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10914Re: Exodus - was: Latest from Jim Kunstler

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  • chbuckeye
    Jun 3, 2008
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      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
      <Jetgraphics@...> wrote:
      >the funding for most paved roads is derived from taxation on petroleum
      consumption

      Not exactly, but close. In the U.S., the Federal Highway Trust Fund
      was set up to fund interstate road transportation construction and
      maintenance. And while it is true that the federal gas tax is about
      90% of the trust fund revenue, a significant portion of road
      building/maintenance funds come from general tax revenue as well as
      the gas tax.

      The lack of funds is primarily the result of overbuilding not
      under-driving. We have been spending more money on road projects than
      the trust fund has been receiving in revenue for many years. US gas
      taxes are fixed as a percentage of the volume of gas purchased rather
      than a percentage of the purchase price, so the revenue from the gas
      tax is not increasing with the rise in price. Even if Americans
      continued to use the same amount of gasoline each year, as was the
      case until the past year or two, gas taxes were insufficient to
      maintain the existing roads. Yet we steadily increased the number of
      lane-miles of roadway, the cost to maintain all of our roadways
      increased accordingly, and the recent rapid rise in petroleum prices
      has increased the cost of road projects exponentially.

      The state and local governments followed a similar pattern to the
      federal government. In my area a number of major road projects are
      over-budget, and several major projects that are needed (including
      replacing a bridge of the same type that collapsed in Minnesota) have
      been put on hold indefinitely. I hope that we will revisit our
      transportation priorities and consider that alternative modes should
      at the very least be considered as worthwhile investments to encourage
      competition with the roadways. I suspect that privatization will be
      the order of the day.
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