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Paying per mile may replace taxes at gas pump

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  • Richard Risemberg
    -- Richard Risemberg http://www.living-room.org http://www.newcolonist.com What we need is balance.
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 8, 2004
      <http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/2828417>

      --
      Richard Risemberg
      http://www.living-room.org
      http://www.newcolonist.com

      "What we need is balance. Streets are not just arteries for the movement
      of cars; they are part of a network of spaces in the public domain that
      serve as access to the properties in the private domain and that also
      serve social, economic and political functions."

      Wade Eide, Architect
    • Lloyd Wright
      It seems like this tax policy will benefit SUVs and other vehicles with poor fuel efficiency. Essentially, a small, efficient hybrid vehicle (at 70 mpg) will
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 8, 2004
        It seems like this tax policy will benefit SUVs and other vehicles with poor
        fuel efficiency. Essentially, a small, efficient hybrid vehicle (at 70 mpg)
        will pay the same tax as a Hummer (at 7 mpg) when travelling the same
        distance.

        I agree that electronic tolling of this sort is appropriate for pricing
        congestion and road construction since these costs are borne by the distance
        travelled and the time of the travel. However, it does nothing to account for
        air emissions which are related to fuel usage. I would suggest that it would
        be better to charge both a petrol tax and a road usage tax. Of course, even
        these only begin to account for the true societal costs of motorised
        vehicles.

        Lloyd

        ------ Original Message ------
        Received: Fri, 08 Oct 2004 10:04:05 AM EDT
        From: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...>
        To: Urban Ecology <urban-ecology@yahoogroups.com>,
        carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, newcolonist <newcolonist@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: [carfree_cities] Paying per mile may replace taxes at gas pump



        <http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/2828417>

        --
        Richard Risemberg
        http://www.living-room.org
        http://www.newcolonist.com

        "What we need is balance. Streets are not just arteries for the movement
        of cars; they are part of a network of spaces in the public domain that
        serve as access to the properties in the private domain and that also
        serve social, economic and political functions."

        Wade Eide, Architect
      • Chris Radcliff
        Lloyd has a good point. It all depends on which costs you re trying to internalize. Charging tolls spreads the cost of emissions unevenly, just as charging
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 8, 2004
          Lloyd has a good point. It all depends on which costs you're trying to
          internalize. Charging tolls spreads the cost of emissions unevenly,
          just as charging gas taxes spreads the cost of road infrastructure
          unevenly.

          Additionally, charging a toll by mileage sounds like a bigger challenge
          than they may imagine. Taxes at the pump are easy to implement because
          there's already a measured monetary transaction involved. Tolls are
          notorious for creating bottlenecks unless there's a high-tech (and
          difficult-to-implement) automated system in place. It's hard to
          imagine the embedded GPS receiver approach the article mentions gaining
          wide adoption very quickly, and partial adoption would make the system
          even more unequal.

          At the core, something tells me this is less an issue of fair payment
          and more a response to the difficult time governments have increasing
          taxes. Shifting to a new system gives them the opportunity to set a
          higher price without having anything to compare against.

          Cheers,
          ~chris

          Lloyd Wright wrote:

          > It seems like this tax policy will benefit SUVs and other vehicles
          > with poor
          > fuel efficiency. Essentially, a small, efficient hybrid vehicle (at
          > 70 mpg)
          > will pay the same tax as a Hummer (at 7 mpg) when travelling the same
          > distance.
          >
          > I agree that electronic tolling of this sort is appropriate for pricing
          > congestion and road construction since these costs are borne by the
          > distance
          > travelled and the time of the travel. However, it does nothing to
          > account for
          > air emissions which are related to fuel usage. I would suggest that
          > it would
          > be better to charge both a petrol tax and a road usage tax. Of
          > course, even
          > these only begin to account for the true societal costs of motorised
          > vehicles.
          >
          > Lloyd
        • CEB
          Hi, On a related note the discussion in the European Parliament about kerosene tax for airlines, at least within the EU, is heating up a bit.... Todd
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 8, 2004
            Hi,

            On a related note the discussion in the European Parliament about kerosene tax for airlines, at least within the EU, is heating up a bit....

            Todd

            ______________________________________________________________
            > Od: Chris Radcliff <chris@...>
            > Komu: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
            > Datum: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 12:20:40 -0700
            > Předmět: [carfree_cities] Re: Paying per mile may replace taxes at gas pump
            >
            >
            > Lloyd has a good point. It all depends on which costs you're trying to
            > internalize. Charging tolls spreads the cost of emissions unevenly,
            > just as charging gas taxes spreads the cost of road infrastructure
            > unevenly.
            >
            > Additionally, charging a toll by mileage sounds like a bigger challenge
            > than they may imagine. Taxes at the pump are easy to implement because
            > there's already a measured monetary transaction involved. Tolls are
            > notorious for creating bottlenecks unless there's a high-tech (and
            > difficult-to-implement) automated system in place. It's hard to
            > imagine the embedded GPS receiver approach the article mentions gaining
            > wide adoption very quickly, and partial adoption would make the system
            > even more unequal.
            >
            > At the core, something tells me this is less an issue of fair payment
            > and more a response to the difficult time governments have increasing
            > taxes. Shifting to a new system gives them the opportunity to set a
            > higher price without having anything to compare against.
            >
            > Cheers,
            > ~chris
            >
            > Lloyd Wright wrote:
            >
            > > It seems like this tax policy will benefit SUVs and other vehicles
            > > with poor
            > > fuel efficiency. Essentially, a small, efficient hybrid vehicle (at
            > > 70 mpg)
            > > will pay the same tax as a Hummer (at 7 mpg) when travelling the same
            > > distance.
            > >
            > > I agree that electronic tolling of this sort is appropriate for pricing
            > > congestion and road construction since these costs are borne by the
            > > distance
            > > travelled and the time of the travel. However, it does nothing to
            > > account for
            > > air emissions which are related to fuel usage. I would suggest that
            > > it would
            > > be better to charge both a petrol tax and a road usage tax. Of
            > > course, even
            > > these only begin to account for the true societal costs of motorised
            > > vehicles.
            > >
            > > Lloyd
            >
            >
            >
            > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
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            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • flyboy472@juno.com
            To me it makes much more sense to stick to the current system of charging taxes on gasoline. What they need to do is up the gas tax but they know that all the
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 9, 2004
              To me it makes much more sense to stick to the current system of
              charging taxes on gasoline. What they need to do is up the gas tax
              but they know that all the SUV drivers will cry fowl if they do.

              Things to consider with the current gas tax:
              1) Easy to implement...like someone else said, it's tied in with a
              transaction that is already occuring...the purchase of gas.
              2) The amount of tax is almost directly based on how many miles you
              drive because a certain car will average a certain gas consumption
              per mile...this can vary though...
              3) As I said in #2, this can vary, but this variable is an ADVANTAGE
              because vehicles that use excessive gas, like SUVs, will have to pay
              more in taxes. Cars stuck in traffic will also consume more gas, and
              likewise pay more tax, so people are encouraged to drive during
              offpeak hours and use more efficient vehicles.

              Things to consider with the proposed mileage tax:
              1) Difficult to implement. Like someone said in an earlier post, it
              would either require building many toll stations, or equipping each
              vehicle with a GPS system to measure how many miles they drove. If
              the GPS system is used, there also needs to be an entire government
              (or privately contracted) entity whose purpose is to figure out how
              many miles you drove, how much you owe in taxes, and then make sure
              that you actually pay the government. Can we say inefficency?
              2) As someone said earlier, people who drive super gasoline efficient
              vehicles, like hybrid cars, are taxed just the same as people who
              drive super-inefficient vehicles like SUVs. This makes no sense as
              it does not encourage people to use less gas.

              What we need to do is first raise the gas tax by a small amount,
              maybe 10 cents per gallon (I know some people already think that's a
              HUGE amount...just wait). The extra money can be used to build a
              public transit network nation-wide...something on the scale of the
              Eisenhower Interstate System...perhaps even a network of trains along
              the same right of way as the interstates. Once there is an
              alternative form of transportation available to people, the gas tax
              should be raised by a large amount (perhaps in the vicinity of 50
              cents to a dollar per gallon). This tax would more realistically
              reflect the actual costs involved in driving a vehicle.

              This is a radical approach but it would (a) encourage the majority of
              people to use public transit, (b) solve our gasoline/foreign affairs
              problem, and (c) help us to begin healing the environment. Thoughts
              anyone?

              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Chris Radcliff <chris@g...>
              wrote:
              > Lloyd has a good point. It all depends on which costs you're
              trying to
              > internalize. Charging tolls spreads the cost of emissions
              unevenly,
              > just as charging gas taxes spreads the cost of road infrastructure
              > unevenly.
              >
              > Additionally, charging a toll by mileage sounds like a bigger
              challenge
              > than they may imagine. Taxes at the pump are easy to implement
              because
              > there's already a measured monetary transaction involved. Tolls
              are
              > notorious for creating bottlenecks unless there's a high-tech (and
              > difficult-to-implement) automated system in place. It's hard to
              > imagine the embedded GPS receiver approach the article mentions
              gaining
              > wide adoption very quickly, and partial adoption would make the
              system
              > even more unequal.
              >
              > At the core, something tells me this is less an issue of fair
              payment
              > and more a response to the difficult time governments have
              increasing
              > taxes. Shifting to a new system gives them the opportunity to set
              a
              > higher price without having anything to compare against.
              >
              > Cheers,
              > ~chris
              >
              > Lloyd Wright wrote:
              >
              > > It seems like this tax policy will benefit SUVs and other
              vehicles
              > > with poor
              > > fuel efficiency. Essentially, a small, efficient hybrid vehicle
              (at
              > > 70 mpg)
              > > will pay the same tax as a Hummer (at 7 mpg) when travelling the
              same
              > > distance.
              > >
              > > I agree that electronic tolling of this sort is appropriate for
              pricing
              > > congestion and road construction since these costs are borne by
              the
              > > distance
              > > travelled and the time of the travel. However, it does nothing
              to
              > > account for
              > > air emissions which are related to fuel usage. I would suggest
              that
              > > it would
              > > be better to charge both a petrol tax and a road usage tax. Of
              > > course, even
              > > these only begin to account for the true societal costs of
              motorised
              > > vehicles.
              > >
              > > Lloyd
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