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#1 2016-06-26 17:24:22

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,160
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California to toll every single road/street?

California is experimenting with replacing its gas tax with charging drivers per mile driven, using technology to measure distance traveled.  One could consider that to be a toll on every road.

http://www.taxjusticeblog.org/archive/2 … 23gYFff_8u

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#2 2016-06-27 20:08:29

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 190

Re: California to toll every single road/street?

I like it.  I think car insurance and registration should be done the same way.   This would help provide a disincentive to drive.  I think to really work it has to be paired with incentives to use public transport/walk/cycle/ etc.

Otherwise, people think that once they have a car, they might as well use it.     I would be interested to know what would happen if the rate changes as the mileage goes up.  So, people might still be able to afford a car, just as long as they don't use it for every single trip.

Or what about making some adjustment for distance traveled in a short period of time?   What if short trips were charged at a higher rate - to discourage people driving 1/4 mile to the liquor store - but family vacations/business trips were charged at a lower rate?

In general, I think people should pay for what they actually use.  But, there are probably lots of worthy exceptions.  One of my co-workers drives to Coleman once a week to care for an elderly parent.  What about people who volunteer to drive for Meals on Wheels? The gas tax code could become as complicated as the income tax.  People will want exemptions for things like taking care of parents, volunteering, business trips, all kinds of things.

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#3 2016-06-28 17:41:24

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 258

Re: California to toll every single road/street?

The Cato Institute supports the "free market" solution of user fees on all roads--even for municipal streets.  http://www.cato.org/blog/end-gas-tax-ye … les-tax-no  You might take Cato advice with a grain of salt?  As the article in the original post points out, Oregon has been looking at this pretty hard for some time.  http://www.economist.com/blogs/economis … explains-4  Of course, paying per mile driven, if not on a sliding scale linked to what you are driving as well, creates a disincentive for progress toward driving vehicles that are smaller (and for that reason damage roadways less) and that are more fuel efficient/less polluting.  Even though the distance measure disincentivizes driving, so does the motor fuels tax--no  matter how good your mileage is--if your car burns gasoline (or another motor fuel, as the tax really covers more than gasoline).  I'd rather the gas tax be raised to provide more roadway money and to disincentivize the fossil fuel use further (and, in TX, to boost education funding because that's where 1/4 of the motor fuel tax goes)--think of the tax as subsidizing the use of small electric vehicles as well.  The proposed funding idea would make electric motoring a less attractive alternative. 

Today, we often hear complaints about bicyclists who use the streets but aren't paying for the streets they ride on.  Not so.  Most streets are paid for by property taxes and sales taxes.  Gasoline taxes go toward highways and the like.  And even then, the gas taxes aren't anywhere near enough--they are financed out of lots of other general governmental revenue sources. http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/05/ … ds/393134/   The problem is bigger than a gas tax problem for raising highway money.  See http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/do-ro … themselves  and  http://taxfoundation.org/article/gasoli … d-spending  I don't think a per-mile-driven scheme is all it is cracked up to be.

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