Author Topic: Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile  (Read 1263 times)

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Offline CarbShark

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Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile
« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2017, 09:50:16 AM »
I can see an argument for inter-city highways being paid for out of general revenue. But when a city must double its road infrastructure because of the number of private cars, people who use public transit should not have to pay as much as car owners. That's just a transfer of wealth from the poor to the wealthy.
That argument could also be used for funding of public transit.  Which in most cases can't support itself on fares alone and needs subsidies.

Much of the funding for public transportation comes from the gas tax, and it makes sense. It's more cost effective than having everyone in cars and build to the greater capacity and upkeep plus the benefits of less congestion.

As for the gas tax being regressive, tolls are just as regressive if not more. Sure in most cases the working poor can take longer and more inconvenient routes to avoid the tolls, but their time is worth something, they need more fuel for the extra mileage and there's the wear and tear on their cars.

The gas tax should be seen as a user fee. Those with electric cars or very high mileage cars shouldn't have to pay more, until there enough of them to make a significant dent in revenue, then the kind of tax Daniel pays should kick in.


Your mileage may vary.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2017, 10:54:16 AM »
We are definitely going to have to find new ways of funding transportation infrastructure as we transition away from fossil fuels and therefore cannot rely on gasoline taxes.  I am fine with a significant portion of it being paid for from general revenues, but I don't think it's unfair to tax at least partly based on usage. I imagine that part of it will shift to fees (which are for some reason less politically toxic than taxes), and I expect vehicle registration and license fees to continue to rise as they have for years.  But I would not object to per-mile taxation, especially if adjusted for weight; very heavy vehicles cause a disproportionate amount of wear on the roads.  I would object to a GPS-based system, but would not object to remote reporting of odometer data at intervals to allow periodic billing.
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2017, 11:49:49 AM »
I suppose at some point, when we've transitioned to largely self-driving cars and ride-share type services this will be relatively easier for the public to swallow.  If most people don't own cars but just use a service, they won't see the big bill all at once and will have traded privacy for convenience. 

It would be a lot easier to tax a corporation on a mileage basis than individuals.  Courier services already collect the mileage on all of their vehicles, easy to transfer that to a car-share business or even lyft/uber.

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2017, 11:56:38 AM »
I can see an argument for inter-city highways being paid for out of general revenue. But when a city must double its road infrastructure because of the number of private cars, people who use public transit should not have to pay as much as car owners. That's just a transfer of wealth from the poor to the wealthy.

This argument completely breaks down in cities where lower-income folks are priced out of the inner city, and must make longer commutes to work. The wealthy can afford to not drive, the poor are forced to drive more--so in these cities, a "by use" tax on roads would disproportionately affect the poor.

The roads work to everybody's benefit, even those who don't have cars--so I'm fine with everybody (even non-drivers) sharing the cost.

I suppose at some point, when we've transitioned to largely self-driving cars and ride-share type services this will be relatively easier for the public to swallow.  If most people don't own cars but just use a service, they won't see the big bill all at once and will have traded privacy for convenience. 

If reliable ride sharing was available, I imagine it would vastly reduce the number of cars on the road, too.
 
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Offline CarbShark

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Re: Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2017, 01:28:51 PM »
We are definitely going to have to find new ways of funding transportation infrastructure as we transition away from fossil fuels and therefore cannot rely on gasoline taxes.  I am fine with a significant portion of it being paid for from general revenues, but I don't think it's unfair to tax at least partly based on usage. I imagine that part of it will shift to fees (which are for some reason less politically toxic than taxes), and I expect vehicle registration and license fees to continue to rise as they have for years.  But I would not object to per-mile taxation, especially if adjusted for weight; very heavy vehicles cause a disproportionate amount of wear on the roads.  I would object to a GPS-based system, but would not object to remote reporting of odometer data at intervals to allow periodic billing.

I agree with the general gist of this, but would like to add that the transition away from fossil fuels is happening very slowly, and currently gas taxes should be able to pay for the transportation infrastructure in the near future (next decade at least), as long as gas tax funds go to transportation and not the general fund (which happens at the Federal since Regan, who raised the gas tax and the airport taxes and just used the money in the general fund without spending it on roads or the new ATC system it was passed to pay for.

I don't know how much of the Federal gas tax has to go to transportation, but I have a feeling it's not 100%.
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Offline seamas

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Re: Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2017, 03:23:24 PM »
Tolls are insane in some areas of Virginia. . . .If you go into Richmond for example, you may end up paying around $8 a day in tolls going in and out of the city.

All the bridges and tunnels into NYC are 15 dollars, except the one that is 16.

Or, you know, the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Queens bridges.

Those are all bridges from one part of the city to the other.  If you want to get into NYC from outside NYC and you cross a bridge, you gotta pay up.

You speak from the perspective of one who lives on the other side of the Hudson; which is fine, but you should at least acknowledge the limits of your perspective.  I can quite easily drive into NYC without paying any tolls.

Yep.

The expensive ones are all Port Authority managed bridges.

One of the main reasons why the Tappan Zee Bridge is where it is is so that it is out of the Port Authority exclusion zone for Hudson crossings. If it was 1/4 mile south the PA would take 1/2 the tolls while paying nothing for the building.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2017, 11:35:23 AM »
I can see an argument for inter-city highways being paid for out of general revenue. But when a city must double its road infrastructure because of the number of private cars, people who use public transit should not have to pay as much as car owners. That's just a transfer of wealth from the poor to the wealthy.

This argument completely breaks down in cities where lower-income folks are priced out of the inner city, and must make longer commutes to work. The wealthy can afford to not drive, the poor are forced to drive more--so in these cities, a "by use" tax on roads would disproportionately affect the poor.

The roads work to everybody's benefit, even those who don't have cars--so I'm fine with everybody (even non-drivers) sharing the cost.

I suppose at some point, when we've transitioned to largely self-driving cars and ride-share type services this will be relatively easier for the public to swallow.  If most people don't own cars but just use a service, they won't see the big bill all at once and will have traded privacy for convenience. 

If reliable ride sharing was available, I imagine it would vastly reduce the number of cars on the road, too.
 

If you count the total number of cars that use the road in the course of a day, then Uber and Lyft could reduce the number. But if you count the number of cars driving at any given time, it's the reverse: If I need to go somewhere 1/2 hour away, and back, and I drive my own car, I'm responsible for one car on the road for an hour. If I use Lyft, I'm responsible for one car on the road for an hour, plus the time it takes that car to get to me.

I disagree with the argument that EVs should not pay their fair share until there are enough of them to significantly affect revenue. We all need to pay, and I'm happy to pay the fee that WA imposes on my electric car.
Daniel
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Offline MikeHz

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Re: Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2017, 12:03:33 PM »
Extremely unlikely they'll end gas taxes; extremely likely they'll impose a mile tax as well.
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