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(CityLab)   The US highway trust fund is out of money. Enjoy your summer road trip   (citylab.com) divider line 180
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6295 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jul 2014 at 10:54 AM (15 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-04 01:12:46 PM  

FourDirections: Look, it was only a matter of time before Road Warrior became reality, this just bumped it forward by a few years. I recommend a very fast motorcycle, armbands that shoot tiny arrows, and assless chaps.


Waaaay ahead of ya.
 
2014-07-04 01:22:12 PM  
Mr. Coffee Nerves:

If the Interstate Highway System didn't exist and were proposed today the bill wouldn't make it out of a House Subcommittee.

Not true. The orginal rational for the interstate system was National Defense.. so today you couldn't get it out of the Senate.
 
2014-07-04 01:30:23 PM  

ski9600: The bastards just came through here with a bike lane project.  First they came and fixed up only the right 5 feet of the road, then they painted lines, and now it's done.

Now I get to drive on the shiatty side of the road that they didn't bother to fix while they were here working.


So, let me see if I understand. They came on a bike lane project, and they put a bike lane in. And the fact they didn't do something they weren't supposed to do is upsetting you?

Wow. That's a special kind of stupid right there.
 
2014-07-04 01:32:16 PM  

GORDON: THE US federal budget is twice as big as it was 10 years ago, and yet there's no money for roads.

Nope, nothing fishy here.


The federal govt also set a record this year for tax revenue, yet there are no dollars for roads.
 
2014-07-04 01:32:26 PM  

DrBenway: Mr. Right: Also, I drive a diesel because of the stuff I need to haul around for the farm. We pay 6 cents a gallon more in Highway Trust Fund taxes than gas users. My suggestion would be to let all you slackers catch up to diesel users who are paying our fair share.

Doesn't diesel afford more effeciency, mpg-wise? I would be interested to see how (miles driven/tax paid) works outs when comparing the two -- a fairer comparison, wouldn't you say?


Depending on what I'm doing, my diesel is about 50% more efficient than a gas engine doing the same thing.  So I'm not paying more in taxes with a diesel than with a gas engine, I'm just paying more per gallon.

However, my mileage isn't anywhere near what a small passenger car would be so I still pay more per mile than any of them.
 
2014-07-04 01:37:05 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: With true unemployment as high as it is and our infrastructure crumbling like it is, I have never understood why we never implemented an FDR like public works program.  Spur the economy at the consumer level and improve infrastructure at the same time.  Having the fed buy bonds in order to keep treasury yields artificially low isn't the only tool available to them, but its the easiest and apparently the only one they want to use.  I guess they have bigger concerns, like ensuring the conversion of the United States into Northern Mexico goes smoothly.


Because that worked so well when you look beyond the FDR/New Deal propaganda machine:

www.nazigassings.com
 
2014-07-04 01:39:01 PM  

Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.


I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter....
 
2014-07-04 01:43:57 PM  

johnny_vegas: BrassArt: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

Spoken like a true parents-basement dweller.

right, and when the sin tax causes people to change their habits the revenue from that tax goes away and there goes the infrastructure and transportation funding source.

/cunning plan


They've already lost money due to the increase in fuel efficient cars. Thus the need to raise the tax.

Highway funds should only be used for highway projects, but who could have thought that a federal govt office would expand its scope and spending? It's never happened before in our history.

If the tax needs to go up a few points, then so be it.
 
2014-07-04 01:51:48 PM  

chuggernaught: Taxes


Government does not have enough money!?!?!?!?



2.bp.blogspot.com


Total Government Revenue Fiscal Year 2014

Federal Direct Revenue $3.0 trillion
State Direct Revenue $1.6 trillion
Local Direct Reveue $1.1 trillion

Total Revenue $5.7 trillion


How will they ever get by?
 
2014-07-04 01:58:47 PM  

lizyrd: dwrash: The federal government serving as middle man for state highway projects (except for the interstate system) never made sense to me.  I wonder how much the feds skim off the top?

It's a bribery/strongarm thing. The Feds have no constitutional authority to mandate some things. "Want to keep your federal highway funding? Better make your speed limit 65/have primary seatbelt enforcement/adopt .08 as DUI/make the drinking age 21." It's the same deal as education: "Well, we can't FORCE you to meet the NCLB standards, but it'd be a shame if anything happened to all that federal money..."

I'm a federalist through-and-through, but the current system has allowed the US government to usurp the rights of states through financial coercion. Its ability to tax and dole the money back to the states with caveats attached is an end-run around the constitution.


the states have no rights vs. the federal government as per the supremacy clause.
 
2014-07-04 02:02:17 PM  

Mr. Right: We could authorize the Keystone Pipeline.  That wold create lots of jobs, reduce our dependance of foreign energy, make Canada happy (we ought to be nice to any country that's trying to be nice to us), fractionally lower the cost of energy which would be a real bonus to middle and lower income folks.  Who could then afford to buy more gas.  Which would put more money into the Highway Trust Fund.


It would make the price of gasoline go up in the US as the US imports the majority  of its oil from Canada. So instead of selling it to the US, the US would be helping Canada sell it to China, reducing supply to the US and increasing cost. So it benefits Canada and China, but screws the US.
 
2014-07-04 02:14:29 PM  

FourDirections: Look, it was only a matter of time before Road Warrior became reality, this just bumped it forward by a few years. I recommend a very fast motorcycle, armbands that shoot tiny arrows, and assless chaps.


Which brings me to my next point.  What is it with dystopian futures and assless chaps?  Is there some tactical, survival benefit to wearing tight fitting leather everywhere but one's ass, or is it merely a statement that people would flock to assless chaps if only society had not crumbled?  And if THAT is the case, the case being that assless chaps is an inherent, inflexible human desire corralled only by conformity to social expectation, why do we not just agree that we all would be happier if we just wore assless chaps and be done with such Victorian thinking?

Or... is that the message?  The true cause of the fall of society is some sort of Assless Chaps Event Horizon?
 
2014-07-04 02:16:09 PM  

hasty ambush: chuggernaught: Taxes

Government does not have enough money!?!?!?!?




Total Government Revenue Fiscal Year 2014

Federal Direct Revenue $3.0 trillion
State Direct Revenue $1.6 trillion
Local Direct Reveue $1.1 trillion

Total Revenue $5.7 trillion

How will they ever get by?


The worse thing is that we still manage to spend all of that every year and then borrow more.
 
2014-07-04 02:17:02 PM  

Mister Peejay: FourDirections: Look, it was only a matter of time before Road Warrior became reality, this just bumped it forward by a few years. I recommend a very fast motorcycle, armbands that shoot tiny arrows, and assless chaps.

Which brings me to my next point.  What is it with dystopian futures and assless chaps?  Is there some tactical, survival benefit to wearing tight fitting leather everywhere but one's ass, or is it merely a statement that people would flock to assless chaps if only society had not crumbled?  And if THAT is the case, the case being that assless chaps is an inherent, inflexible human desire corralled only by conformity to social expectation, why do we not just agree that we all would be happier if we just wore assless chaps and be done with such Victorian thinking?

Or... is that the message?  The true cause of the fall of society is some sort of Assless Chaps Event Horizon?


Dunno...maybe the message is that people in the dystopian futures have so little money, they can't even afford pants with seats.
 
2014-07-04 02:27:55 PM  
So ... how much money are just giving to foreign nations? I know we give about two billion to Israel yearly.
 
2014-07-04 02:37:51 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves:

If the Interstate Highway System didn't exist and were proposed today the bill wouldn't make it out of a House Subcommittee.

That's because the national defense sales angle would fail with today's technology.

vernonFL: Get ready, USA, your infrastructure will soon be of the same quality as developing Caribbean nations,


For the same reason, governments full of thieving sociopaths.

Demonrats: How many more $800,000,000,000 shovel ready stimulus packages do we need to fix our roads? Maybe if more than 10% of it actually went to infrastructure there would be more money for roads.


Wall street and the bankers are more important. That way trillions (including QE etc)  are squandered and we have nothing to show for it. Same with war.

--------------------

All that aside, the problem is that over the last couple-three decades government (and its cronies) has made driving more and more difficult and expensive. The result has been a decrease in miles driven. Add to that the wealth transfer from the public to the 0.01% plus monetary inflation (QE and other forms of increasing the money supply which is a mechanism of transferring wealth to the 0.01%) and gasoline tax revenues fall in real terms considerably. Now throw in the CAFE increases...

Basically government has been doing everything it can to lower gasoline tax revenues.... this is the result.

But it has a solution. Tax by mile. Keep track of everywhere you go by car and tax you for it. Except that won't solve the primary problem, people aren't driving.
people.hofstra.edu
 
2014-07-04 02:38:09 PM  

hasty ambush: Pumpernickel bread: With true unemployment as high as it is and our infrastructure crumbling like it is, I have never understood why we never implemented an FDR like public works program.  Spur the economy at the consumer level and improve infrastructure at the same time.  Having the fed buy bonds in order to keep treasury yields artificially low isn't the only tool available to them, but its the easiest and apparently the only one they want to use.  I guess they have bigger concerns, like ensuring the conversion of the United States into Northern Mexico goes smoothly.

Because that worked so well when you look beyond the FDR/New Deal propaganda machine:

[www.nazigassings.com image 600x739]


That graph isn't making the point you think it's making.

/Hint: The New Deal was winding down in 1937
 
2014-07-04 02:39:57 PM  

generallyso: Quick, let's piss away a couple trillion dollars blowing up a random nation on the other side of the planet!


to be fair, they do look different than us.
 
2014-07-04 02:40:48 PM  

Mr. Right: We could authorize the Keystone Pipeline.  That wold create lots of jobs, reduce our dependance of foreign energy, make Canada happy (we ought to be nice to any country that's trying to be nice to us), fractionally lower the cost of energy which would be a real bonus to middle and lower income folks. Who could then afford to buy more gas.  Which would put more money into the Highway Trust Fund.


Build a pipeline that's going to refineries in a Foreign Trade Zone in Texas that could then reroute this oil that already comes to the Midwest at a low price to tankers to sell it overseas at a higher price would lower gas prices and help lower and middle income folks out?

img.4plebs.org
 
2014-07-04 02:41:59 PM  

12349876: Demonrats: How many more $800,000,000,000 shovel ready stimulus packages do we need to fix our roads? Maybe if more than 10% of it actually went to infrastructure there would be more money for roads.

[economyleague.org image 350x242]


So Conservative are admitting that tax cuts aren't always the answer?
 
2014-07-04 02:59:43 PM  
100 percent of DoHS personnel, facilities, pensions, health plans, and grant programs are necessary, so don't even think about disbanding that $61B organization to pay for something we actually need.
 
2014-07-04 03:01:39 PM  

Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):
[img.fark.net image 525x387]


I am SO sick of this.

There are no people who pay no federal income tax and who have any income.  Your map is dead wrong.
 
2014-07-04 03:07:14 PM  

DarkVader: Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):
[img.fark.net image 525x387]

I am SO sick of this.

There are no people who pay no federal income tax and who have any income.  Your map is dead wrong.


Do tell us how that isn't correct. Because there are large swaths of Americans who, after deductions pay <$0 in Federal Income Taxes.
 
2014-07-04 03:13:23 PM  

RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.


Welcome to my favorites.
 
2014-07-04 03:18:38 PM  

RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.


I agree with repair and improvement.

Anecdotal example. There is a large intersection I pass through on my way to work. Road is in good to moderate great shape. There is large signs going up and stupid construction for "lane improvements" right now on this road for the next X number of days. Meanwhile, parallel to the same streets, there are people who live on them literally pooling their money and getting bootstrappy and fixing 3'x5'x1' deep potholes in the road the city says "aren't a priority.
 
2014-07-04 03:23:03 PM  

GORDON: THE US federal budget is twice as big as it was 10 years ago, and yet there's no money for roads.

Nope, nothing fishy here.


The needs of the people this nation's government serves might be larger than they were ten years ago. Things also cost more than they did ten years ago, as well as two wars that were off the books, and the cost for the aftermath of those wars.
You actually think the world and the nation stays static for ten years?
 
2014-07-04 03:33:39 PM  

alternaloser: the states have no rights vs. the federal government as per the supremacy clause.


Bzzzt.  Wrong answer.

The supremacy clause only makes federal law supersede state law when the two conflict. The Tenth Amendment is fairly clear that the federal government only has the powers enumerated in the Constitution, and that the states have all other power not specifically prohibited by the Constitution. The federal government is not granted the power to, say, determine the legal drinking age. Nor are the states prohibited from such a determination.  It's purely a states' issue.  The supremacy clause does not apply.  It's exactly why there is no national seatbelt law, or national drinking age, or national BAC limit, despite the feds' obvious interest in regulating these issues.  However, the feds have gotten 98% compliance on the seatbelt thing and, as far as I know, 100% compliance on the drinking age through bribery.

Federal highway dollars (and other federal disbursements) are used to goad the states into doing the federal government's bidding.  Lose a percentage here for drinking age under 21, a percentage there for primary seatbelt stops, a little more for having DUI set at .10 instead of .08...and you're suddenly talking real money.  It doesn't matter that it should be a state issue, or that the state voters may not want it, or that state lawmakers may not want it.  The states can't afford to lose billions in federal money, because it isn't like a state's residents will get a lower federal tax rate just because the state is ineligible for highway funding.
 
2014-07-04 03:38:22 PM  

Mr. Right: hasty ambush: Cache: Tax cuts will solve this problem.  Any fool knows that.

Or maybe just stop diverting highway funds to non-highway projects?

For example your "Highway"trust fund dollars at work:

 $28 million to establish 55 transportation museums

$2 billion+ on 5,547 projects for bike paths and pedestrian walkways and facilities

$84 million for 398 projects for safety and education of pedestrians and bicyclists

$224 million for 366 projects to rehabilitate and operate historic transportation buildings, structures, and facilities

 $13 million on 50 projects for youth conservation service

 $19 million for 25 projects to control and remove outdoor advertising;


From 1992-2010, $4.89 billion went to pedestrian and bicycle facilities, according to the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse.

Another $1.26 billion was used for landscaping and scenic beautification.

 Mass transit projects are allocated 2.86 cents of the 18.4 cent federal fuel tax, a diversion of about 16 percent of the tax from highway users.

a $140,000 federal grant was used to build a scenic park in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.
In 2010, $198,000 went to a driving simulator installed in the National Corvette Museum.

Would you be so daft as to suggest that first driving down revenues by increasing CAFE standards and mandating electric and hybrid vehicles and then mis-allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to projects that neither build nor repair roads and bridges might possibly cause a shortfall in the funds?  How could that be?

Also, I drive a diesel because of the stuff I need to haul around for the farm.  We pay 6 cents a gallon more in Highway Trust Fund taxes than gas users.  My suggestion would be to let all you slackers catch up to diesel users who are paying our fair share.

If bicyclists want bike paths, let them pay taxes.  Lord knows they should be able to afford it, seeing as how they contribute to neither the HTF or any state and local sales taxes.  They need to start paying their fair share.


Your ignorance is very common among those who are as stupid as you sound.

Either that or you are trolling.
 
2014-07-04 03:39:08 PM  

Private_Citizen: BTW: Here's the list of top ten states who take the most, but pay the least:

[img.fark.net image 417x240]
Interesting that 8 out of 10 of those are Red states....


Of that Federal spending how much is that for public lands, defense spending, and other non-public assistance based money?

/skewed propaganda is skewed
 
2014-07-04 03:45:41 PM  
You know that gridlock thing where republicans and democrats can't get anything done that benefits citizens, yet manage to agree almost entirely on rubber stamping security items without any oversight? Just guessing, but I'll bet something didn't make it out of committee on this.
 
2014-07-04 03:47:39 PM  

lizyrd: alternaloser: the states have no rights vs. the federal government as per the supremacy clause.

Bzzzt.  Wrong answer.

The supremacy clause only makes federal law supersede state law when the two conflict. The Tenth Amendment is fairly clear that the federal government only has the powers enumerated in the Constitution, and that the states have all other power not specifically prohibited by the Constitution. The federal government is not granted the power to, say, determine the legal drinking age. Nor are the states prohibited from such a determination.  It's purely a states' issue.  The supremacy clause does not apply.  It's exactly why there is no national seatbelt law, or national drinking age, or national BAC limit, despite the feds' obvious interest in regulating these issues.  However, the feds have gotten 98% compliance on the seatbelt thing and, as far as I know, 100% compliance on the drinking age through bribery.

Federal highway dollars (and other federal disbursements) are used to goad the states into doing the federal government's bidding.  Lose a percentage here for drinking age under 21, a percentage there for primary seatbelt stops, a little more for having DUI set at .10 instead of .08...and you're suddenly talking real money.  It doesn't matter that it should be a state issue, or that the state voters may not want it, or that state lawmakers may not want it.  The states can't afford to lose billions in federal money, because it isn't like a state's residents will get a lower federal tax rate just because the state is ineligible for highway funding.


You're wrong:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause
 
2014-07-04 03:50:27 PM  
Has anyone thought of shifting the lane lines over 1.5', halfway through the expected road surface life?
I don't know why this hasn't been a standard practice.
 
2014-07-04 03:51:52 PM  

hasty ambush: How will they ever get by?


And this is why we can't have nice things.
Guess what? Sh*t costs money. You want sh*t. you have to pay for it. Taxes are the dues you pay to live in a first world nation.
 
2014-07-04 04:00:16 PM  

jayphat: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

I agree with repair and improvement.

Anecdotal example. There is a large intersection I pass through on my way to work. Road is in good to moderate great shape. There is large signs going up and stupid construction for "lane improvements" right now on this road for the next X number of days. Meanwhile, parallel to the same streets, there are people who live on them literally pooling their money and getting bootstrappy and fixing 3'x5'x1' deep potholes in the road the city says "aren't a priority.


So, you want a mileage tax? Don't go for it.
The gas tax money is supposed to be used for the highways, dangit.
 
2014-07-04 04:08:16 PM  

rooftop235: jayphat: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

I agree with repair and improvement.

Anecdotal example. There is a large intersection I pass through on my way to work. Road is in good to moderate great shape. There is large signs going up and stupid construction for "lane improvements" right now on this road for the next X number of days. Meanwhile, parallel to the same streets, there are people who live on them literally pooling their money and getting bootstrappy and fixing 3'x5'x1' deep potholes in the road the city says "aren't a priority.

So, you want a mileage tax? Don't go for it.
The gas tax money is supposed to be used for the highways, dangit.


There are state and federal taxes on gas. Sometimes local as well. When they spend the local on stupid shiat like that, my blood boils.
 
2014-07-04 04:18:15 PM  
When I started driving, gasoline taxes were something like 35-40% including state and federal.

Now, it's less than 10%.

Why not just tax per-dollar instead of per-gallon?
 
2014-07-04 04:51:22 PM  

ncsu_wolfpack: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

It doesn't matter how they tax, if they charge by miles and weight, everything you buy (that travels on trucks... So, everything) will get more expensive and you'll pay for it that way.

They won't look to go to rail or whatever until after price of goods have gone up, and they want to increase margins.


Yes. It will either cost less now or cost more when we're desperate later.
 
2014-07-04 04:54:05 PM  

mrmopar5287: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight.

Motor fuel taxes on a per gallon are already dependent on mileage traveled and vehicle weight.  The more miles you travel the more fuel you use, thus you pay more taxes.  The heavier your vehicle is the more fuel you use, thus you pay more taxes.  And all the really big vehicles are diesel fueled which is taxed at a higher rate, thus you pay more taxes.


This used to be true. With better aerodymanics, regenerative breaking, pure EVs, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and major fleets running on CNG and LNG, the gasoline tax is being evaded with those vehicles still doing damage to the roads via normal use.

AS MPG goes up and alternative fuel adoption increases, tax revenue decreases per mile traveled.
 
2014-07-04 04:58:30 PM  

abhorrent1: Maybe spend the money on fixing the roads rather than lining your cronies pockets. Then it may not be a problem.  Ever think of that?


Roads don't get me reelected. Sound bites that tell the voters what a horrible person my opponent is do.
 
2014-07-04 04:59:21 PM  

gingerjet: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Exactly how do you plan on enforcing that?


State DMVs will asses these new fees as part of vehicle registration, payable yearly for every vehicle you want to drive on the road. The fee will be based on year, make, and model of the vehicle to arrive at the default weight. Your mileage will be self-reported (just like on your automobile insurance) and only really checked by optional an black box (offered by your insurance to prove your good driving and thus receive a lower insurance rate) or by a police officer when/if ever you are pulled over.
 
2014-07-04 05:01:50 PM  

BrassArt: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

Spoken like a true parents-basement dweller.


Got no parents, never been in a basement. Transportation demand management is actually my professional field. It's my job day-in, day-out to influence what modes of transportation people use to commute to work, to run errands, and to recreate.
 
2014-07-04 05:04:22 PM  

johnny_vegas: BrassArt: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

Spoken like a true parents-basement dweller.

right, and when the sin tax causes people to change their habits the revenue from that tax goes away and there goes the infrastructure and transportation funding source.

/cunning plan


No important concept only has one funding source. Cigarette taxes, if they were ever able to eliminate smoking, do not fully fund federally-allocated cancer research grants. When/if the people stop using gasoline, there will have been sufficient demand leading up to the "big quit" that will have required other funding.
 
2014-07-04 05:07:18 PM  

jaybeezey: johnny_vegas: BrassArt: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

Spoken like a true parents-basement dweller.

right, and when the sin tax causes people to change their habits the revenue from that tax goes away and there goes the infrastructure and transportation funding source.

/cunning plan

They've already lost money due to the increase in fuel efficient cars. Thus the need to raise the tax.

Highway funds should only be used for highway projects, but who could have thought that a federal govt office would expand its scope and spending? It's never happened before in our history.

If the tax needs to go up a few points, then so be it.


It would actually need to increase exponentially as MPG increase and people actually stop using gasoline (moving to EVs, CNG/LNG for fleets, Hydrogen Fuel Cells in 20 years time, etc.). The only real, long-term solution is to change the way the trust fund is funded (such as my plan).
 
2014-07-04 05:08:09 PM  

TwowheelinTim: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

Welcome to my favorites.


Will there be pie? Pie would be nice.
 
2014-07-04 05:18:20 PM  

rooftop235: jayphat: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

I agree with repair and improvement.

Anecdotal example. There is a large intersection I pass through on my way to work. Road is in good to moderate great shape. There is large signs going up and stupid construction for "lane improvements" right now on this road for the next X number of days. Meanwhile, parallel to the same streets, there are people who live on them literally pooling their money and getting bootstrappy and fixing 3'x5'x1' deep potholes in the road the city says "aren't a priority.

So, you want a mileage tax? Don't go for it.
The gas tax money is supposed to be used for the highways, dangit.


And gas taxes would continue to be if MPG and fuel choice stayed constant. If they did, then you would only need to change the fuel tax per CPI or in reaction to major projects.

Think about it. You own a Dodge Ram. You get 14mpg with your 26 gallon tank and to fill up right now in California, you're paying and pay $107. $18.50 of that tank fill is going to gas taxes. You're going to get 364 miles out of your $107 fill up if you drive conservatively.

On the other hand, your neighbor bought a Nissan Leaf. She recharges her vehicle at night for a cost of $3.36 to get up to 85 miles on that charge. She will drive more miles per dollar than you, on the same roads, damage the roads with her 1.25 ton vehicle and not pay any gas taxes.

What would you suggest to be the most equitable action?
 
2014-07-04 05:19:04 PM  

TwowheelinTim: Your ignorance is very common among those who are as stupid as you sound.


Gee, I look at your moniker, check your profile and I'll be damned!  A bicyclist from California.

Would you care to point out where I'm wrong?  The highway fund does designate 10% of federal funds going to states for bike paths, and the HTF gets its funding from fuel taxes.  Bikers are paying no fuel taxes with their bikes.  If they're paying fuel taxes for a vehicle, fine but that vehicle is tearing up the roads commensurate with the taxes they're paying.  When you're not buying fuel for that bicycle, you're not paying any of the state or local fuel taxes or sales taxes on that fuel.  In our state, there is no registration fee for bikes.  If you have one in California, that wouldn't surprise me but in our state, bicyclists pay no registration fees.

In cities, we have bike lanes on some streets.  There are no fees which cyclists pay to maintain those streets.  Out in rural areas, we have bike paths.  Those are paid for by federal highway funds, state highway funds, and donations from philanthropists.  No cycling fees that are equivalent to the fuel taxes.

I'm happy that you enjoy riding your bike.  I don't mind cyclists on the road.  I don't mind sharing the road with cyclists except for those jackasses that travel in packs and clog an entire lane of a county road going 20 mph where the speed limit is 55.  But if the highway trust fund is running out of money, one can look at the fact that fuel usage per mile driven is down, thus revenues per mile of usage on the roads is down.  And when a fund that was designed to build and maintain roads is tapped for all of the projects hasty ambush listed, among them bike paths, that have nothing to do with building or maintaining roads and which related activities do not require the purchase of fuel, the taxes on which pay for the fund; we may have discovered why the fund is running low.  You only need to tip the balance between revenues and expenditures a few points to create a major problem.

But if it makes you feel better to think I'm ignorant, you go right ahead.
 
2014-07-04 05:22:44 PM  

RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.


You are an ass. The per gallon tax is supposed to pay for road infrastructure. If you want to go to odometer reading, fine! Either way you are paying for use. The people who would bitxh the most about odometer tax are the ones who buy the hybrids. The "heavy users" already pay additional taxes. Have you ever seen an IMCA sticker on commercial vehicles???

Want to tax odometers? Fine. I drive less than 10k miles a year.

Want to tax gallons used? Good. The majority of my miles are on a motorcycle.


Taxing both is asinine.
 
2014-07-04 05:28:20 PM  

Mr. Right: TwowheelinTim: Your ignorance is very common among those who are as stupid as you sound.

Gee, I look at your moniker, check your profile and I'll be damned!  A bicyclist from California.

Would you care to point out where I'm wrong?  The highway fund does designate 10% of federal funds going to states for bike paths, and the HTF gets its funding from fuel taxes.  Bikers are paying no fuel taxes with their bikes.  If they're paying fuel taxes for a vehicle, fine but that vehicle is tearing up the roads commensurate with the taxes they're paying.  When you're not buying fuel for that bicycle, you're not paying any of the state or local fuel taxes or sales taxes on that fuel.  In our state, there is no registration fee for bikes.  If you have one in California, that wouldn't surprise me but in our state, bicyclists pay no registration fees.

In cities, we have bike lanes on some streets.  There are no fees which cyclists pay to maintain those streets.  Out in rural areas, we have bike paths.  Those are paid for by federal highway funds, state highway funds, and donations from philanthropists.  No cycling fees that are equivalent to the fuel taxes.

I'm happy that you enjoy riding your bike.  I don't mind cyclists on the road.  I don't mind sharing the road with cyclists except for those jackasses that travel in packs and clog an entire lane of a county road going 20 mph where the speed limit is 55.  But if the highway trust fund is running out of money, one can look at the fact that fuel usage per mile driven is down, thus revenues per mile of usage on the roads is down.  And when a fund that was designed to build and maintain roads is tapped for all of the projects hasty ambush listed, among them bike paths, that have nothing to do with building or maintaining roads and which related activities do not require the purchase of fuel, the taxes on which pay for the fund; we may have discovered why the fund is running low.  You only need to tip the balance between revenue ...



1. Most bicyclists are automobile owners and gas buyers as well. Thus, they pay gas taxes.

2. The Highway Trust Fund SHOULD be getting its money from fuel taxes. Currently, it gets about half its money from fuel taxes. The rest comes from income taxes. Thus, even cyclists who don't buy gasoline pay into the system... much more than they get out of it in fact.

3. Bicycles do immeasurably small damage to the roads that are built for automobiles. But if you want to use my plan based on mileage and bicycle mass, I'm fairly certain most cyclists would jump at the opportunity to pay $.0004/year to get angry motorists to quit saying, "You don't pay a road tax. Get off the road!"

4. While bicycles are afforded the same rights and responsibilities of motor vehicles drivers in most states (including occupying the center of the lane when the right hand edge of the road is hazardous or the lane is too narrow to safely share side-by-side with a motor vehicle), all states have laws that preclude them from freeways unless there is no detour available. (Fun fact-- CalTrans facilitates bicycle transportation on Interstate 5 between Camp Pendleton and Oceanside when the marine base closes for ops or training.)
 
2014-07-04 05:33:02 PM  

kendelrio: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

You are an ass. The per gallon tax is supposed to pay for road infrastructure. If you want to go to odometer reading, fine! Either way you are paying for use. The people who would bitxh the most about odometer tax are the ones who buy the hybrids. The "heavy users" already pay additional taxes. Have you ever seen an IMCA sticker on commercial vehicles???

Want to tax odometers? Fine. I drive less than 10k miles a year.

Want to tax gallons used? Good. The majority of my miles are on a motorcycle.


Taxing both is asinine.


Don't get me wrong. I don't want to pay any of it. If I could pay for my public services a la cart, I'd be all over it. But I understand that we're all part of the same joint-funded public infrastructural system and if we want the system to be sufficiently kept to ensure our preferred levels of safety, comfort, and convenience, we have to pay for. This method would be the most equitable method of doing so.

It would be up to the states and feds to decide how much to charge per pound or ton and per mile and then how to adjust the gas tax appropriately to reflect the shift in taxing method, but either way, you would be paying more.
 
2014-07-04 05:44:10 PM  

RareChimer: kendelrio: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

You are an ass. The per gallon tax is supposed to pay for road infrastructure. If you want to go to odometer reading, fine! Either way you are paying for use. The people who would bitxh the most about odometer tax are the ones who buy the hybrids. The "heavy users" already pay additional taxes. Have you ever seen an IMCA sticker on commercial vehicles???

Want to tax odometers? Fine. I drive less than 10k miles a year.

Want to tax gallons used? Good. The majority of my miles are on a motorcycle.


Taxing both is asinine.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to pay any of it. If I could pay for my public services a la cart, I'd be all over it. But I understand that we're all part of the same joint-funded public infrastructural system and if we want the system to be sufficiently kept to ensure our preferred levels of safety, comfort, and convenience, we have to pay for. This method would be the most equitable method of doing so.

It would be up to the states and feds to decide how much to charge per pound or ton and per mile and then how to adjust the gas tax appropriately to reflect the shift in taxing method, but either way, you would be paying more.


So riddle me this: my motorcycle weighs less than 1/4 of what my truck does, uses only one lane and is less damaging in the roads. Do I pay the same tax on both?
 
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