Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

The Myth of Road Tax

Old 06-01-12, 06:17 PM
  #1  
WPeabody 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
WPeabody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Monterey Bay area, California
Posts: 523

Bikes: Terratrike Tour, recumbent tadpole tricycle.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Myth of Road Tax

This subject has been brought up many times before, but recently I've heard people carry on about paying road tax so motor vehicles have priority on public roads. This is an interesting paper in PDF form that explains how roads are paid for, how gas tax is not a "user fee", and how highways nowadays are highly subsidized, more than ever, by general taxation.

"In short, highways have never fully “paid for themselves” through gasoline taxes and other user fees, are doing so less than ever today, and there is good reason to believe that they will be unable to do so in the future, at least in the absence of a dramatic increase in user fees that will make alternative modes of travel even more attractive than they are today."

It is a lot of reading, but it made more sense for me to see how transportation funding works.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/27f4j2e
__________________
What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.
WPeabody is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 08:52 AM
  #2  
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 26,292

Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6353 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by WP*****y View Post
This subject has been brought up many times before, but recently I've heard people carry on about paying road tax so motor vehicles have priority on public roads. This is an interesting paper in PDF form that explains how roads are paid for, how gas tax is not a "user fee", and how highways nowadays are highly subsidized, more than ever, by general taxation.

"In short, highways have never fully “paid for themselves” through gasoline taxes and other user fees, are doing so less than ever today, and there is good reason to believe that they will be unable to do so in the future, at least in the absence of a dramatic increase in user fees that will make alternative modes of travel even more attractive than they are today."

It is a lot of reading, but it made more sense for me to see how transportation funding works.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/27f4j2e
Now if there were only a way to get motorists to read and understand this... if this were taught in a school class as part of a larger "responsibilities and ethics" of road use class, perhaps we would not have some of the issues we have today.

But otherwise it is our little secret that some motorists will refuse to believe.
genec is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 09:03 AM
  #3  
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 26,292

Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6353 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 44 Posts
This bit right here hits the nail on the head about the myths spread by some organizations regarding road use.

“By any measure, highways are
one of the most successful government programs in America. They
are heavily used for very valuable
purposes and they pretty much
pay for themselves.”
38
– American Dream Coalition
“Because most of the costs of
highways are paid out of gas taxes,
subsidies to driving are very low
and mainly by local governments
for local roads.”
39
– Randal O’Toole,
Cato Institute
“[H]ighways and aviation … are
essentially self-supporting. You’re
talking about using general tax
revenue to create a new mode
(high-speed rail) to compete with
user-fee-supported modes whose
infrastructure is 100 percent paid
for by user fees.”
– Robert Poole,
Reason Institute, on proposed
federal high-speed rail
investments
40
The notion that highways “pay for
themselves” through gas taxes and vehicle
charges is a key part of the transportation
funding mythology crafted by highway
advocates. Most intellectually honest advocates of this point of view add caveats
to this conclusion—highways, they say,
“mostly,” “almost always” or “pretty much”
pay for themselves. But the implications
of the argument are the same: highways
come with their own source of revenue that
defrays most, if not all, of the cost of their
construction and continued operations.
Highways, however, have never fully
“paid for themselves” through user revenue
and are more dependent today on subsidies
from general taxpayers than at any time in
recent history. The fees drivers pay also
don’t even begin to pay for the many costs
that highways impose on non-drivers, and
are unlikely to be sufficient in the future
to fuel the increase in highway capacity
favored by highway advocates.

I find this particularly interesting as at least one member here on BF constantly rants about "cyclist inferiority syndrome" while an organization for which he is a speaker spreads the very lies that tend to reinforce the thinking that leads to this "cyclist inferiority" situation.
genec is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 09:05 AM
  #4  
dynodonn
Banned.
 
dynodonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: U.S. of A.
Posts: 7,465
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1253 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 22 Posts
Here's another link on bicycles and road taxes:

http://grist.org/article/2010-09-27-...uld-be-unfair/
dynodonn is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 09:20 AM
  #5  
MattFoley
Senior Member
 
MattFoley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 614
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I always think it's funny when conservatives criticize public transpo and bike/ped programs as "socialist" but then demand more roads be built. At this point in the US's transportation network development, roads are one of the most subsidized and least return-on-investment projects there is. Statistics show that bike/ped projects are not only cheaper, but create more jobs per mile than roads, with none of the external costs like pollution, traffic congestion, and horrific deaths. If that's socialism, then pass me a copy of Das Kapital and sign me up!
MattFoley is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 09:33 AM
  #6  
dynodonn
Banned.
 
dynodonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: U.S. of A.
Posts: 7,465
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1253 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by MattFoley View Post
Statistics show that bike/ped projects are not only cheaper, but create more jobs per mile than roads.........

Plus, bicyclists cause less wear and tear per mile of roadway, helping make the roadway last a little longer, which is a financial advantage for local/county municipalities
dynodonn is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 11:07 AM
  #7  
WPeabody 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
WPeabody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Monterey Bay area, California
Posts: 523

Bikes: Terratrike Tour, recumbent tadpole tricycle.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MattFoley View Post
I always think it's funny when conservatives criticize public transpo and bike/ped programs as "socialist" but then demand more roads be built. At this point in the US's transportation network development, roads are one of the most subsidized and least return-on-investment projects there is. Statistics show that bike/ped projects are not only cheaper, but create more jobs per mile than roads, with none of the external costs like pollution, traffic congestion, and horrific deaths. If that's socialism, then pass me a copy of Das Kapital and sign me up!
And this should not be a political issue, as in, not a conservative versus liberal issue. It's about whether the US can afford to keep being so car-centered, and whether it's good for the general population, economy and health-wise, to continue being car-centered.

Want to fight the "obesity epidemic"? Instead of trying to outlaw things like trans-fats in San Fran and large sodas in NYC, why not make it more feasible for people to walk and bike places instead of driving?
It goes without saying, really, if more people used their muscles to get around, the "too many calories" problem would probably be a moot point. LOL
__________________
What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.
WPeabody is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 11:44 AM
  #8  
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 26,292

Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6353 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by WP*****y View Post
And this should not be a political issue, as in, not a conservative versus liberal issue. It's about whether the US can afford to keep being so car-centered, and whether it's good for the general population, economy and health-wise, to continue being car-centered.

Want to fight the "obesity epidemic"? Instead of trying to outlaw things like trans-fats in San Fran and large sodas in NYC, why not make it more feasible for people to walk and bike places instead of driving?
It goes without saying, really, if more people used their muscles to get around, the "too many calories" problem would probably be a moot point. LOL
Fully agreed... however there are folks that consider "instead of driving" an "anti-motoring" effort.
genec is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 12:27 PM
  #9  
enigmaT120
Senior Member
 
enigmaT120's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Falls City, OR
Posts: 1,958

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Fargo 2, Rocky Mountain Fusion, circa '93

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Here's another link on bicycles and road taxes:

http://grist.org/article/2010-09-27-...uld-be-unfair/
I wonder if she's right. I read on the ODOT page somewhere that the gas tax pays for about 80% of road maintenance in Oregon. Is that only for highways and freeways?
enigmaT120 is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 12:37 PM
  #10  
dougmc
Senior Member
 
dougmc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 3,030

Bikes: Giant OCR2, Bridgestone RB-T, Bike-E, Vision R-40, Novara Safari

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MattFoley View Post
Statistics show that bike/ped projects are not only cheaper, but create more jobs per mile than roads
Do you have a citation for this?

Cheaper per mile -- that certainly makes sense. After all, roads and bike paths are basically the same -- but bike paths are smaller and don't need to be as sturdy and don't usually have curbs -- so they're cheaper. (And they're a *whole lot* cheaper when you're merely repainting existing roads to remove lanes or make them smaller to add room for a bike lane -- though hopefully this doesn't really count when somebody comes up with these statistics.)

But "creating more jobs per mile than roads" ... that doesn't make any sense. The "jobs created" idea thrown around is basically directly related to the cost -- most of the money you spend goes into employing people to perform your labor, and the materials you purchase goes to labor to create the items, raw materials and to the owners of the company -- "creating jobs" at every step.
dougmc is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 01:11 PM
  #11  
dynodonn
Banned.
 
dynodonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: U.S. of A.
Posts: 7,465
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1253 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
I wonder if she's right. I read on the ODOT page somewhere that the gas tax pays for about 80% of road maintenance in Oregon. Is that only for highways and freeways?

Probably so, here in Calif., our gas tax's first priority is to pay the service debt (interest/payment) on the borrowed money for freeway and highway construction, then the second priority is freeway and highway maintenance( about 86% of the remaining monies), then lastly, to the county roads and city streets.
dynodonn is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 02:12 PM
  #12  
nelson249
"Per Ardua ad Surly"
 
nelson249's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 1,416

Bikes: Bianchi Specialissima, Mongoose Hilltopper ATB, Surly Cross-Check, Norco City Glide

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We get that crap here too as seen in this letter that appeared in our local bird cage liner:

http://www.therecord.com/opinion/let...-accommodating

Following is a draft of my response

It is rare to see such a display of ignorance as shown in Roger Marsh’s letter on 30 May. First, there is no such thing as road tax. Gasoline taxes and licence fees are not earmarked for roads but are put into the general fund. Besides, these do not anywhere near pay for the construction and maintenance of roadways. Funding comes mostly through income and sales taxes and especially property taxes. Given my tax bill I can assure Mr. Marsh that I pay enough in order to operate my bicycle wherever and whenever I wish.

Mr. Marsh would also like to see cyclists confined to sidewalks. This is dangerous. Many accidents occur as a direct result of cyclists “submarining” from the sidewalk unto the roadway. Entrances from parking lots and driveways are danger zones because of a combination of poor visibility and relative speed of even cruising bicycles. Pedestrians, especially the young and elderly are vulnerable to being struck by cyclists.

Mr Marsh seems to believe that since few are dressed in business attire on their bike this means that we are all out just having a good time. I commute on my bike in all weather conditions and I carry a change of clothes so I look professional on the other end. I also use the same bike to run back and forth to socialize with friends or shopping. Every time I leave the house I think about whether the bike would be as effective rather than using the car for the intended journey. It seems increasingly that I am not alone and as gasoline prices increase I would suggest that Mr. Marsh get used to many more cyclists on the road.

As for the failure of cyclists to follow traffic laws I will not excuse it and I support greater police enforcement. However, the blatant hypocrisy of certain motorists in condemning cyclists wholesale is difficult to swallow. Daily, whether on two wheels or four, I see motorists continue to text message, run red lights, speed, make unsafe passes, and ignore stop signs and pedestrian crossings. These violations are being committed in vehicles that can weigh several tons and are capable of high speeds that can cause tremendous injury.
nelson249 is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 02:12 PM
  #13  
John Forester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 4,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
Do you have a citation for this?

Cheaper per mile -- that certainly makes sense. After all, roads and bike paths are basically the same -- but bike paths are smaller and don't need to be as sturdy and don't usually have curbs -- so they're cheaper. (And they're a *whole lot* cheaper when you're merely repainting existing roads to remove lanes or make them smaller to add room for a bike lane -- though hopefully this doesn't really count when somebody comes up with these statistics.)

But "creating more jobs per mile than roads" ... that doesn't make any sense. The "jobs created" idea thrown around is basically directly related to the cost -- most of the money you spend goes into employing people to perform your labor, and the materials you purchase goes to labor to create the items, raw materials and to the owners of the company -- "creating jobs" at every step.
My guess is that the creating jobs claim comes from the fact that bike/ped jobs consume more labor per dollar spent, necessarily local labor, than do highway jobs that use large amounts of materials, likely not locally sourced, and large machines, certainly not locally sourced.
John Forester is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 02:25 PM
  #14  
WPeabody 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
WPeabody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Monterey Bay area, California
Posts: 523

Bikes: Terratrike Tour, recumbent tadpole tricycle.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
All the same, paying gas tax is for the fuel you put in your vehicle, not for using the roads. People also buy gas for airplanes, off-road vehicles, lawn mowers, farm equipment, sawmills... and they are not likely to be using public roads with them. It's a bit of a stretch for the common mindset to say paying tax on your fuel is a user fee for using public roads. Does a percentage of this gas tax pay for ways to alleviate environmental impact, such as air pollution?
And, if gas tax was related to user fees of the roads, do high fuel consuming vehicles have more "rights" to the road than fuel efficient or non-petroleum powered vehicles?

I heard one freight hauling truck driver insist he paid $33,000 last year in "road tax". I don't understand that exactly. Did he mean personal income tax, business related tax, or vehicle registration fees, per axle and/or gross tonnage fees? I'm rather ignorant of that aspect...
__________________
What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.
WPeabody is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 03:14 PM
  #15  
MattFoley
Senior Member
 
MattFoley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 614
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
Do you have a citation for this?

Cheaper per mile -- that certainly makes sense. After all, roads and bike paths are basically the same -- but bike paths are smaller and don't need to be as sturdy and don't usually have curbs -- so they're cheaper. (And they're a *whole lot* cheaper when you're merely repainting existing roads to remove lanes or make them smaller to add room for a bike lane -- though hopefully this doesn't really count when somebody comes up with these statistics.)

But "creating more jobs per mile than roads" ... that doesn't make any sense. The "jobs created" idea thrown around is basically directly related to the cost -- most of the money you spend goes into employing people to perform your labor, and the materials you purchase goes to labor to create the items, raw materials and to the owners of the company -- "creating jobs" at every step.
My bad, the statistic is actually bike/ped projects create more jobs per dollar spent than road projects.


In this case-study, "Estimating the Employment Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Road Infrastructure," the Political Economy Research Institute compiled data provided by the city of Baltimore. They found that on-street bike lanes and pedestrian measures created more direct jobs, more indirect jobs, and moreinduced jobs per dollar than either road upgrades or road resurfacing.
MattFoley is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 03:17 PM
  #16  
MattFoley
Senior Member
 
MattFoley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 614
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by WP*****y View Post
And this should not be a political issue, as in, not a conservative versus liberal issue. It's about whether the US can afford to keep being so car-centered, and whether it's good for the general population, economy and health-wise, to continue being car-centered.

Want to fight the "obesity epidemic"? Instead of trying to outlaw things like trans-fats in San Fran and large sodas in NYC, why not make it more feasible for people to walk and bike places instead of driving?
It goes without saying, really, if more people used their muscles to get around, the "too many calories" problem would probably be a moot point. LOL
I agree, but too many times the two sides of the argument split along political lines.
MattFoley is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 06:40 PM
  #17  
SactoDoug
Senior Member
 
SactoDoug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 485

Bikes: 2010 Bottecchia CF67, Atomic Zombie High Roller

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by WP*****y View Post
I am always suspicious of any article or claim that is based on numbers but gives very few numbers in support. I think this article falls in that category. Don't tell me that numbers don't add up. Show me the numbers.

A good portion of the article is dedicated to pointing out that road taxes goes into general fund money. So what? Frankly, it is irrelevant whether the taxes collected goes into a fund specific for road maintenance/building or goes into the general fund. There is revenue coming in and expenses going out. Whether it comes out of one big general fund bucket or out of a dedicated bucket does change the numbers.

According to the chart on pg. 16, the revenue collected by road taxes was equal to or greater than the amount spent in the years 1947-1956 and 1992-1998. Claiming that road taxes collected never paid for the roads is untrue.

This can be interpreted as a reason to increase taxes, especially on high mpg vehicles like Prius's since they are clearly not paying their "fair share" for the miles driven. Another tax proposal I have seen is a tax per mile driven each year. We just have to have government mandated GPS monitors installed on all of our vehicles so the government can tax us properly.
SactoDoug is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 08:46 PM
  #18  
Dchiefransom
Senior Member
 
Dchiefransom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 6,244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by SactoDoug View Post
I am always suspicious of any article or claim that is based on numbers but gives very few numbers in support. I think this article falls in that category. Don't tell me that numbers don't add up. Show me the numbers.

A good portion of the article is dedicated to pointing out that road taxes goes into general fund money. So what? Frankly, it is irrelevant whether the taxes collected goes into a fund specific for road maintenance/building or goes into the general fund. There is revenue coming in and expenses going out. Whether it comes out of one big general fund bucket or out of a dedicated bucket does change the numbers.

According to the chart on pg. 16, the revenue collected by road taxes was equal to or greater than the amount spent in the years 1947-1956 and 1992-1998. Claiming that road taxes collected never paid for the roads is untrue.

This can be interpreted as a reason to increase taxes, especially on high mpg vehicles like Prius's since they are clearly not paying their "fair share" for the miles driven. Another tax proposal I have seen is a tax per mile driven each year. We just have to have government mandated GPS monitors installed on all of our vehicles so the government can tax us properly.
The problem with charging the high mileage vehicles more in taxes, is that they are causing less damage to the roadways than Mother Nature, especially in California.
Dchiefransom is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 08:56 PM
  #19  
dougmc
Senior Member
 
dougmc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 3,030

Bikes: Giant OCR2, Bridgestone RB-T, Bike-E, Vision R-40, Novara Safari

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Dchiefransom View Post
The problem with charging the high mileage vehicles more in taxes, is that they are causing less damage to the roadways than Mother Nature, especially in California.
Really, when you're looking at the damage caused to the roads by vehicles, it's a very highly dependent on the weight of the vehicle. Bicycles+riders does none. Passenger cars, even SUVs do next to none. It's the big trucks that do the damage.

For example, the study linked to by this page estimates that a fully loaded 18 wheeler does 9600 times the damage to the road that a passenger car does. If I recall correctly, the formula isn't really well know, but the estimates are that the damage is proportional to weight to the fourth power.

Ultimately, the states ought to tax the 18 wheelers heavily for the damage they cause, but since normal passenger cars do negligible damage they should just be taxed for the use of the road, enough to cover the damage due to Mother Nature and other maintenance.
dougmc is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 11:38 PM
  #20  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 5,020

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 667 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by WP*****y View Post
All the same, paying gas tax is for the fuel you put in your vehicle, not for using the roads. People also buy gas for airplanes, off-road vehicles, lawn mowers, farm equipment, sawmills... and they are not likely to be using public roads with them. It's a bit of a stretch for the common mindset to say paying tax on your fuel is a user fee for using public roads. Does a percentage of this gas tax pay for ways to alleviate environmental impact, such as air pollution?
And, if gas tax was related to user fees of the roads, do high fuel consuming vehicles have more "rights" to the road than fuel efficient or non-petroleum powered vehicles?

I heard one freight hauling truck driver insist he paid $33,000 last year in "road tax". I don't understand that exactly. Did he mean personal income tax, business related tax, or vehicle registration fees, per axle and/or gross tonnage fees? I'm rather ignorant of that aspect...
[There is such a thing as "off road" fuel which you don't pay the tax on and is actually dyed a different color. We have many gas stations in rural areas that have "off road" diesel pumps. You can also, as a business, take a tax deduction for taxed fuel used off road.

http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/...r/20103438.htm
dedhed is online now  
Old 06-03-12, 05:37 AM
  #21  
hagen2456
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 1,832

Bikes: A load of ancient, old and semi-vintage bikes of divers sorts

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by SactoDoug View Post
I am always suspicious of any article or claim that is based on numbers but gives very few numbers in support. I think this article falls in that category. Don't tell me that numbers don't add up. Show me the numbers.

A good portion of the article is dedicated to pointing out that road taxes goes into general fund money. So what? Frankly, it is irrelevant whether the taxes collected goes into a fund specific for road maintenance/building or goes into the general fund. There is revenue coming in and expenses going out. Whether it comes out of one big general fund bucket or out of a dedicated bucket does change the numbers.

According to the chart on pg. 16, the revenue collected by road taxes was equal to or greater than the amount spent in the years 1947-1956 and 1992-1998. Claiming that road taxes collected never paid for the roads is untrue.

This can be interpreted as a reason to increase taxes, especially on high mpg vehicles like Prius's since they are clearly not paying their "fair share" for the miles driven. Another tax proposal I have seen is a tax per mile driven each year. We just have to have government mandated GPS monitors installed on all of our vehicles so the government can tax us properly.
I seriously doubt that they ever paid for the roads plus free (as well as insufficiently paid for) parking, nor for all the externalities.
hagen2456 is offline  
Old 06-03-12, 10:01 AM
  #22  
WPeabody 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
WPeabody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Monterey Bay area, California
Posts: 523

Bikes: Terratrike Tour, recumbent tadpole tricycle.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
Really, when you're looking at the damage caused to the roads by vehicles, it's a very highly dependent on the weight of the vehicle. Bicycles+riders does none. Passenger cars, even SUVs do next to none. It's the big trucks that do the damage.

For example, the study linked to by this page estimates that a fully loaded 18 wheeler does 9600 times the damage to the road that a passenger car does. If I recall correctly, the formula isn't really well know, but the estimates are that the damage is proportional to weight to the fourth power.

Ultimately, the states ought to tax the 18 wheelers heavily for the damage they cause, but since normal passenger cars do negligible damage they should just be taxed for the use of the road, enough to cover the damage due to Mother Nature and other maintenance.
And the trouble with that is, AFAIK, the trucking companies are barely breaking even with the wildly fluctuating and higher costs of diesel, so the cost of transporting things goes up, raising the cost of merchandise and deliveries... so when the price of transport goes up, the price of everything else goes up. At least... that is how I understand it.
__________________
What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.
WPeabody is offline  
Old 06-03-12, 10:02 AM
  #23  
WPeabody 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
WPeabody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Monterey Bay area, California
Posts: 523

Bikes: Terratrike Tour, recumbent tadpole tricycle.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
[There is such a thing as "off road" fuel which you don't pay the tax on and is actually dyed a different color. We have many gas stations in rural areas that have "off road" diesel pumps. You can also, as a business, take a tax deduction for taxed fuel used off road.

http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/...r/20103438.htm
I see. I haven't seen pumps labeled like that, before. Interesting.
__________________
What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.
WPeabody is offline  
Old 06-03-12, 10:21 AM
  #24  
dynodonn
Banned.
 
dynodonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: U.S. of A.
Posts: 7,465
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1253 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
[There is such a thing as "off road" fuel which you don't pay the tax on and is actually dyed a different color.
Here in Calif. it's dyed red, and there are some hefty fines if it's found in one's personal vehicle's fuel tank. Locally, the state's highway patrol are sticklers on drawing samples from fuel tanks of diesel pickup owners who have transfer tanks located in their truck beds, but this only happens when the transfer tank is full of dyed fuel tended for fueling off road equipment.
dynodonn is offline  
Old 06-03-12, 03:13 PM
  #25  
dwellman
Godbotherer
 
dwellman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hermitage, TN
Posts: 1,322

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR300 (full SRAM Apex) 1996 Cannondale R800 (Full SRAM Rival), 1997 Cannondale R200 (Shimano Tiagra), 2012 Cannondale CAAD 10-5, 1992 Bridgestone RB-1 (SRAM Force)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by WP*****y View Post
"In short, highways have never fully “paid for themselves” through gasoline taxes and other user fees,
Have to quibble here:

I'd have to point out that at least in this state (TN) the Transportation "budget" (funded mainly by gasoline tax and license fees) routinely runs a "surplus" and gets "borrowed" from for other things instead of the other way around. So, in theory TN highways, st roads "pay for themselves". But it shouldn't be news to anyone that X tax doesn't ever go specifically Y program in the budget.
dwellman is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.