Using infrastructure money to suspend gas tax, license plate renewal fees would be a waste

These costs to operate your vehicle(s) are the perfect user tax. If you use the roads, you help pay upkeep.

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Lake Shore Drive traffic

Traffic on both the northbound and southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive near Lincoln Park crawl slowly forward at a near standstill on June 11.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

I beg to differ with Joe Revane from Lombard who thinks the infrastructure money should be used for taxpayer relief.

First, he makes it sound as if the gas tax and plate renewal fees were created by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Yes they were increased, but not created, by him. Why? Because gasoline taxes for road maintenance had not increased for 19 years, and our roads showed it. He only raised them to the level they would have been through normal inflation. Fair is fair.

These costs to operate your vehicle(s) are the perfect user tax. If you use the roads, you help pay upkeep. If you don’t, you don’t. You could always buy a car that gets better mileage. Maybe a hybrid? Is public transportation an option? How about carpooling? Maybe consolidate trips to save time and fuel? Walk or use a bike when possible. Some of these options will even help reduce emissions and help the environment.

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Take a look at your tax bill. There are likely many things you pay taxes for that you never use. Using the money to suspend the gas tax and license plate renewal fees would be a waste.

Finally, infrastructure money can create jobs. It can get people off unemployment, off welfare and back on their feet — which frees up money used for that to improve on other things.

John Farrell, DeKalb

Poverty breeds crime

The Sun-Times recently published an article that highlighted the ongoing impact of carjackings on Chicago and Cook County residents. Unfortunately, many people have been injured or have lost their lives due to the increase in these crimes. Not only is human life being threatened, but a high number of perpetrators are being identified as young African American men in their teens.

I question if our city is getting to the bottom of what is driving these young men to commit these crimes.

As we know, the carjackings are often committed by youth from communities plagued with drugs, guns and poverty. The schools lack resources to provide a quality education, after-school programs and other support. Young people are also at a disadvantage because these communities are racially segregated.

Elected officials need to look at the bigger picture, get to the root of the problem and invest in these neighborhoods. Families are in desperate need to save their youth, and society can do this by creating better education and economic development to uplift these communities and create better opportunities for our youth.

Tackling the main component that drives young teenagers to commit crime should be No. 1 on the city’s agenda. Poverty breeds crime. All young people deserve equal opportunities in neighborhoods where resources are plentiful.

Leslie Deleon, Belmont Cragin

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