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Old 12-18-13, 10:36 AM   #1
squirtdad
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Does anyone have numbers on how roads are financed?

Hi,

I am looking if any one has number on how roads are financed, we all know is is not just gas and registration and varies by federal, state, county and city.

Number for california would be great

I will continue my on line search

thanks
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Old 12-18-13, 11:13 AM   #2
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It varies state by state a bit, and the numbers for CA are very hard to find as everything actually goes into a big pool and then monies are allocated from that, in spite of the fact that there were laws many years ago to earmark funds for various reasons.

Someone had a thread a few weeks ago with a big graphic on it...

Here is something from Portland... http://bikeportland.org/2013/11/12/d...-why-not-96950
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Old 12-18-13, 11:17 AM   #3
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Genec is right. Money is fungible so you can't base it on allocated or so-called trust funds.

Look to the aggregates, ie. total spent on road maintenance and construction. Then look at the specific revenues from the specific taxes, ie. gas tax, registration (barely pays for operating the DMV in NYS). Add that up, subtract from spending, and the rest is from general revenues.
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Old 12-18-13, 11:44 AM   #4
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Is there a CA state advocacy group who might have those figures at their fingertips...?
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Old 12-18-13, 06:26 PM   #5
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Road costs include more than repair and maintenance and the original building of the road. The California Highway Patrol, for example, wouldn't exist if there were no highways - so their budget should be considered as part of the roads' costs. Much of the Fire Departments' budgets also goes toward responding to crashes so at least part of that should be included as well. I'm all for public roads being built and maintained with public money - everyone benefits from roads after all. Even people who never leave home have things delivered. But public roads, like other public accommodations, belong to the public - and each member of the public has the same right to use public accommodations. The amount people pay in taxes is not relevant to exercise of this right.
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Old 12-18-13, 08:07 PM   #6
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......Even people who never leave home have things delivered. But public roads, like other public accommodations, belong to the public - and each member of the public has the same right to use public accommodations. The amount people pay in taxes is not relevant to exercise of this right.
+1, I agree 100%. Possibly the OP is looking for evidence to support the fact that the bulk of road related expenses come from general revenues, so as to defuse the meaningless "bicycles don't for the roads" argument.
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Old 12-19-13, 12:04 PM   #7
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Road costs include more than repair and maintenance and the original building of the road. The California Highway Patrol, for example, wouldn't exist if there were no highways - so their budget should be considered as part of the roads' costs. Much of the Fire Departments' budgets also goes toward responding to crashes so at least part of that should be included as well. I'm all for public roads being built and maintained with public money - everyone benefits from roads after all. Even people who never leave home have things delivered. But public roads, like other public accommodations, belong to the public - and each member of the public has the same right to use public accommodations. The amount people pay in taxes is not relevant to exercise of this right.
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+1, I agree 100%. Possibly the OP is looking for evidence to support the fact that the bulk of road related expenses come from general revenues, so as to defuse the meaningless "bicycles don't for the roads" argument.
OP here....there is a current discussion in a local newspaper column about how to fund road repairs. Lots of discussion about paying per mile of usage and increased dmv fees, which to my mind miss a big point..... lot's of funding is not from vehicle specific sources (gas tax, dmv fees, options paying per miles used)

I was surprised not to be able to find anything in even a sort of generic detail with a fair number of searches.

I was also wanting to head off the "bike don't pay taxes, so they don't belong" crowd.
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Old 12-19-13, 12:55 PM   #8
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OP here....there is a current discussion in a local newspaper column about how to fund road repairs.
.
IMO trust funds or schemes that link revenue and spending are simply a political scam. I'm not arguing for or against various "use" taxes if that makes sense, just the linkage.

Money is fungible, so the so-called earmarked monies simply replace monies from other funds. Think about how much money the treasury is holding in the Social Security or highway trust funds. In New York the lottery was proposed and passed as funding for education. Is there any additional funding? Of course not, just less coming from the general fund.

Taxation is about allocating the cost of government fairly. Spending is about providing necessary government services. Like East and West, never the twain shall meet.
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Old 12-19-13, 04:20 PM   #9
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In illinois highways are only paid for by gas taxes and vehicle registrations. Municipaliies may use general revenue funds but state, county and townships are all funded with gas taxes and vehicle registrations. Remeber that there are state gas taxes and Federal gas taxes.
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Old 12-19-13, 05:20 PM   #10
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Here's a link that claims to show how much of gas taxes contribute to highway maintenance. This source generally has an agenda, so you should be careful and read the fine print and double check their assumptions. The data is broken down by state.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/gas...-road-spending
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Old 12-19-13, 05:27 PM   #11
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Here's a link that claims to show how much of gas taxes contribute to highway maintenance. This source generally has an agenda, so you should be careful and read the fine print and double check their assumptions. The data is broken down by state.
Thank you, that's a help. Even allowing for statistical bias it debunks the myth that roads are paid for through use taxes.

It's interesting that NY ranks high on the use fee scale. I'm curious about how toll revenue was calculated. NYC and Port Authority tolls are an anomaly in that tolls are collected from road users and used to fund non road projects. So users of those bridges and tunnels are actually paying in excess of their "fair share" (so-called fair share).
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Old 12-19-13, 05:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kidd546 View Post
In illinois highways are only paid for by gas taxes and vehicle registrations. Municipaliies may use general revenue funds but state, county and townships are all funded with gas taxes and vehicle registrations. Remeber that there are state gas taxes and Federal gas taxes.
I honestly doubt that... I suspect Federal general funds also apply to IL highways. I suspect property taxes go to fund local roadways as is the case in most places.
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Old 12-20-13, 10:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by SBinNYC View Post
Here's a link that claims to show how much of gas taxes contribute to highway maintenance. This source generally has an agenda, so you should be careful and read the fine print and double check their assumptions. The data is broken down by state.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/gas...-road-spending
Thanks for the link. They also have this table including federal funding:

http://taxfoundation.org/blog/road-s...s-tax-revenues
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Old 12-20-13, 11:04 AM   #14
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One very important part of the conversation needs to be the percentage of road spending that goes to the construction and maintenance of freeways and to the maintenance and repair of all roads and streets in general.

If I'm riding my bicycle down the middle of the lane, I am "using" that road as much as any motorist until you consider two very important factors. First of all, I might be taking up the entire lane, but my bicycle is causing practically zero wear and tear on that road. Second, running alongside the road upon which I am riding is a freeway that I am legally prohibited from using.

Even if the percentage of road spending that is covered by user fees is very high, you need to account for the amount of that spending that us used to pay for roads cyclists do not use and damage they do not cause.
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