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Re: Are roads subsidized in fuel-tax states, like Nevada?

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  • Mark Watson
    Yes, very subsidized. I don’t have direct numbers in front of me, but we have a relatively high gas tax here in WA. ‘We’ (it happened in 1944, long
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 11, 2002
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      Yes, very subsidized.

      I don�t have direct numbers in front of me, but we have a relatively high gas tax here in WA. �We� (it happened in 1944, long before I moved here 11 yrs ago :) ) even amended the state constitution so that the tax can only be used for car-based transportation! BUT, it does *not* cover the direct cost of our road system. Not to mention the hidden & external costs.

      For Nevada data, I recommend contacting your local anti-sprawl org. For the Northwwest, the topic is covered in _The Car and the City_ http://www.northwestwatch.org/pubs/carcity.html and other books from Northwest Environment Watch.(i.e. Tax Shift & Hazardous Handouts)

      More good data here:
      http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm17.htm
      http://www.1000friends.org/

      [In general, the Victoria Transport Policy Institute website http://vtpi.org probably may just have *all* the (transportation) answers. We just need to make it required reading for every voter, policy maker, etc.]

      Specifically, it sounds to me that your side of the discussion may be helped by this paper: http://www.vtpi.org/whoserd.htm

      Whose Roads? - Defining Bicyclists� and Pedestrians� Right to Use Public Roadways

      One quote:
      �General tax funds are also spent on various traffic services, such as policing, emergency services, and subsidized parking facilities. Several studies find that a typical household pays several hundred dollars annually in general taxes to fund roads and traffic services. The results of some of these studies are summarized below.
      + Local governments in the Chicago region spend an average of $130 per registered motor vehicle in general taxes devoted to road infrastructure and services (Urbanczyk and Korlett, 1995).
      + Local governments in southeastern Wisconsin spent an average of $585 per household annually on local roads and traffic services (DeCicco and Morris, 1998). Only 14% of transportation funding originated from user fees.
      + Public expenditures on highways, roads, streets and traffic services average $413 annually per capita in the Puget Sound region (PSRC, 1996).
      + General taxes funded 44% of government expenditures on roads and traffic services in the state of Wisconsin, averaging $493 per motor vehicle (Cambridge Systematics, 1994).
      + The city of Edmonton spends an average of $291 annually per resident on roads and traffic services (KPMG, 1996, p. 34).
      + Urban traffic services (besides roadway facility costs) are estimated to average 2.8� per vehicle mile in 1992 dollars (Small, 1992, p. 82).
      "

      From _Tax Shift_, page 46: �Local jurisdictions in WA, OR, & Idaho, spent almost $500 million from property & other general taxes on roadwork in 1993.�

      From http://www.northwestwatch.org/pubs/indic4.html
      Because of their low gas taxes, Canadian and American drivers pay less of the cost of driving--and other taxpayers more--than anywhere in the industrial world. In addition, highways in the U.S. Northwest were built largely at the expense of drivers and taxpayers outside the region: the region received 51 percent more from the federal highway trust fund than northwesterners paid to the fund in taxes over the past 45 years, Washingtonians, for example, paid only 10 percent of the cost of interstate highway construction in their state. In recent years, highway subsidies have fallen but remain large. Fuel taxes, vehicle registrations, and other user fees paid by Pacific Northwest drivers fell at least $300 million short of covering highway construction and maintenance costs in 1993.

      From http://www.northwestwatch.org/pubs/indic2.html
      Each car in greater Vancouver, for example, costs society an estimated Can $2,700 per year beyond what its owner pays.

      More books here:
      http://www.detourpublications.com/
      http://carfree_seattle.tripod.com/sea/texts/list.html
      http://www.carfree.com/print.html

      Hope these help!

      Mark

      -----------------------------------------
      Mark Watson
      Carfree Seattle
      Website - http://carfree_seattle.tripod.com
      Email list - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/carfree_seattle


      ----------- carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com wrote:
      From: "turpin" Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002
      Subject: Are roads subsidized in fuel-tax states, like Nevada?

      On another board, I'm in discussion with a participant who claims that there are states, with Nevada being an example, where the entire state budget for roads is paid from fuel tax. He references the Nevada DoT budget as evidence. I'm skeptical, and suspect that he is overlooking other sources of revenue that go into the states roads, particularly (a) federal funds, and (b) city funds, likely from sales and property taxes. Does anyone here know some easy sources of hard data regarding this?




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