As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, our thoughts turn to patriotism, fireworks and of course the price of gasoline.

The average price of gas in Colorado is hovering just below $2.70 a gallon – about a dollar cheaper than it was this time last year.

Unfortunately, Congress has their eye on this prize and is once again looking to raise our 25 percent gas tax.

Certainly the federal government needs tax dollars to build and repair roads. The problem is that Congress has historically used the Highway Trust Fund to pay for outrageous pork projects like squirrel sanctuaries, a $6 million boardwalk in Delaware, and another million dollars to resurface a bike trail in Los Angeles.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton is speaking out against raising the gas tax, and told a Steamboat Springs audience this week that Congress needs to find a different source of funding for future road projects.

What the nation needs to fund highways, Tipton said, is a sustainable revenue stream that will not result in new taxes on motorists. In addition, the congressman … said he advocates streamlining the environmental approval process for repairs and improvements to existing highways.

One option on the table is bonds, similar to those used by school district, to create a new revenue stream, Tipton said.

We endorse this sort of thinking outside the box. Although some in the Steamboat audience held fast to the old school notion of simply raising taxes, finding a way to cut costs while easing the burden on taxpayers is always preferable, and we encourage Tipton to stick to this road.