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Fuel Tax Discussion

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by whitex, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    #1 whitex, Dec 18, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
    Do you remember how they did got the registration surcharge approved? They had people vote on a $10 surcharge for EV's. I remember commenting to my wife how that's just a "foot in the door, before they swing their a** in" . Once voted in, the next year it went to to $100, now it's $150 or more. That is why, as a principle, I vote no to ANY new taxes unless the measure states that an increase of said new tax requires voter approval - then I consider the merit of the tax, otherwise I don't care how worthy the cause is, it's just a way for government to give themselves more money at will. And if you ever think, "they need to have some leeway to adjust it", consider this - this particular new tax went up 1500% in 3-4 years, so either they are completely incompetent at estimating what is needed, or they are just trying to get one by the voters. Maybe both.

    Personally I don't have a problem with the idea of recouping gas taxes for roads maintenance, however how they did it is just wrong, and makes me think whether the money really does go to the roads or just to some generic fund for bonuses or other special projects.
     
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  2. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    I believe the Washington gas tax goes into the general fund. For most drivers, the gas tax on an ICE per year is going to be less than the $150 surcharge they are leveling on EV owners. They claim they need to get the money for upkeep of the roads from somewhere, but I doubt I do $150 of damage to the roads every year. Now semis on the other hand do a lot of damage to the roads. If they really wanted everyone to pay their fair share, they should up the tax on diesel, but that would be considered anti-business.
     
  3. Chopr147

    Chopr147 Active Member

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    My thoughts exactly. Never let them get that foot in the door because it is inevitable the tax will become another spending program for the gov't.
     
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  4. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    #4 kort677, Dec 18, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
    first off the taxes on diesel are already higher than the taxes levied on gasoline.
    you probably aren't aware that those semis already pay many thousands in road use taxes, and those fees and taxes a passed on to the consumer. so one way or another you and everyone else is paying the road use taxes.
    FYI
    Truck Taxes and Revenue
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Unfortunately, they cause far more damage to roads then their taxes pay for.
     
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  6. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    like I noted, you can raise the taxes/fees on those trucks as high as you care to, those taxes and fees will just be passed through to the end user, you, me and everyone else. so at the end of the day you are paying regardless of how the money is collected.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    That's true, but collecting from the actual source of the damage makes the real subsidizing cost, in this case truck freight, clear to everyone rather than being hidden. The likely result of having the heavy trucks pay for all the road damage they cause would shift freight to rail. This would lower road maintenance and reduce road congestion. Not that it would happen instantly, but it would be a good long term trend.
     
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  8. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    I think that you're missing the point about how those firms that move freight don't really pay the taxes assessed on them they just pass it through via increased charges to the shippers who then just increase prices to the consumers. using the rails are great for long haul shipping, they aren't very good for "the last mile"
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Agreed, but there is a lot of non-last mile freight that goes by truck which could go by rail.
     
  10. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I agree that higher taxes levied on the shippers will increase the cost of goods. However, assigning externalities to the behavior makes for more transparent and functional economics. It incentivizes efficiency in ways that may be economically unimportant prior to their assignment. It also encourages competitive products (in this case, shipping methods) to arrive at market.

    I feel that tying a product or behavior's externalities to that product or behavior is the best way for our economic model to aid in proper decision making.
     
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  11. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    A lot of the long haul freight that is going by truck is on trucks because the rail network is maxed out. In the late 70s the US rail companies were going bankrupt, but first the Japanese, then other Asian shippers discovered that it was much cheaper and faster to ship containers to Europe by shipping them to the US west coast, transfer them to train, ship them across the US by train, and finally put them back on ships on the US east coast. It saved the US rail companies, but it can contributed to maxing out the US rail network.

    Unless a shipment is booked months in advance, there usually isn't room on trains for more freight, so it goes onto trucks. A number of abandoned lines have been re-opened in the last 20 years, but the network can't be expanded any more without building new right of way and they probably isn't going to happen.
     
  12. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Source please.
     
  13. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    And now, back to our previously scheduled post ...

    Please?
     
  14. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    it is well documented, however the data ignores the benefits derived from the trucking industry
     
  15. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Errata:

    The "hybrid" Chevy Volt pays the WA EV tax.

    Most roads are not used by Class 8 trucks (semis). Far less than 10%, probably less than 1%. All roads require maintenance.

    Often landscaping, signage, and streetlights are part of the roads budget.

    Roads decay from many methods. Expansion, usage, non-usage, ground shift, underground water, above ground water, construction repairs, etc.
     
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  16. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    in addition to those examples of how the highway funds are used the monies are also diverted to sidewalks, bicycle paths, street artwork installations and in some places the highway funds are "stolen" and used to subsidize mass transit schemes.
     
  17. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    So true. Which is why attribution is paramount. Without it, finger pointing and blame sharing becomes the norm. But when you find that one particular activity causes the majority, action can be taken.

    @henderrj - my deepest apologies. I'll self-report our posts to the local mod and try to get them moved to their own thread.
     

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