhinos’ purchase and upkeep. Judge Clears Up 9-Year Backlog BIG SPRING. Texas ( AP) -A west Texas county judge has cleared his docket of about 1.600 misdemeanor cases because he says “it was time to clear out these old cases ” Howard county Judge A. G Mitchell said. “These old cases had been on the docket for years. A lot of the witnesses are gone, the officers are not around any more. ...” He said the cases ranged from traffic violations to aggravated assault and petty theft and some had been on the docket as long as nine years. Mitchell is leaving office in January after four years. He said. “I want to leave a clean ducket for the next guv.” UN THIS DATE in 1936. Edward VHI abdicated as king of England, and King George YI ascended the throne. Won’t Change Name of ‘Blobs’ SA) KAM KATO. Calif. (UPI) — The California fish and game department has decided against changing the name of the “blob.” Fifteen of the ”blobs" have been caught in the Pacific off the northern California coast. The fish have fat lips, weigh about IO pounds and are about two feet in length. Vice-President Claus Pledges End to Gifts By Dick West WASHINGTON (UPI) -“The commiteee will come to order. Gentlemen, we have before us today the nomination of Kris Kringle, otherwise known as St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, to be vice-president of the United States. “Please be seated, sir. We are delighted to have you here to clear up certain matters that have arisen with respect to your confirmation. Do you have a question. Sen Bvrd?” “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Kringle, our records show that in the past IO years you have given away more than 3 billion toys, dolls and other playthings to approximately 60 million good little girls and boys. Circumstances “This committee would like to know the circumstances under which these gifts were made. ” “Certainly, senator And may I say I appreciate the op- U. S. To Accept Lansky Reversal WASHINGTON (AP) - The government has decided not to further contest an appellate court’s reversal of a contempt conviction against Meyer Lansky, the one-time financial wizard of the underworld. A justice department spokesman said. “We feel it’s not something we can take to the supreme court." Lansky, 72. was convicted last year of failing to answer a subpoena issued by a federal grand jury in Miami and was sentenced to serve a sear and a day in prison. He was freed on appeal bond and the conviction was reversed last June by the 5th U. S. circuit court of appeals in New Orleans, which said the government failed to prove that Lansky willfully and contemptuously avoided compliance with the subpoena ON HHS DATE in 1937, Benito Mussolini announced that Italy was withdrawing from the League of Nations. portumty of coming before you to answer certain allegations and insinuations that have appeared in the media and elsewhere concerning my activities. “First of all I would like to say I have never at any time given a good little boy or girl a toy with the expectation of receiving something in return “Occasionally, a boy or girl may leave a cookie or some other goodie for me on the mantelpiece. But since they are always in bed when I come down the chimney, there is no possibility of making any deals with them.” Toe Much Puwer “I’m pleased to hear you say that, Mr. Kringle. But if you expected nothing substantial in return, why did you give away billions of toys?” “I’ll be glad to answer that, senator. These gifts were given to encourage goodness among boys and girls, some of whom could not otherwise afford to be good. ” “The thing that disturbs me, Mr. Kringle, is whether one man should be in the position of determining who has been naughty and who has been nice." “Let me just say that these gifts represent only a small fraction of the production capacity of my family’s toy shop at the North Pole. “When I give away 3 billion toys, it’s like the average person giving some child a tricycle, an electric train or a white fur muff.” Pledge “I’m not questioning your right as a private citizen to give away toys. But as I see it, it wouldn’t be proper for the vice-president to be popping in and out of chimneys with a sack full of toys on his back.” “I understand your position, senator, and I pledge to this committee that if I am confirmed I will pack away my red Dick West suit and turn my reindeer out to pasture for the duration of my term.” “In that case, Mr Chairman, I set* no reason to further delay action on this appointment. ” Question on City Government? Telephone 366-7517 Ask for Tape Ten fffvt De tlflit Mewl Big Holiday Sale kvta|i (SOO t* ti OOO) CJI. PIANO A ORGAN 110 3rd Ava. SW • BALDWIN Sine# 1930 FINE HOME FURNISHINGS Open Tonight ’til 9 Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. ’til 9 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. ’til 5 p.m. Today, with prices going up on almost everything, you’ll be relieved to know there’s at least one thing that s reduced . . . the price of luxurious carpets at Smulekoffs! Carpet Showroom Pre-Christmas Specials! Spectacular Values! Beautiful, Luxury Quality! 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And if you re not a do-it-yourselfer, we con help. Talk to one of our upholstery experts. Either way, we con save you money. Open Tonight ’til 9 ake Months to Pay Use Smulekoff’s Easy Budget Terms Christmas Shop in our 5 th Floor Picture Gallery for pictures and wall decor that reflect your good taste. ;

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