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Sunday Poll: Best Alternatives For Future Transportation Funding?

April 24, 2016 Featured, Sunday Poll, Taxes, Transportation 9 Comments
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At state & federal levels, money for transportation infrastructure is running out; fuel taxes haven’t been raised in years, vehicles are more fuel efficient, electrics are set to go mainstream, etc.  States, like Illinois are looking at other ways to fund construction & maintenance:

There is a proposal in Illinois for the state to put a device on cars to see how many miles citizens are driving.

The state would take that data to use in order to charge a tax on drivers depending on miles driven. It’s all in an effort to make money because the state is losing out on gas tax revenue thanks to more fuel efficient cars on the road. (KMOV)

Other states are testing the same idea, driving more miles costs you more. Which brings us to today’s poll — using alternatives listed in the WSJ:

The poll answers are in random order, open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson



Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    Three issues to factor into the equation are (not-currently-taxed) alternative fuels, increasing fuel efficiency (resulting in fewer taxes for the same miles driven) and the fact that some registered vehicles log very few miles, annually, while others log many, many miles. There are also two distinct parts to the highway funding equation, maintenance (including rebuilding aging sections and snow removal) and adding lanes (because of more people and more sprawl). Every part of the equation has a constituency that doesn’t want to pay more (because it will affect them more than others), and will be vocal in their objections. There are no easy answers, but raising our very-low fuel tax should be the very first step.

  2. rgbose says:

    The “cars are getting more fuel efficient” excuse is a red herring. What it’s doing is shifting the burden to where it should be- on to heavier vehicles that do 1000x more damage than cars. They currentlycenjoy a big subsidy and don’t want to lose that. Just keep raising the fuel tax.

  3. Imran says:

    I like the miles driven approach. I do wonder if the device they would install could be tampered with or removed to falsify the data. Tolls are attractive as a tool to disincentivize congestion but would add another layer of cost to maintain and administer. The fuel tax is really stuck in the past and needs to go up. So maybe a combination of all of the above.

  4. Benjamin Aronov says:

    Welcome to the People’s Socialist Republic of Illinois.

  5. Mark-AL says:

    Car ownership in the US is relatively cheap, by comparison. In Germany, driving is considered a privilege granted by the gov’t. I pay over $5.00/gal for gas,. A 15-yr driver’s license costs between 1000 Euro – 2,000 Euro (varies city by city,type of vehicle, and LEVEL OF SKILL). Annual plates: 50-100 Euro, depending on city. 2-year “car-ready” inspection: 50-100 Euro, depending on type of car. Annual ownership tax:(varies) *(for a 2016 Sienna SE, you’ll pay approx. 120 Euro). Much of the above fees, plus a huge portion of the gas tax included in the $5.00 gas price–go to a general fund, which funds road construction and maintenance. It’s a pay-as-you-go system. If you don’t own a car, you pay nothing. If you own a motorized bike, your fees are lower than if you drive a Mercedes G63 AMG–in which case you’ll pay and pay and pay. So if you choose to drive, you can reduce your overall costs simply by driving a Yugo or a motorbike. A 40 hr driving course further reduces your costs, (but it is mandatory for US citizens who declare their intention to live in the country over 1 year.) You can further reduce your driving costs by living in a smaller city (Hamm or Leverkusen vs Munich, Hamberg, Berlin).

    Currently, only trucks are required to pay tolls. Most are realizing that truck-only tolls only increases costs of goods carried by the trucks. Trucking companies add a profit and overhead percentage to the bottom line, and so consumers are forced to ultimately pay the price, although, overall, it costs about 8% less to live in Frankfurt than in NYC . Discussion is underway to charge tolls for all vehicles–from motorized bikes to the largest truck.

    In the US, I favor higher taxes on car ownership in general and adding toll roads on interstates or state highways. Look at Dallas! Relatively inexpensively and with little fanfare, Dallas (Ft.Worth to north of Plano) handles hundreds of thousands of cars a day on unstaffed, busy toll roads that utilize electronic toll collection technology. Traffic moves in Dallas–quickly!

  6. ScottF says:

    Just increase the gas tax, please.


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