10914Re: Exodus - was: Latest from Jim Kunstler
- Jun 3 12:58 PM--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Jet Graphics"
>the funding for most paved roads is derived from taxation on petroleumconsumption
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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