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(CNN)   "Should you pay a higher federal gas tax?" You drive on interstate highways? You're pissed all the potholes aren't fixed yet? Congrats, you're paying a higher gas tax   (money.cnn.com) divider line 97
    More: Obvious, Highway Trust Fund, gas tax, American Society of Civil Engineers, Bipartisan Policy Center, user fees, Inflation adjustment  
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903 clicks; posted to Politics » on 05 May 2014 at 9:45 AM (12 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-05-05 08:20:20 AM
The federal gas tax alone brings in much more than it costs to maintain all federal and state-administered highways. (FHWA highway statistics 2012 part 9.)

In my area cities don't want to fix a street unless the state pays for it, and the state doesn't want to fix a highway unless the federal government pays for it. So you end up with federal money going to dig up a two lane street connecting two minor business districts in a suburb.
 
2014-05-05 08:35:14 AM
I don't mind paying gas taxes to allow for new highway construction and maintenance.

I do mind paying gas taxes that support whacky public transportation ideas, global warming studies before you can widen a road, the endless environmental impact reports, and of course the pet projects of various congressmen that serve no one but the construction interests in their home district.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-05-05 08:38:45 AM

ZAZ: The federal gas tax alone brings in much more than it costs to maintain all federal and state-administered highways. (FHWA highway statistics 2012 part 9.)

In my area cities don't want to fix a street unless the state pays for it, and the state doesn't want to fix a highway unless the federal government pays for it. So you end up with federal money going to dig up a two lane street connecting two minor business districts in a suburb.


That's what happens when you let local government control things.  Some real estate investor who bankrolls politicians who will get a road built to some land he owns so it will increase in value ends up running things.
 
2014-05-05 08:40:01 AM
That it. END LOCAL CONTROL OF EVERYTHING
 
2014-05-05 08:49:44 AM
The lawmakers who've sworn eternal fealty to 12-year-old Grover Norquist's fantasies will never vote for a gas tax hike...at least until a bridge collapses in THEIR district, and then they'll demand immediate action -- yet still vote "no" on revenue.
 
2014-05-05 08:55:53 AM
People were complaining on the local paper's website (Courant) about higher taxes to fix the roads. I countered with Well, how are we going to fix the roads bridges, etc.? Remember the Mianus River Bridge collapse? 35wbridge.pbworks.comCrickets.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-05-05 09:05:20 AM

kimwim: People were complaining on the local paper's website (Courant) about higher taxes to fix the roads. I countered with Well, how are we going to fix the roads bridges, etc.? Remember the Mianus River Bridge collapse? [35wbridge.pbworks.com image 611x404]Crickets.


The invisible hand of the market will hold the bridges up.
 
2014-05-05 09:49:54 AM
It is almost as if stuff costs money.
 
2014-05-05 09:51:13 AM

kimwim: People were complaining on the local paper's website (Courant) about higher taxes to fix the roads. I countered with Well, how are we going to fix the roads bridges, etc.? Remember the Mianus River Bridge collapse? [35wbridge.pbworks.com image 611x404]Crickets.


I lived about a mile from that bridge when it happened, woke up to choppers overhead and thought we were at war.

Alos, I grew up there, swam in and skated on that river, bought beer (underage) at the Mianus Package store,had friends who went to North Mianus school, and it wan;t until I was well into my twenties before I realized people who were not from the area were making "My Anus" jokes.
 
2014-05-05 09:52:11 AM
Should you?  Hell if I know.  Does current revenue meet needs?  No, then the tax needs to be adjusted upwards.
 
2014-05-05 10:00:11 AM
It should be about $3.50 a gallon.
 
2014-05-05 10:02:44 AM
regressive taxation ftl!
 
2014-05-05 10:04:34 AM

Headso: regressive taxation ftl!


I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.
 
2014-05-05 10:05:17 AM

Thank You Black Jesus!: It is almost as if stuff costs money.


But if it's my money, then it is an outrage!
 
2014-05-05 10:07:56 AM

qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.


pay for the roads with progressive taxation on income?
 
2014-05-05 10:08:03 AM

mr_a: I don't mind paying gas taxes to allow for new highway construction and maintenance.

I do mind paying gas taxes that support whacky public transportation ideas, global warming studies before you can widen a road, the endless environmental impact reports, and of course the pet projects of various congressmen that serve no one but the construction interests in their home district.


Some folks are outraged when an outlandish request to spend funds wisely is made.

You'll get labeled a teatard that way
 
2014-05-05 10:13:30 AM
"spend funds wisely" to a teabagger means add a layer of profit margin in to the mix and make sure the people doing the labor get paid shiat while those at the top take a huge cut all taxed at a lower rate than the laborers.
 
2014-05-05 10:14:21 AM

qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.


Remove all taxation except for a 100% tax on all wealth over whatever Headso is worth.
 
2014-05-05 10:18:53 AM

Headso: qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.

pay for the roads with progressive taxation on income?


Well, sure, but that wouldn't be a gas tax, eh?
 
2014-05-05 10:24:42 AM
ok, so what does the current gas tax cover?
 
2014-05-05 10:27:35 AM

Saiga410: qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.

Remove all taxation except for a 100% tax on all wealth over whatever Headso is worth.


You just advocated for taxation that would be beneficial to you, that goes totally against your ideals as a middle class fiscal conservative.
 
2014-05-05 10:29:26 AM

ZAZ: The federal gas tax alone brings in much more than it costs to maintain all federal and state-administered highways. (FHWA highway statistics 2012 part 9.)

In my area cities don't want to fix a street unless the state pays for it, and the state doesn't want to fix a highway unless the federal government pays for it. So you end up with federal money going to dig up a two lane street connecting two minor business districts in a suburb.


Funny, in my area the local governments WANT to spend on surface streets, bicycle infrastructure, and public transit, but the state DOT constantly slaps their hand when they try to do something and then spends all of the money on widening Interstates and highways more and more and more.

Basically, because private contractors do the highways and they throw around campaign contribution money like it's going out of style, and local county and city public works departments do the surface streets.

We quite literally had a situation where the City of Milwaukee is working with the federal DOT to set up a streetcar system (Milwaukee is the densest city in America that doesn't have some sort of fixed rail transit system), and Wisconsin inserted themselves into the issue by legislating to make it harder to build the system, despite the fact that no state funds are involved in the project at all.

This isn't the first time, either. The Amtrak Hiawatha line could be going 100+ mph and on its way of daily service between the Twin Cities and Chicago via Madison and Milwaukee (Extension to Madison was already in progress, extension to the Twin Cities would have been phase 2). The federal DOT thought it would be one of the best high speed rail routes in the country. The state DOT slapped it down.

Same with Milwaukee's first suburban commuter rail line. The federal DOT was ready to write the grant, the state DOT wanted nothing to do with it.
 
2014-05-05 10:32:41 AM

kimwim: Remember the Mianus River Bridge collapse?


Yeah, caused by a farkup DOT crew and poor design: "During road mending some 10 years before, the highway drains had been deliberately blocked and the crew failed to unblock them when the road work was completed. Rainwater leaked down through the pin bearings, causing them to rust. The outer bearings were fracture-critical and non-redundant, a design flaw of this particular type of structure. The bearings were difficult to inspect close-up, although traces of rust could be seen near the affected bearings."

A shortage of inspectors is mentioned after that.  But whaddya know, Connecticut has a state legislature fond of diverting infrastructure money to political pet projects. "The state has collected billions from these taxes. But frequently the fund is not used for bridge maintenance and repair. Just over 50 percent of it has gone to its intended use. The rest has paid for other projects or helped plug holes in the budget."
 
2014-05-05 10:33:09 AM
Quit spending my motor fuel tax on public transit and bike lanes.  Use it to fill the potholes in the roads that I drive my car on.
 
2014-05-05 10:34:45 AM

Headso: Saiga410: qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.

Remove all taxation except for a 100% tax on all wealth over whatever Headso is worth.

You just advocated for taxation that would be beneficial to you, that goes totally against your ideals as a middle class fiscal conservative.


1. How do you know that it would be benefiial to me?
2. Ummmm sarcasm?
 
2014-05-05 10:34:56 AM

Saiga410: qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.

Remove all taxation except for a 100% tax on all wealth over whatever Headso is worth.


imagizer.imageshack.us
 
2014-05-05 10:35:01 AM

Headso: regressive taxation ftl!


A non-trivial point that seems worth considering.

So, what alternative, non-regressive revenue stream should be used to source paying for maintaining the US highway and bridge system?
 
2014-05-05 10:35:37 AM

Gulper Eel: kimwim: Remember the Mianus River Bridge collapse?

Yeah, caused by a farkup DOT crew and poor design: "During road mending some 10 years before, the highway drains had been deliberately blocked and the crew failed to unblock them when the road work was completed. Rainwater leaked down through the pin bearings, causing them to rust. The outer bearings were fracture-critical and non-redundant, a design flaw of this particular type of structure. The bearings were difficult to inspect close-up, although traces of rust could be seen near the affected bearings."

A shortage of inspectors is mentioned after that.  But whaddya know, Connecticut has a state legislature fond of diverting infrastructure money to political pet projects. "The state has collected billions from these taxes. But frequently the fund is not used for bridge maintenance and repair. Just over 50 percent of it has gone to its intended use. The rest has paid for other projects or helped plug holes in the budget."


What's your point?
 
2014-05-05 10:39:50 AM

Saiga410: Ummmm sarcasm?


oh darn I knew it was too good to be true!
 
2014-05-05 10:40:39 AM

abb3w: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

A non-trivial point that seems worth considering.

So, what alternative, non-regressive revenue stream should be used to source paying for maintaining the US highway and bridge system?


How about using a progressive tax on capital gains? To make it easy, use the existing brackets in place for normal income tax.
 
2014-05-05 10:43:50 AM

qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.


$0.18 per gallon for the first 2 gallons, then bump it by $0.02 per gallon every 2 gallons thereafter.  Sure, some people would only buy 2 gallons at a time to avoid the extra tax, but most people aren't going to bother.
 
2014-05-05 10:44:53 AM
Make it as high as is required to maintain the highways, but end all federal funding of local pet projects with Highway Fund money that have nothing to do with highways.

Long term, we may have to replace the gas tax with tolls, because electric cars put just as much wear and treat on roads as gas guzzlers.
 
2014-05-05 10:46:31 AM

Epic Fap Session: abb3w: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

A non-trivial point that seems worth considering.

So, what alternative, non-regressive revenue stream should be used to source paying for maintaining the US highway and bridge system?

How about using a progressive tax on capital gains? To make it easy, use the existing brackets in place for normal income tax.


I agree, just figure out how much everything costs and then tax income at a progressive rate to cover those costs and then itemize it out for people. That would keep the most money in the hands of the consumer class and it would be the simplest way for everyone to know what they are spending to maintain government/infrastructure, social services and the military.
 
2014-05-05 10:46:38 AM

Teufelaffe: qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.

$0.18 per gallon for the first 2 gallons, then bump it by $0.02 per gallon every 2 gallons thereafter.  Sure, some people would only buy 2 gallons at a time to avoid the extra tax, but most people aren't going to bother.


Why do you want to tax high capacity fuel tanks?
 
2014-05-05 10:46:39 AM

qorkfiend: What's your point?


The point is that unless legislators are watched like hawks, they will, depending on whose lobby has the most juice in the state capital, divert funds away from infrastructure, then come back and cry poverty when it comes time to take care of the infrastructure.
 
2014-05-05 10:48:33 AM
"Should you pay a higher federal gas tax?"

Answer, yes.
 
2014-05-05 10:48:41 AM

BMFPitt: Teufelaffe: qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.

$0.18 per gallon for the first 2 gallons, then bump it by $0.02 per gallon every 2 gallons thereafter.  Sure, some people would only buy 2 gallons at a time to avoid the extra tax, but most people aren't going to bother.

Why do you want to tax high capacity fuel tanks?


Because I hate America.
 
2014-05-05 10:48:51 AM

qorkfiend: Headso: regressive taxation ftl!

I'm not sure how one would do a progressive gas tax.


It would take some doing, but I have some thoughts:

1. Meter-readings, like the gas man at your house. Either record your odo on your tax returns and they assess the tax based on mileage, or standard "X miles = $Y tax" tables. It makes withholding tougher, but you save more at the pump. It's probably also incredibly easy to fudge or ignore. Or maybe it gets built into registration fees, since they record your mileage then anyway.

2. Taxes are assessed based on your vehicle's mileage; either annually like the above, or at the pump somehow (smart optics that scan for decals/body shape doesn't seem foolproof, neither does having customers self-enter makes/models, unless they register something like Exxon's SpeedPass).
 
2014-05-05 10:49:09 AM

BMFPitt: Long term, we may have to replace the gas tax with tolls, because electric cars put just as much wear and treat on roads as gas guzzlers.


I wouldn't even mind a yearly tax on miles traveled with an electric car. Because use of the road should be paid by those actually using the roads, among others. It should also be paid for those who benefit by good roads. You know, those who benefit by being served by cops, firemen, ambulances, grocery trucks, etc.

So, everyone.

/pony up, everyone.
 
2014-05-05 10:50:34 AM
People complain about disparity between rich/poor, but then fight for or defend policies that lead to the problem.

Sure let's increase the gas tax, that won't hurt anybody.
 
2014-05-05 10:53:17 AM

kimwim: BMFPitt: Long term, we may have to replace the gas tax with tolls, because electric cars put just as much wear and treat on roads as gas guzzlers.

I wouldn't even mind a yearly tax on miles traveled with an electric car. Because use of the road should be paid by those actually using the roads, among others. It should also be paid for those who benefit by good roads. You know, those who benefit by being served by cops, firemen, ambulances, grocery trucks, etc.

So, everyone.

/pony up, everyone.


That would be very technically difficult to enforce.

Plus tolls mean if you drove a lot on federal highways, you pay for federal highways. If you drive a lot on state highways, you pay for state highways. The more accurate a user fee it is, the better.
 
2014-05-05 10:53:52 AM

CmndrFish: ZAZ: The federal gas tax alone brings in much more than it costs to maintain all federal and state-administered highways. (FHWA highway statistics 2012 part 9.)

In my area cities don't want to fix a street unless the state pays for it, and the state doesn't want to fix a highway unless the federal government pays for it. So you end up with federal money going to dig up a two lane street connecting two minor business districts in a suburb.

Funny, in my area the local governments WANT to spend on surface streets, bicycle infrastructure, and public transit, but the state DOT constantly slaps their hand when they try to do something and then spends all of the money on widening Interstates and highways more and more and more.

Basically, because private contractors do the highways and they throw around campaign contribution money like it's going out of style, and local county and city public works departments do the surface streets.

We quite literally had a situation where the City of Milwaukee is working with the federal DOT to set up a streetcar system (Milwaukee is the densest city in America that doesn't have some sort of fixed rail transit system), and Wisconsin inserted themselves into the issue by legislating to make it harder to build the system, despite the fact that no state funds are involved in the project at all.

This isn't the first time, either. The Amtrak Hiawatha line could be going 100+ mph and on its way of daily service between the Twin Cities and Chicago via Madison and Milwaukee (Extension to Madison was already in progress, extension to the Twin Cities would have been phase 2). The federal DOT thought it would be one of the best high speed rail routes in the country. The state DOT slapped it down.

Same with Milwaukee's first suburban commuter rail line. The federal DOT was ready to write the grant, the state DOT wanted nothing to do with it.


But Gov Derpyhooves said no one would use it!! I remember the fight over that and people in Milwaukee and Chicago just dumbfounded Walker turned down money to fix that line to Chicago. When I was living in GB at the time my wife and I were excited to drive to our friend's home in Milwaukee to take a high speed line into Chicago for the day. After Walker cut that, my wife started to see the light with him. But that's ok, Wisconsin can set up tolls at every state line 4 lane highway to fix the upcoming DOT deficit he caused.
 
2014-05-05 10:54:58 AM

abb3w: A non-trivial point that seems worth considering.

So, what alternative, non-regressive revenue stream should be used to source paying for maintaining the US highway and bridge system?


The sneakiest way would be to assess massive fees and taxes on companies wanting a Motor Carrier (MC). That way places like UPS, FedEx and YRC would just mark-up the prices that end users have to pay. Politicians in Washington can then say that they are making those evil rich corporations pay for it and it's free for all the 'mericans.
 
2014-05-05 10:56:12 AM
Before you dip into my wallet yet another time, remind me how much "stimulus" money we flushed down the sewer for essential crap like bicycle paths, turtle crossings, and renovating closed train stations.
 
2014-05-05 10:56:23 AM

Headso: regressive taxation ftl!


Just because a tax isn't sticking it to the rich doesn't mean its not progressive.

Sticking it to the rich is our first principle but not our only principle.
 
2014-05-05 10:56:48 AM

BMFPitt: That would be very technically difficult to enforce.


Why? Every 2 years our cars are inspected (in CT) for emissions. Every year we'd pull into a service station, have the mileage checked. No biggie.
 
2014-05-05 10:58:16 AM

BMFPitt: kimwim: BMFPitt: Long term, we may have to replace the gas tax with tolls, because electric cars put just as much wear and treat on roads as gas guzzlers.

I wouldn't even mind a yearly tax on miles traveled with an electric car. Because use of the road should be paid by those actually using the roads, among others. It should also be paid for those who benefit by good roads. You know, those who benefit by being served by cops, firemen, ambulances, grocery trucks, etc.

So, everyone.

/pony up, everyone.

That would be very technically difficult to enforce.

Plus tolls mean if you drove a lot on federal highways, you pay for federal highways. If you drive a lot on state highways, you pay for state highways. The more accurate a user fee it is, the better.


A milage tax is easy.  Self report but whenever a vehicle is sold or scrapped the odo gets checked and any remaining tax is due.  Though it does have a problem if you are a consumant offroader but then again the tax load for the amount of miles driven shouldnt be more than a rounding error for hobbiests.
 
2014-05-05 11:03:18 AM

kimwim: BMFPitt: That would be very technically difficult to enforce.

Why? Every 2 years our cars are inspected (in CT) for emissions. Every year we'd pull into a service station, have the mileage checked. No biggie.


So you now want to have them collect a few hundred bucks on the spot? And have a database of all odometers? And in the 16 states with no periodic inspections?
 
2014-05-05 11:04:04 AM

ZAZ: The federal gas tax alone brings in much more than it costs to maintain all federal and state-administered highways. (FHWA highway statistics 2012 part 9.)

In my area cities don't want to fix a street unless the state pays for it, and the state doesn't want to fix a highway unless the federal government pays for it. So you end up with federal money going to dig up a two lane street connecting two minor business districts in a suburb.


Bullshiat.  If local municipalities don't use a certain percentage of their road-repair funding, they lose part of their federal funding for the next fiscal year.  For this reason, many cities and counties tend to wait till the years end to do their repairs so they will know exactly how much of their funding they have to use to continue receiving that sweet, sweet federal-loot.
 
2014-05-05 11:08:49 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: abb3w: A non-trivial point that seems worth considering.

So, what alternative, non-regressive revenue stream should be used to source paying for maintaining the US highway and bridge system?

The sneakiest way would be to assess massive fees and taxes on companies wanting a Motor Carrier (MC). That way places like UPS, FedEx and YRC would just mark-up the prices that end users have to pay. Politicians in Washington can then say that they are making those evil rich corporations pay for it and it's free for all the 'mericans.


I thought that was the point - that those using the services would be those that pay for them, rather than forcing a god-fearing off-grid patriot in Nevada to pony up tax money to fix potholes on the Capitol Beltway 2000 miles away.

Why shouldn't carriers and trucking concerns pay more to keep up the system of roads they drive tens of thousands of miles on every day (not to mention the value they glean from them) than I do, with my 100 miles of driving in a month if I have lots of errands?
 
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