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(WTOP)   Virginia governor Bob McDonnell proposes a $100 fee on hybrid drivers to replace the tax money they're not paying on gasoline. How's that smug taste now?   (wtop.com) divider line 238
    More: Amusing, Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia, fees, WTOP  
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5915 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Feb 2013 at 6:11 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-01 11:59:55 PM  

Blues_X: Supes: The big problem is getting rid of the gas tax also, which basically means ONLY hybrid drivers will pay extra to maintain the roads, not drivers of normal cars. Which is just stupid. Either impose an equal yearly fee (say, $25) for ALL cars and get rid of gas taxes, or maintain the gas tax and also add a small surcharge to hybrid drivers.

I can't help but think he's singling out hybrids under the impression they're usually driven by liberals, and this is a way to lower taxes on his main supporters while alienating people who won't vote for him anyway. But then again I'm a skeptic like that.


I think you're probably right about his motives.


ZOMFG IT'S A CONSPIRACY!
 
2013-02-02 12:02:02 AM  

ph0rk: LavenderWolf: Biker troll? Hah. Read my previous post in thread.

So bicyclists aren't using the roads? Do they not impede traffic, either?


Neither of those have anything to do with what I said.

A) There is zero maintenance caused by bicyclists; a bicyclist is too light to cause wear and tear, and weather erosion would render a road unusable before cyclists would impact it.

B) There is zero justification for a biker tax. Bikers already pay their fair share of inner-city road maintenance and signage, more than their fair share actually, since they pay an equal amount to a car driving property tax payer.

/Let's keep pretending LavenderWolf said bicyclists have no faults!
 
2013-02-02 12:15:42 AM  

LavenderWolf: ph0rk: LavenderWolf: Biker troll? Hah. Read my previous post in thread.

So bicyclists aren't using the roads? Do they not impede traffic, either?

Neither of those have anything to do with what I said.

A) There is zero maintenance caused by bicyclists; a bicyclist is too light to cause wear and tear, and weather erosion would render a road unusable before cyclists would impact it.

B) There is zero justification for a biker tax. Bikers already pay their fair share of inner-city road maintenance and signage, more than their fair share actually, since they pay an equal amount to a car driving property tax payer.

/Let's keep pretending LavenderWolf said bicyclists have no faults!


A vehicle going slower over a section of road does more damage to it than one going faster. Bikes cause heavy vehicles to slow down or stop, therefore causing wear and tear on the road. The wear and tear just doesn't come from the wheels of the bike. They need to be taxed just like the rest.
 
2013-02-02 12:30:30 AM  
We incentivize low-pollution technologies which might not make microenonomic sense to the individual otherwise for a reason. It's the government paying to encourage their adoption and artificially pressuring the free market.
 
2013-02-02 12:30:37 AM  

Benjimin_Dover: A vehicle going slower over a section of road does more damage to it than one going faster.


Not necessarily.  A faster vehicle creates more vibrations.  It is why DOTs will often lower the speed limit on really old bridges that are becoming structurally unsound.
 
2013-02-02 12:32:01 AM  
Missouri already has that tax in place.  If you drive an "alternative fuel vehicle" you are supposed to have a sticker that is renewed annually at $150/vehicle since you are not paying gasoline taxes.  Back in the 80's I had a propane powered pickup and was cited for not having a sticker.  Won't be long before some bright politician figures out hybrid battery vehicle qualify.
 
2013-02-02 12:38:19 AM  
Tax by vehicle engine emissions. Works like a charm. :]
 
2013-02-02 12:57:01 AM  

Cymbal: Just add a tax to all luxury vehicle purchases/yearly registrations. If your car's Kelly Blue book value is over 40k, you get taxed, etc.


We had that until 2002 after the Clinton administration pushed it through.  Wildly unpopular with just about everybody.
 
2013-02-02 01:12:03 AM  

ph0rk: So bicyclists aren't using the roads? Do they not impede traffic, either?


Bicyclists don't need the big wide paved road. They can get by with a nice dirt track. A fair road use tax for a bicyclist would cost more to collect. The stamp to mail it would cost more. That's why bicyclists don't pay a specific road tax. What they pay for roads in other taxes more than covers it. Plus most bicyclists own at least one car, so there's that too. When they are bicycling they aren't using the car that they paid to use so there is a net benefit. The number of carless bicyclists is small enough not to be worth the bother.

Dinjiin:  For arterial roads and expressways, let a per-mile tax kick in when the roadway is excessively expensive to build or maintain.  You could use an all-camera system like London, but that has some privacy implications.  Slightly better would be to use an RF transponder in your vehicle in combination with a payment card that is read by sensors as you drive past them.  Sell the cards and refills at kiosks [that accept cash] located at gas stations and rest stops.  If you don't care about the government knowing who you are, register a CC or some other type of EFT to your transponder card and get billed weekly.  If your card is empty, then the system falls back to photo billing.

That's what government wants because of the side benefits. It's a very expensive system and will consume years of revenue to implement and then a lot of overhead to maintain. But the side benefits for government keeping tabs on everyone's driving and being able to expand power with restricting people from certain areas and so forth is just too tempting for them. They will use electric cars as the excuse for this new power, but ultimately the simple fuel tax is the best method all things considered if we are going to have government roads.

To deal with electric cars there are few choices. Smart meters have very intrusive capabilities, although unused. If they are forced upon us it will be easy to tax the charging of the car. The charger will simply be identified via the HAN. Ideally smart meters would only eliminate meter readers going door to door, but sadly they can do much more, but lets say that's all that is done and is ever done for the sake of argument. There could be a separate meter for the charger that reports back or some simple way of having the meter just report house and car separately. Without that, a flat fee is a crude patch, a simple mileage recorder could work. Since there aren't many pure electrics a tiny uptick in the fuel taxes would be a very poor way of dealing with it but far superior to tracking us all.

Dinjiin: Non-arterial roads (read: side streets) should be paid for by property taxes against the properties facing on those roads.  Even if you don't drive [much], they are essential for goods and services to your home.

Property taxes already pay for those roads in many areas of the country. It may not be broken out but residential streets are taken care of by the city, town, village, or county and they get the bulk of their revenue from property taxes. They may or may not have isolated gas tax fed road funds.

Benjimin_Dover: A vehicle going slower over a section of road does more damage to it than one going faster. Bikes cause heavy vehicles to slow down or stop, therefore causing wear and tear on the road. The wear and tear just doesn't come from the wheels of the bike. They need to be taxed just like the rest.


No. Drivers who can't pay attention and don't know how to drive (aren't able to time movements) slow down or stop because of bicyclists. Also pretty much anything under 5,000 lbs isn't an issue road wear wise. Heavy trucks do almost all the road wear and tear and all the other road users subsidize them.

The stress from a passenger vehicle on the roadway designed to carry trucks is simply so tiny as to not really be much of a factor for wear. In fatigue it's all about the stress the material sees. Stress is load over area, so designing for truck loads, fatigue from trucks, means fatigue from passenger cars is essentially infinite life. Weather will do more damage to such roads.

So, let's get to the real reason people want to tax bicycling. The real reason is that they want to discourage bicycling. It's just another way of using government to bring about conformity.
 
2013-02-02 01:25:09 AM  
Makes sense to me. Road maintenance taxes should be a function of tires, weight, and miles driven, not mileage.
 
2013-02-02 01:30:47 AM  
Taxing by weight isn't a bad idea. Michigan used to do that a long time ago but switched to vehicle price years ago. Also heavy trucks pay an extra tax already (Heavy Vehicle Use Tax http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/091116/pdfs/fhwa8-page.pdf ). I also would not have a problem with taxing and registering bicycles. Say $20 a year if that money went to improve bicycle use infrastructure. If all bikes were properly registered maybe that would help a bit with theft. I've had a more than a few bikes stolen and anything that helps get bikes back is good in my book.
 
2013-02-02 01:37:07 AM  
They should just tax Squirrel Chow.
 
2013-02-02 01:59:28 AM  
Yawn.

Hey? Did you hear that Watfington State already does this?
 
2013-02-02 02:11:18 AM  

leadmetal: It's a very expensive system and will consume years of revenue to implement  ... side benefits for government keeping tabs on everyone's driving


Costs are steeply falling for such systems.  Even now, costs aren't as high as you suggest, even with corrupt as hell agencies such as the WaDOT.  And transponder systems can maintain privacy as long as the ID is tied back to a card instead of the transponder itself.
 
2013-02-02 03:02:30 AM  
Sounds like extortion to me.
 
2013-02-02 03:03:04 AM  

Dinjiin: leadmetal: It's a very expensive system and will consume years of revenue to implement  ... side benefits for government keeping tabs on everyone's driving

Costs are steeply falling for such systems.  Even now, costs aren't as high as you suggest, even with corrupt as hell agencies such as the WaDOT.  And transponder systems can maintain privacy as long as the ID is tied back to a card instead of the transponder itself.


Stop being naive. Government is not going to implement the system in such a way that it cannot be tracked back to a person's movements. . That's the entire point of the system. They need an excuse for it. They've already been juggling the numbers to do it. thenewspaper.com exposed it a few years ago.

There will not be anonymous cards. There are already a number of toll road systems in place that use transponders and not one of them has anonymity as far as I know. Furthermore it's not just the transponders there is the camera system to get the plates of those who don't have transponders working and probably everyone. Then there are just plain number plate readers for the whole system.

As to costs, it's not that the units are getting cheaper, it's the huge number of them that would need to be installed and maintained that makes them very expensive.
 
2013-02-02 03:16:52 AM  

JeffreyScott: This thread is full of win...  hypocrisy!

The "gas tax" is really a "road tax" imposed to raise funds to keep our bridges and roads in repair.  It is charged on a per gallon basis, so generally speaking, the more a person drives on the roads the more they have to pay.  Hybrid owners consume less gas so they pay less in road taxes than their gas consuming counterparts, even when they drive the same or even more.

During the past couple of years the more liberal people on this board have stated they didn't mind paying taxes to keep their bridges and roads in good order.  I think most would agree that hybrid owners tend to be liberal.

Now that they are asked to pay taxes to support bridges and roads they are crying foul.

Now, they have decided that taxes are unfair.  Instead they want their own version of corporate welfare, where someone else subsidizes them.


The rest of us simply want hybrid owners to pay your fair share!


Fair enough, but not at all what this law is about, is it?
 
2013-02-02 03:23:24 AM  

ha-ha-guy: LavenderWolf: Alphakronik: They did the same thing in Oregon.  Not really that big of deal.  Hell, bike riders should pay a fee as well if they ride on public roads.

No, they shouldn't, and you're stupid for suggesting otherwise. A bike does literally zero damage to a roadway. There is no justification for a tax on bicycles for the purpose of road maintenance.

Bikes require additional traffic control measures, like bike lanes, signs about bikes being present, etc.  There is a cost.  Try again.


Which is tiny compared to the externalities of the transportation sector of the fossil fuel industry.  YOU try again.
 
2013-02-02 03:27:08 AM  

LavenderWolf: Alphakronik: LavenderWolf: Alphakronik: They did the same thing in Oregon.  Not really that big of deal.  Hell, bike riders should pay a fee as well if they ride on public roads.

No, they shouldn't, and you're stupid for suggesting otherwise. A bike does literally zero damage to a roadway. There is no justification for a tax on bicycles for the purpose of road maintenance.

Not only that, if they want to be on public roads, they should have to pay a licensing fee, take a test (on road safety), and carry liability insurance.

Yes, I'm so stupid for wanting a growing group of people to be responsible on public roadways.  So silly of me.

Those have nothing to do with a usage fee for roads. I have a permanent disability because of some asshole on a bicycle not following the rules of the road. Don't change the farming subject just because you realize how stupid your original assertion was.


Sorry about that.  Really.

But you're letting your personal experience color your analysis.

You REALLY think cyclists kill and maim as many people a year as drivers?
 
2013-02-02 03:27:43 AM  

leadmetal: Government is not going to implement the system in such a way that it cannot be tracked back to a person's movements.


Probably depends a lot of the government.  Florida, yes.  Arizona, no.  A couple of lawsuits and some public initiatives would move a couple from the yes to no column.


leadmetal: it's the huge number of them that would need to be installed and maintained that makes them very expensive.


A lot of that would depend on the type of road you're tolling.  A London style congestion network would be very expensive.  Checking people who enter and leave a section of limited access road would be a lot less.  And you can push the cost of the vehicle transponders onto the driver.

But I can't see a transponder being more expensive than a secure GPS tracking device that calculates your mileage and records which jurisdiction owns the road you're on.
 
2013-02-02 03:35:47 AM  

Alphakronik: flamingboard: Alphakronik: They did the same thing in Oregon.  Not really that big of deal.  Hell, bike riders should pay a fee as well if they ride on public roads.

Name one time a bicycle caused a road to need to be repaired. It's a heavy trucks that are causing all the damage.

Name one other group of people that have lanes built onto already existing roads, costing counties and states millions in labor, equipment, and supplies.


Car drivers.

Most paved roads in this country that date back to the the 1800s, besides the interstates, were paved for bicycles.

Add, oddly, our forefathers managed it without a bicycle tax.
Learn some history.
 
2013-02-02 05:17:36 AM  

PunGent: Add, oddly, our forefathers managed it without a bicycle tax.


Yup. They did it with general revenue. That is to say, they got everybody to pay tax on it, whether they used it or not.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/davis.cfm
 
2013-02-02 07:27:41 AM  

Bit'O'Gristle: No matter what you do, no matter how good your intent, or reasons for doing what you do, the government will ALWAYS find a loophole or make a new law to fark you out of your money. This surprises you how?


Meanwhile, 90% of the population is arguing with each other about which side is worse and politicians are laughing their asses off.
 
2013-02-02 09:37:56 AM  

ha-ha-guy: aukutsutsu: Also my car corners like a light beam.

Only slightly when travelling over great distances?


Pretty much. Great for straight lines, but at 4100 lbs it's not for a slalom.
 
2013-02-02 10:01:34 AM  
The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. 
Vladimir Lenin

I think coercive taxation is theft, and government has a moral duty to keep it to a minimum. 
William Weld

No animal on the face of the earth could conceive of taxation. You and I work roughly six months a year to pay our local, state and federal taxes. If nothing else, this should convince you that animals are smarter than people. 
Rita Mae Brown

When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before.
H. L. Mencken
 
2013-02-02 10:03:45 AM  

Dinjiin: Benjimin_Dover: A vehicle going slower over a section of road does more damage to it than one going faster.

Not necessarily.  A faster vehicle creates more vibrations.  It is why DOTs will often lower the speed limit on really old bridges that are becoming structurally unsound.


That is true. Different road structures react differently. Ever see those ripples and dimples during the lead up section of road to an intersection? It's from vehicles sitting there and braking there.
 
2013-02-02 10:06:50 AM  

leadmetal: ph0rk: So bicyclists aren't using the roads? Do they not impede traffic, either?

Bicyclists don't need the big wide paved road. They can get by with a nice dirt track. A fair road use tax for a bicyclist would cost more to collect. The stamp to mail it would cost more. That's why bicyclists don't pay a specific road tax. What they pay for roads in other taxes more than covers it. Plus most bicyclists own at least one car, so there's that too. When they are bicycling they aren't using the car that they paid to use so there is a net benefit. The number of carless bicyclists is small enough not to be worth the bother.

Dinjiin:  For arterial roads and expressways, let a per-mile tax kick in when the roadway is excessively expensive to build or maintain.  You could use an all-camera system like London, but that has some privacy implications.  Slightly better would be to use an RF transponder in your vehicle in combination with a payment card that is read by sensors as you drive past them.  Sell the cards and refills at kiosks [that accept cash] located at gas stations and rest stops.  If you don't care about the government knowing who you are, register a CC or some other type of EFT to your transponder card and get billed weekly.  If your card is empty, then the system falls back to photo billing.

That's what government wants because of the side benefits. It's a very expensive system and will consume years of revenue to implement and then a lot of overhead to maintain. But the side benefits for government keeping tabs on everyone's driving and being able to expand power with restricting people from certain areas and so forth is just too tempting for them. They will use electric cars as the excuse for this new power, but ultimately the simple fuel tax is the best method all things considered if we are going to have government roads.

To deal with electric cars there are few choices. Smart meters have very intrusive capabilities, although unused. If they are forced upon us it will be easy to tax the charging of the car. The charger will simply be identified via the HAN. Ideally smart meters would only eliminate meter readers going door to door, but sadly they can do much more, but lets say that's all that is done and is ever done for the sake of argument. There could be a separate meter for the charger that reports back or some simple way of having the meter just report house and car separately. Without that, a flat fee is a crude patch, a simple mileage recorder could work. Since there aren't many pure electrics a tiny uptick in the fuel taxes would be a very poor way of dealing with it but far superior to tracking us all.

Dinjiin: Non-arterial roads (read: side streets) should be paid for by property taxes against the properties facing on those roads.  Even if you don't drive [much], they are essential for goods and services to your home.

Property taxes already pay for those roads in many areas of the country. It may not be broken out but residential streets are taken care of by the city, town, village, or county and they get the bulk of their revenue from property taxes. They may or may not have isolated gas tax fed road funds.

Benjimin_Dover: A vehicle going slower over a section of road does more damage to it than one going faster. Bikes cause heavy vehicles to slow down or stop, therefore causing wear and tear on the road. The wear and tear just doesn't come from the wheels of the bike. They need to be taxed just like the rest.

No. Drivers who can't pay attention and don't know how to drive (aren't able to time movements) slow down or stop because of bicyclists. Also pretty much anything under 5,000 lbs isn't an issue road wear wise. Heavy trucks do almost all the road wear and tear and all the other road users subsidize them.

The stress from a passenger vehicle on the roadway designed to carry trucks is simply so tiny as to not really be much of a factor for wear. In fatigue it's all about the stress the material sees. Stress is load over area, so designing for truck loads, fatigue from trucks, means fatigue from passenger cars is essentially infinite life. Weather will do more damage to such roads.

So, let's get to the real reason people want to tax bicycling. The real reason is that they want to discourage bicycling. It's just another way of using government to bring about conformity.


So would we be in agreement that taxing something discourages that something?
 
2013-02-02 11:58:05 AM  

enemy of the state: Um, don't we have that already? It's called a gas tax. No need to put GPS systems in cars so "the government can track terrorists" or some idiot 1984 NewSpeak like that.


We *had* that, because for a long time, gas was a reasonable proxy for road wear.  Heavier vehicles cause more wear, but heavier vehicles use more gas.  More driving causes more wear, but more driving uses more gas.  It made sense to do it that way, because as long as that worked, it was far easier than any of the more accurate alternatives.

But here we are today, where you can buy a fully electric car and drive it all over the place, wearing out the roads while paying no gas tax at all.  Or a hybrid or other high-efficiency vehicle that still weighs the same and causes the same road wear, while paying half the gas tax compared to similar vehicles.
 
2013-02-02 12:40:30 PM  
Let the Free Market decide, indeed.
 
2013-02-02 02:27:39 PM  
The idea is to punish hybrid users, but it needs to be taken farther.  I say, spend that $100 in gas, to be stockpiled for an end of the year gas explosion extravaganza.  Maybe have Ted Nugent do a concert while they torch that shiat up in the background.  Everyone is invited.  Except hybrid owners, who instead get to do all the prep work for free.
 
2013-02-02 03:56:59 PM  

JeffreyScott: This thread is full of win...  hypocrisy!

The "gas tax" is really a "road tax" imposed to raise funds to keep our bridges and roads in repair.  It is charged on a per gallon basis, so generally speaking, the more a person drives on the roads the more they have to pay.  Hybrid owners consume less gas so they pay less in road taxes than their gas consuming counterparts, even when they drive the same or even more.

During the past couple of years the more liberal people on this board have stated they didn't mind paying taxes to keep their bridges and roads in good order.  I think most would agree that hybrid owners tend to be liberal.

Now that they are asked to pay taxes to support bridges and roads they are crying foul.

Now, they have decided that taxes are unfair.  Instead they want their own version of corporate welfare, where someone else subsidizes them.
 

The rest of us simply want hybrid owners to pay your fair share!


1. Doesn't understand the definition of Hybrid(i.e they use gas).
2. Completely missed the part about abolishing the gas Tax.
 
2013-02-02 04:34:05 PM  

Benjimin_Dover: So would we be in agreement that taxing something discourages that something?


The bicycle haters should just drop the bullshiat that they want bicyclists taxed to be 'fair' or any of the other excuses. They should just be honest and go for an outright ban, because that's what they want. They want bicycling taxed for the same reasons pot was taxed in the 1930s, to effectively ban it.

And if it is banned, I think I'll buy the biggest and slowest truck I can and drive it instead of bicycling.
 
2013-02-02 04:39:41 PM  

Dinjiin: leadmetal: Government is not going to implement the system in such a way that it cannot be tracked back to a person's movements.

Probably depends a lot of the government.  Florida, yes.  Arizona, no.  A couple of lawsuits and some public initiatives would move a couple from the yes to no column.


leadmetal: it's the huge number of them that would need to be installed and maintained that makes them very expensive.

A lot of that would depend on the type of road you're tolling.  A London style congestion network would be very expensive.  Checking people who enter and leave a section of limited access road would be a lot less.  And you can push the cost of the vehicle transponders onto the driver.

But I can't see a transponder being more expensive than a secure GPS tracking device that calculates your mileage and records which jurisdiction owns the road you're on.


Arizona's government loves speed cameras. They love that old coot sheriff too. They will be on the most likely list to track movements. I know of no government that has or likely will put in such a comprehensive system without being able to track. They come up with ways to make it sound ok, but they still have the data and it comes down to 'trust them'. Problem is a few criminal court cases later we find out they are keeping it and using it.

Taxing by mile instead of fuel taxes requires extensive monitoring above and beyond London's. Every road will have to be monitored and the taxes sliced to the various government entities. Even side streets will need monitoring because once people figure out they aren't taxed they'll be driving through residential neighborhoods in mass.
 
2013-02-02 06:07:31 PM  

PunGent: Most paved roads in this country that date back to the the 1800s, besides the interstates, were paved for bicycles.


Yeah, but that have been repaved how many dozen times since then?
 
2013-02-02 09:06:27 PM  

leadmetal: Arizona's government loves speed cameras


Not really.  It was mostly Napolitano and DPS who pushed for the cameras.  The Republican legislature was looking to enact restrictions on the cameras within days of them going up, but most of that was put on hold when an angry motorist shot a camera operator.  By the time the legislature started pushing the issue again, Napolitano was heading to D.C. and Brewer, an opponent of the cameras, became acting governor.

Scottsdale has a fair number of cameras, but then they have two photo ticket companies within their jurisdiction.  Neighboring cities have a handful of red light cameras, but I haven't seen any speed cameras outside of Scottsdale in a while.
 
2013-02-02 09:22:24 PM  

leadmetal: Benjimin_Dover: So would we be in agreement that taxing something discourages that something?

The bicycle haters should just drop the bullshiat that they want bicyclists taxed to be 'fair' or any of the other excuses. They should just be honest and go for an outright ban, because that's what they want. They want bicycling taxed for the same reasons pot was taxed in the 1930s, to effectively ban it.

And if it is banned, I think I'll buy the biggest and slowest truck I can and drive it instead of bicycling.


You can't tax something that has been banned. Just like cigarettes, the powerticians wan't their revenue fix. Don't expect bikes to be banned anytime soon.
 
2013-02-02 10:53:02 PM  
Supes:I can't help but think he's singling out hybrids under the impression they're usually driven by liberals, and this is a way to lower taxes on his main supporters while alienating people who won't vote for him anyway. But then again I'm a skeptic like that.

I suppose it's possible, but unlikely.  In Virginia, incumbent governors cannot stand for reelection; they're limited to one term at a time.  He'd have to be shooting for another office (e.g. senator) and he'd need to have a broader appeal than he does, since both Virginia senators are Democratic.  (He's delusional if he thinks he has a chance in heck at the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.)
 
2013-02-03 08:56:23 PM  

ha-ha-guy: Klom Dark: ha-ha-guy: Klom Dark: Put the tax onto commercial vehicles only

No good, that spikes food prices since it ups delivery costs of produce, meat, etc.  Those are items the government tries to keep inexpensive so everyone can afford to eat.  If you put the entire burden on commercial vehicles, that means we see an unpleasant amount of cost passed onto the consumer in areas we don't want it.

/although I do like the idea of taxing courier style companies (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc) more.
//one really nasty tax rate for every vehicle in their fleet that fails to meet specific MPG requirements and a much less nasty tax rate for those that do

If we put the entire burden on the commercial vehicles, then the noncommercial citizens will have more available cash too pay the slightly higher food prices. Taxes were originally a way for the government to share in the profits of the commercial trade, and life was much better then and we should return to it.

// phone is going dead, but will definitely be back to this discussion once i fed some juice into it.

While I don't disagree about the government getting a cut of commercial trade, the big issue the profit from that commercial trade occurs in multiple places as the good passes through the system.  Everyone is involved in that system uses the roads in a direct or indirect manner.  With regard to the indirect manner, I am more likely to speculate on American milk and future milk futures because I know the milk can safely move from the dairy to the store whereas milk in Angola could end up stranded who knows where due to their shiatty infrastructure.  So my speculation will increase the per unit cost of milk.  In turn the price of milk goes up as it moves down the line or people who handle the milk later take a smaller profit (or possible loss).  So even though I'll never actually move a drop of that milk, I'm benefiting from the fact America has established public infrastructure.  You could argue anyone who does business ...



What's this about milk in Angola and what's it got to do with US infrastructure? I can't quite follow you, sorry. (Not meaning to sound dicky, just you threw me completely)
 
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