The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Rolling My Eyes....

For Pete's Sake....SIGH, I mean...this letter writer's opinion is valid, I think, in many ways...but...here's the issue:  a man in Wisconsin wrote a letter to the editor of his local paper complaining about how the area Amish create wear and tear on the roads with their horse-drawn buggies but don't pay for the road degradation.  The letter writer argues that license plate fees on cars go to pay for the upkeep of roads, but not buggies.  I don't really have a problem with his logic. In Indiana, the Amish are required to have plates just for that reason.  That said, I've argued before that salt scrapers, other snow removal methods, heavy semis, and non-Amish farm equipment place far more strain on the roads, I would guess, than a few horse-drawn buggies....I just can't imagine being so bothered by the issue that I'd fire off a letter to the editor....but, to each their own....Click here to read his letter.

Re: Rolling My Eyes....

I may be wrong on this ... but the Amish DO pay taxes ... doesn't at least some of those monies get used for road maintenance?  Is road maintenance funded solely by license plate fees?  (Maybe it is, I honestly don't know.)  Even so, the number of buggies compared to the number of motorized (and far heavier) vehicles on the road is miniscule ... I can't believe that they're doing THAT much damage to the roads ... some, perhaps ... but not to the extent that the writer alleges.  And if one chooses to live in or near an Amish settlement, then it is to be expected that some roadway repairs will be, at least to a small extent, caused by horses' hooves.  No surprise there; it comes with the territory!  I've said this before, and I'll say it again: some people get so indignant about buggies on their roads ... but you never hear the Amish complain that they are forced to breathe air that is polluted by motozied vehicles that they don't drive!  Quit pickin' on the Amish! 

dcharrison's picture

Re: Rolling My Eyes....

Around my area, you rarely see the horse & buggies except on Sundays, if the Amish are going to town.  It they are visiting each other & taking the family, then you are more likely to see the buggy.  But I know of some who have an old truck bed comverted into a trailer & they attach it to a tractor to drive the kids to & from school.  So they are paying taxes there (unless they are getting the deisel at a tax free rate because it's for farm use).

But I still don't see an issue!  Mile for mile, we who drive gasoline vehicles, use the roads much more than the Amish.  And so what if they don't pay taxes for the road usage.  They pay plenty of other taxes that they never benefit from!  Even those of us who have to shop in a town with a higher sales tax rate pay taxes we never benefit from.  It's our choice & if we chose to own a motor vehicle, then it is our choice how much or how little fuel we use & pay taxes on as well as the registration fees.  Do we charge people extra tax for riding a bike or walking in the streets?  No.

Re: Rolling My Eyes....

I would think that the amount of buggies in Wisconsin is not such as to really damage the roads too badly.  However in Holmes County I have been on some roads that are worn down a good few inches in the middle of the road where the horses hooves have worn the asphalt away.  If it was that bad I could see why he would be complaining.  I think license plates for buggies is a fair way since they don't purchase a lot of gasoline except maybe for tractors.