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Old 01-11-2013, 01:09 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
The gas tax is certainly easier, but a mileage tax has the potential to be more efficient. As a general rule though, I think road maintenance should be paid for primarily by those who use the roads most. We should stop subsidizing the long commutes of some with the income tax of people who live near work.

They don't say this explicitly, but it would be a good idea to have a mileage tax with the rate of taxation based on vehicle mass. Why? Because it's generally accepted that wear on roads goes with the 4th power of vehicle mass[1]. So a 6,000lb SUV wears out the roads 16 times faster than a 3,000lb sedan. Since said SUV gets much better than 1/16th the fuel economy of the sedan, gasoline taxes cause sedan drivers to pay for road repairs which should be attributed to SUV drivers. In that way, a mileage tax could be more efficient. Of course we currently have the infrastructure to collect gas taxes, but not mileage taxes, at least not everywhere. Minnesota (as an example) doesn't have state vehicle inspections.

[1] AASHO Road Test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not just commuters, but you punish people that live out in rural areas. Roads which see far less traffic and require less repair and maintenance over a greater span of time.

Commuters almost always have small cars, or at least fuel efficient vehicles. We wear the roads less, but get taxed more even though we typically travel most of our miles on highways which are designed and built up to widstand higher traffic loads and speeds. They utilize thicker pavemnt layers, harder subsoils, and macadam/cement properties.

Gas tax would be easier with zero extra administration (government is already too big). It would also punish people with larger vehicles more than people with smaller vehicles. For urban dwellers, even though they get worse mileage in the city, aside from hybrid cars, they travel far less miles in a given day. When i lived in the city, a tank of fuel would last me a full week, i would fill up on weekends. Now i fill up about 3 times a week.

Bottomline is roads used to be heavily subsidized by state, federal and local tax dollars which was bolstered by gas taxes and toll fees. Now that the government is low on money with higher unemployment, bigger government, more social programs and such. They are cutting those dollars for roads in order to pay for other programs as well as their rediculous pention. So now the money for roads has to come from somewhere. It's not enough that 34% of my yearly income goes to some kind of tax, but people want more free handouts even though the country can't afford it.
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Last edited by gggplaya; 01-11-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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