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Thread: Gas tax money

  1. #1
    Nov 2005

    Gas tax money

    "for urban areas to survive as a liveable places ,gas tax money given to cities must be invested in public transit rather than roads"
    "for" and "against" arguments please ......

  2. #2
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
    Dec 2003
    Downtown Atlanta
    Depends on if roads get money from other sources. If they are entirely funded by gas taxes, then transit should be totally funded by the farebox. But of course gas taxes only cover a minor percentage of the cost of roads so I don't think it matters where the gas tax money goes since the money from it will always be less than the cost of the roads.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
    Nov 2004
    Not Cliff Island, Maine :(
    I think the big thing is that gas taxes don't cover road costs. So making them absorb transit costs will result in one of two things:

    1. Increase in total gas taxes
    2. Decrease in gax taxes used for roads

    Maybe making the gas tax absorb all those costs will make people alter their gas-guzzling ways. Of course, a gas tax is flat, which is not ideal, but that's a whole other issue.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Quote Originally posted by vancobubov
    "for urban areas to survive as a liveable places ,gas tax money given to cities must be invested in public transit rather than roads"
    "for" and "against" arguments please ......

    How livable will these cities be without sidewalks? smooth pavement to facilitate trade? bicycle paths and streetscapes? These things (and transit too) receive some level of funding from gas taxes.

    Your statement is a bit simplified because gas taxes even from rural areas are used to fund transit already. Does the amount of the tax as a whole cover the cost of the system? No. Drivers have high costs associated with vehicle depreciation, and there are social costs from driving (pollution and crashes). In addition, transit has operating costs and also fares that are not covered by the gas tax. Federal law makes it basically illegal for large cities to use federal gas tax for operations.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
    Jul 2005
    Golden Valley MN
    The current trend in rail projects is to tax the people living along the route, or the counties involved for the operating expenses.

    Roads are a bit more complicated. Federally funded roads for transit or carpoolers can be tolled, as it is in my area, but the profits must go to road improvements or transit on that road only. These roads may not have been built without the Federal funding, and they control the use of that road.

    GPS systems, as well as other competing systems are well on their way to rolling out in the near future. Drivers would then be tracked, and billed, for each stretch of road that they traveled on that month. The rate would vary based on what plans are made for each road. A fee would be charged for those on the road prior, during, and for a time after construction, untill such time as the fee would be back at maintenance levels.

    Which brings us back to gas taxes. My guess is that when these fees go into effect, that rural State Legislators will keep most of the current gas tax to fund roads in rural areas, emergency evacuation routes, and the odd four lane rural boondoggle.

    The good news is that if the middle class continues to hollow out, and State salaries match the private sector, with weak unions, dropped pension plans, large medical copays and such... The cost to build a road, bridge, or transit line may also go down by over fifty per cent. Fiscal conservatives would call this cutting the cost of government and a flat tax. Progressives would call it harming the middle class and a regressive tax. They are both right, but that is what I predict for the not too distant future.

    I'm not happy, or unhappy about it.
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

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