Reps. Andrew McLean and Robert Nutting make a strong argument for better maintenance of our roads and infrastructure (“Maine Voices: Maine’s statewide transportation infrastructure needs fixing,” June 10).

No state will be attractive for business if its infrastructure is not maintained properly, and I agree with their assertion that bonding is not the appropriate way to raise money for regular maintenance; bonding should be reserved for improvements only.

Many years ago, I lived in Florida and was amazed at the creative ways the state taxed tourists so that it could reduce taxes for its own year-round citizens.

It was nice not paying state income tax in Florida, although this would never be possible in Maine. We have too few citizens maintaining the necessary programs and infrastructure – the penalty of living in a “low-population/large-geography” state.

I have a plethora of ideas on how to increase taxes on tourists, but let’s just focus today on the gasoline tax.

Let’s say the Maine state gas tax is 30 cents per gallon. Let’s raise it to 35 cents from May through October and lower it to 25 cents from November through April.

A Maine citizen who buys gas relatively consistently will, on average, still pay 30 cents per gallon over the course of a year. However, all of the tourists who pile into Maine in the summer will pay 35 cents per gallon. With this scheme, the state would collect higher taxes to maintain our roads without increasing taxes on the average Maine citizen.

And don’t try to tell me that it will deter tourism! There’s not a single tourist who bases their vacation plans on the gas tax rate. Florida taxes the bejesus out of people, and they still keep coming.

Andy Wright

Cumberland Foreside