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(WHNT Huntsville)   Gasoline taxes pay for roads. Hybrids use less gas. Let's make up the tax shortfall by TAXING SMUG PRIUS OWNERS   (whnt.com) divider line 289
    More: Cool, gasoline taxes, Alabama, civil engineers, roads  
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2755 clicks; posted to Politics » on 10 Mar 2013 at 8:07 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-10 06:29:24 PM
It sounds like good ol' down home Socialism, Alabama style.
 
2013-03-10 06:30:48 PM
Why not tax people who own cars but don't drive them enough?
 
2013-03-10 06:38:55 PM
Why not raise the gas tax, or set it as a percentage of wholesale price?
 
2013-03-10 06:44:30 PM

RaceDTruck: Why not raise the gas tax, or set it as a percentage of wholesale price?


Because people that drive big ass pickups, SUVs, and motorhomes tend to vote Republican.
People that drive fuel efficient hybrids and compact cars tend to vote Democratic.
 
2013-03-10 07:11:20 PM
Hybrids also tend to be lighter, putting much less wear and tear on the roads.
 
2013-03-10 07:23:48 PM
"The issue is, that in the future, maintenance costs are going to keep increasing, and the revenue is going to stay constant or even decline, says Dr. Anderson.  In fact, the amount of gasoline purchased in the U.S. has been flat or declined every year since 2007. Fewer gallons sold equals less tax revenue. In three states: Oregon, Washington, and Virginia, Discussions are underway on how to make up the short fall.

Hey, I know this one. The answer A) Raise the gas tax. Am I right?

The idea that seems to be gaining traction is a tax or fee on fuel-efficient vehicles.

Gawdammitsomuch.
 
2013-03-10 07:38:35 PM
We could stop subsidizing oil companies that have record-breaking profits every quarter.

Naw, we'll stick it to the hippies!
 
2013-03-10 07:54:54 PM

RaceDTruck: Why not raise the gas tax, or set it as a percentage of wholesale price?


Arizona has the "percentage of price" annual registration tax, even though it makes more sense to tax based on GVW and/or mileage since the heavier vehicles can do more damage to the roads. But then again we also have an $0.18/gal fuel tax, so we get both!
 
2013-03-10 08:02:26 PM
How about vehicles that use Compressed Natural Gas, oh wait those are fleet vehicles they already pay enough taxes right?
 
2013-03-10 08:07:40 PM
The Prius has become so common that I think the whole concept of the smug Prius owner is outdated.
 
2013-03-10 08:09:52 PM
There can't be enough hybrids to make that big of a difference... I see like maybe one a day out of thousands of cars on my commute.  Even so most of the road wear comes from big rigs and I don't see any hybrid freightliners that get double the usual 6 mpg....
 
2013-03-10 08:11:40 PM

Lionel Mandrake: We could stop subsidizing oil companies that have record-breaking profits every quarter.

Naw, we'll stick it to the hippies!


Bears^(n+1)
 
2013-03-10 08:14:25 PM
Be glad you have a state gas tax that is actually required to go to road maintenance (or at least most of it, TFA says), and not a gas tax that funnels into the general fund where the bosses can use it to demand absolute obedience from legislators or your district is SOL when it comes to getting so much as a spoonful of asphalt.
 
2013-03-10 08:14:45 PM

Krieghund: RaceDTruck: Why not raise the gas tax, or set it as a percentage of wholesale price?

Because people that drive big ass pickups, SUVs, and motorhomes tend to vote Republican.
People that drive fuel efficient hybrids and compact cars tend to vote Democratic.


and that, ladies and gentlemen is it in a nutshell.
same as the state that accepts an NRA membership card for a voter ID but not a college ID.
 
2013-03-10 08:16:35 PM
In order to promote efficiency and move towards alternative methods of transportation and energy use we're going to penalize those that opt for efficiency and move towards alternative methods of transportation and energy use.

Makes perfect sense. I hate people.
 
2013-03-10 08:17:06 PM
Alabama?  I'm paying for their roads.

/interstates anyway
//bunch of freeloading socialists
 
2013-03-10 08:17:40 PM
It's not the "OMG EVIL REPUBLICANS HATE FUEL EFFICIENCY EFFEMINATE PRIUS DRIVERS" situation that it's being made out as.  It's simply a system of paying for the roads that needs to be revamped.  If cars are going to be using the roads and using no gas (electric) then there needs to be some means for them to pay for that usage.  Pretty simple.
 
2013-03-10 08:18:57 PM
We're a social organism. We have to support one another.

Don't let any Republicans catch you saying that socialist shiat.
 
2013-03-10 08:19:07 PM

Testiclaw: In order to promote efficiency and move towards alternative methods of transportation and energy use we're going to penalize those that opt for efficiency and move towards alternative methods of transportation and energy use.

Makes perfect sense. I hate people.


So no tax contribution toward roads for people who drive an efficient vehicle?
 
2013-03-10 08:19:08 PM

JerseyTim: The Prius has become so common that I think the whole concept of the smug Prius owner is outdated.


These people still screech about ACORN even though they ceased to exist years ago, use the term hippie as an insult even though their younger selves are the only large group of people in American history that fit the definition, and last year trotted out the talking point that Obama doesn't have the necessary experience to be POTUS even though he'd already been President for four years.  "Outdated" doesn't mean anything to these people.
 
2013-03-10 08:19:41 PM

Doktor_Zhivago: There can't be enough hybrids to make that big of a difference... I see like maybe one a day out of thousands of cars on my commute.  Even so most of the road wear comes from big rigs and I don't see any hybrid freightliners that get double the usual 6 mpg....


They're very common in Northern Virginia.  You can travel solo in the HOV lanes on the major highways.  I LOVE my Prius and will buy another, but I bought it to cheat use the HOV lanes in and out of DC.
 
2013-03-10 08:24:37 PM

JerseyTim: The Prius has become so common that I think the whole concept of the smug Prius owner is outdated.


But there was that South Park episode!  Smug is just as bad as smog!  Also, Richard Dawkins is as bad as creationists, and those assholes who wanted to keep Terri Schiavo alive weren't any worse than those who wanted her to die with dignity.

/Both sides are bad.
 
2013-03-10 08:25:42 PM

EvilEgg: Hybrids also tend to be lighter, putting much less wear and tear on the roads.


Not really. Batteries are heavy.

A Prius weighs about 3,000 pounds. My gas consuming 2-door, but much larger interior car, also weighs about 3,000 pounds. Mine is slightly heavier - by about 150 pounds or so.

Let's just charge fat people more for gas.

Seriously, I just watched a Top Gear episode where they tested a car...can't even remember which one - a Fiat I think....with and without fat people in it. With just the Stig in it, they accelerated it to 70 MPH and then braked and stopped it in about 300 meters. With 3 fat people, it took nearly 500 meters to do the same thing.

The fat people made up more of a weight difference than there is between my car and a Prius.

The only reason why a Prius weighs less than my car is because it's much smaller.
 
2013-03-10 08:25:53 PM

foo monkey: Doktor_Zhivago: There can't be enough hybrids to make that big of a difference... I see like maybe one a day out of thousands of cars on my commute.  Even so most of the road wear comes from big rigs and I don't see any hybrid freightliners that get double the usual 6 mpg....

They're very common in Northern Virginia.  You can travel solo in the HOV lanes on the major highways.  I LOVE my Prius and will buy another, but I bought it to cheat use the HOV lanes in and out of DC.


Here in rednecktopia USA we drive pickups like god intended when he created the Ford F-150 on the eighth day.

/drives a nissan compact
//was actually built in the state I live in
///gets called an import by rednecks who's trucks were built in ontario and mexico.
 
2013-03-10 08:26:52 PM
Sigh...look...the whole gas tax thing was originally calculated based on typical fuel efficiencies.  Things have changed.  A new model is necessary to equitably pay for infrastructure.

Large trucks have the greatest impact on road condition.
Automobiles have the greatest impact on the NEED for more roads.  This is where the whole tax on hybrids is justified.  No matter how fuel efficient they are, they still create congestion.
 
2013-03-10 08:27:00 PM

Krieghund: People that drive fuel efficient hybrids and compact cars tend to vote Democratic.


Lionel Mandrake: Naw, we'll stick it to the hippies!



I say we tax vegetarians for every animal they don't eat.
 
2013-03-10 08:30:09 PM
The gas tax hasn't gone up for decades, falling behind as prices increased, because idiot Republicans hate taxes.  Now SHOCKER, they don't have enough revenue, so instead of learning from their mistakes, they decide to try and punish people doing the right thing.

Sadly, I'm not surprised at all.
 
2013-03-10 08:30:49 PM
I think there should be slight taxes on these vehicles; it's not a "punishment" for driving something efficient, it's called paying taxes for what you use.

That being said, I think taxes on heavy trucks should be DRAMATICALLY increased, and the taxes should be imposed on those issuing the loads... as in, if you send a pallet of goods in a truck, you're responsible for the highway taxes, not the truck drivers or shipping companies.

Also, in a state like Oregon that allows aluminum studded tires, one should be required to pay at LEAST an extra $100 per year to use them. In the last couple weeks, on the OREGON COAST, I have had two people drive by me with them on their trucks. These F*CKSTICKS don't deserve the privilege to drive on our roads if they need studded f*cking tires in an area that sees road ice maybe 5 times a year.
 
2013-03-10 08:31:56 PM
Doktor_Zhivago:
/drives a nissan compact
//was actually built in the state I live in
///gets called an import by rednecks who's trucks were built in ontario and mexico.


Fark 'em. You're the one actually supporting our economy.

/I despise ignorant rednecks.
//I live in Florida.
///Not all rednecks are ignorant. I wouldn't even say a majority of them are. Unfortunately, the ones that are are usually the loudest.
 
2013-03-10 08:32:34 PM
Hey, I have an idea, if you want to pay for the wear and tear on your roads how about you tie the payment to the usage?  For example, you can set up toll roads.  You can leave the gasoline taxes in for air quality purposes.
 
2013-03-10 08:33:20 PM
OK . . . maybe a dumbass question . . . but why the fark are state and federal gas taxes fixed to a per gallon basis, instead of a per dollar spent basis (like every other sales tax)?  Yes, I know, that means that taxes rises when fuel costs rise, which oddly enough seems to be the opposite of what some folks think should happen (many requests for a "fuel tax holiday" when the cost of gas goes up).   But it seems obvious to me that if we're spending more money on fuel, maybe we should set an exactly proportional amount of money for government, which could help to reduce our fuel costs.  Y'know, doing stuff like fixing roads (resulting from wear and tear by people buying gas).  Improving interchanges that improves productivity.

Obama hit it out out of the park on vehicle MPG fuel requirements, astonished that it happened, it turns out that the automobile industry thought it was a good direction (otherwise it never would have happened).  A little ray of hope, mostly obscured by farkwads of garbage from the oil industry.
 
2013-03-10 08:33:36 PM
Hybrids save everyone money by reducing the demand for fuel, thereby reducing price, and decreasing the amount of smog, reducing public expenditures for environment related illness.  I say we tax non-hybrid owners the difference.

/don't own a hybrid
 
2013-03-10 08:34:23 PM
If Settlers of Catan has taught me anything, it's that we can compress enough sheep down to make roads, instead of getting more rock.
 
2013-03-10 08:35:58 PM

Nuclear Monk: Sigh...look...the whole gas tax thing was originally calculated based on typical fuel efficiencies.  Things have changed.  A new model is necessary to equitably pay for infrastructure.

Large trucks have the greatest impact on road condition.
Automobiles have the greatest impact on the NEED for more roads.  This is where the whole tax on hybrids is justified.  No matter how fuel efficient they are, they still create congestion.


Right. So tax gasoline since large trucks use federal interstates, state highways, and county roads more. I don't see 18-wheelers cruising around my subdivision very often, and those are maintained by the city I live in.

Politicians are basically getting ahead of the game because they see a fuel-efficient hybrid future and gasoline tax revenue will be holding steady or declining. And in some places, good luck increasing taxes, even if it truly is the most equitable way to go.

Someone will build a more efficient heavy duty truck as soon as the price of gas shoots up enough. Invisible hand of the free market and stuff.
 
2013-03-10 08:37:15 PM
Incidentally, I wouldn't be against creating two separate taxes (as long as money does NOT go to the DMV, but to TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE), one of which is a vehicle tax and the other being a smog/pollution tax collected at the pump. Sightly drop gasoline taxes and add a tax that is tacked onto one's DMV registration or whathaveyou. Also, free up the ability for certain areas, particularly high-pollution or high-congestion areas, to collect greater taxes at the pump for local non-highway transportation infrastructure improvements.
 
2013-03-10 08:38:59 PM

Nuclear Monk: Sigh...look...the whole gas tax thing was originally calculated based on typical fuel efficiencies.  Things have changed.  A new model is necessary to equitably pay for infrastructure.

Large trucks have the greatest impact on road condition.
Automobiles have the greatest impact on the NEED for more roads.  This is where the whole tax on hybrids is justified.  No matter how fuel efficient they are, they still create congestion.


Except that:

1) A tax targeting hybrids then discourages people from buying hybrids, and thereby discourages automakers from further developing hybrids, when we should be encouraging people to buy hybrids as they consume less of a finite resource (oil) and pollute less, therefore having decreased externalities compared to non-hybrids. Simply raising the gas tax paid by everyone raises the same funds for roads, while further encouraging people to buy hybrids and thereby further encouraging automakers to develop hybrids.

2) People in far-flung, sparsely populated areas are not people we normally associate with hybrids--hybrids are much more likely driven by commuters utilizing long-existing roads. At least here in Pennsylvania, it is the folks driving pickups and SUVs in the Pennsyltucky parts of the state that want more roads.
 
2013-03-10 08:38:59 PM

puffy999: I think there should be slight taxes on these vehicles; it's not a "punishment" for driving something efficient, it's called paying taxes for what you use.

That being said, I think taxes on heavy trucks should be DRAMATICALLY increased, and the taxes should be imposed on those issuing the loads... as in, if you send a pallet of goods in a truck, you're responsible for the highway taxes, not the truck drivers or shipping companies.


How do you think the freight fees for loads are calculated, if not based on operating costs to include highway taxes.
Tolling the roads does adjust for wear and tear though- for example at the George Washington Bridge cars pay $13, heavy trucks pay $90.

/tolls in NY are ridiculous
 
2013-03-10 08:39:03 PM
"I'm anti-tax unless it's on people I don't like for no reason.  Then you can tax them all you want."
 
2013-03-10 08:39:36 PM
Well, the logic behind gasoline use is that it corresponds very closely to road wear.  Less fuel efficiency generally means a heavier vehicle that beats the road up more (or a vehicle with a lot of torque that produces similar increased wear), so making them pay more per mile is sensible.

Electrics and hybrids still beat up the road by miles traveled and vehicle weight, and the roads still need to be resurfaced and so on the same as with gas-powered vehicles, but there's no longer the roughly 1:1 correspondence to gas usage so it's no longer an easy way to get usage-proportional tax.

Admittedly it makes less sense if they're intended to be emissions taxes, but basically the only place that does that is LA county, maybe a few other of the truly massive cities.  The majority of taxes are intended to be resurfacing/bridge and overpass replacement fees, so switching to a mile-by-mile flat tax instead of gas taxes as we go increasingly electrics is perfectly logical.
 
2013-03-10 08:40:36 PM
Hmmm forgot to say . . . only one constituency could come with such a farked up idea as taxing drivers who use less fuel with a bonus tax for saving fuel.  To the extent that they are not laughed out of the room, loudly and immediately, . . . I weep for America.  These tactics should be used to bury the oil companies, not give them leverage of any sort.

Fifty years ago the auto industry vehemently opposed seat belt laws.  WTF?  Countless lives saved . . . vs. the cost of a few well-grounded straps.  The modern Republican Party reminds of this at every turn.
 
2013-03-10 08:40:51 PM

PanicMan: "I'm anti-tax unless it's on people I don't like for no reason.  Then you can tax them all you want."


I think that's one of the hidden Tea Party planks.
 
2013-03-10 08:40:59 PM

carpbrain: OK . . . maybe a dumbass question . . . but why the fark are state and federal gas taxes fixed to a per gallon basis, instead of a per dollar spent basis (like every other sales tax)?  Yes, I know, that means that taxes rises when fuel costs rise, which oddly enough seems to be the opposite of what some folks think should happen (many requests for a "fuel tax holiday" when the cost of gas goes up).   But it seems obvious to me that if we're spending more money on fuel, maybe we should set an exactly proportional amount of money for government, which could help to reduce our fuel costs.  Y'know, doing stuff like fixing roads (resulting from wear and tear by people buying gas).  Improving interchanges that improves productivity.

Obama hit it out out of the park on vehicle MPG fuel requirements, astonished that it happened, it turns out that the automobile industry thought it was a good direction (otherwise it never would have happened).  A little ray of hope, mostly obscured by farkwads of garbage from the oil industry.


I can't give you an "answer," but I can assume that stability involving income and inventory is part of the problem. A tax rate that varied on the whim of local gasoline distributors (and, yes, that's what happens... collusion/price fixing happens both regionally and locally) would be too tough to track, and would be ripe for fraud.

However, to tax a volume of something would be easy.

Now, if we had a system whereby gas prices were NOT allowed to be artificially manipulated each and every day as a local oil/gas distributor or group of station owners see fit, as in a system as is had in Mexico, I think your idea would work.
 
2013-03-10 08:44:03 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: If Settlers of Catan has taught me anything, it's that we can compress enough sheep down to make roads, instead of getting more rock.


10/10. I lol'd hard.
 
2013-03-10 08:46:28 PM

Job Creator: How do you think the freight fees for loads are calculated, if not based on operating costs to include highway taxes.


Currently, I think the buck is passed on too much to trucking companies and truck owner/operators, as well as shipping/freight companies, and they have to handle too much of the paperwork, both for taxes but also transportation fees and licenses and all that in the states.

Actually, I don't give a damn about places like Swift, but I think it's made it harder for a person to do that kind of work and make it in the way that they deserve, given the cost of goods in each load and the strain on one's body and mind to travel so much.
 
2013-03-10 08:48:49 PM

carpbrain: only one constituency could come with such a farked up idea as taxing drivers who use less fuel


You know, I'd agree with people like you if Hybrid cars could fly and, in no way, contributed to congestion or any of that.

I don't think they should be taxed to some absurd measure, but I do think all users of America's highways, byways, and streets should pay some share.
 
2013-03-10 08:49:34 PM
On the other hand, I don't think big oil companies should have any tax breaks, loopholes, subsidies, or any of that. So there you go.
 
2013-03-10 08:50:47 PM
Here's an idea: If you want to tax people in proportion to how much they damage the roads, just tax the crap out of tires. They wear out at almost exactly the rate that they wear out the roads.

Of course, that would be a new tax, and therefore unacceptable to many voters and politicians. The only new taxes allowed to be considered, it seems, are special taxes on things hippies like.

My question is this: what was so different in the fifties that allowed for the creation of the Interstate highway system in the first place? Was it because there was no birth control pills and that women stayed in the kitchen and homosexuals stayed in the closet?

I don't think that was it. What could it have been?
 
2013-03-10 08:52:22 PM

Nuclear Monk: Sigh...look...the whole gas tax thing was originally calculated based on typical fuel efficiencies.  Things have changed.  A new model is necessary to equitably pay for infrastructure.

Large trucks have the greatest impact on road condition.
Automobiles have the greatest impact on the NEED for more roads.  This is where the whole tax on hybrids is justified.  No matter how fuel efficient they are, they still create congestion.


*sniff sniff* the distinct smell of astroturf
 
2013-03-10 08:56:56 PM

puffy999: carpbrain: only one constituency could come with such a farked up idea as taxing drivers who use less fuel

You know, I'd agree with people like you if Hybrid cars could fly and, in no way, contributed to congestion or any of that.

I don't think they should be taxed to some absurd measure, but I do think all users of America's highways, byways, and streets should pay some share.


Honeybunny, it's not about congestion.  It's about wasting huge amounts of energy resources driving nonsensical vehicles around.  I laugh at the suggestion that it could be otherwise, it is amusing, and paints a bit label on your forehead as a lame astroturfer.  But, as the President recently spoke, Please proceed, Governor.
 
2013-03-10 08:56:58 PM
Wear on a road is a direct relationship to the weight of a vehicle. The taxes paid on fuel is a function of the efficiency of the vehicle. But the full function is f(mpg, miles, wear) = taxes per wear mile.

You might want to look at raising registration fees uniformly.
 
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