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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default Commission Urges 50 Percent Hike in Fuel Taxes to Fund Highway Construction

    Better MPG + Using Less Fuel = Higher Taxes

    WASHINGTON -- A 50 percent increase in gasoline and diesel fuel taxes is being urged by a federal commission to finance highway construction and repair until the government devises another way for motorists to pay for using public roads.

    The National Commission on Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing, a 15-member panel created by Congress, is the second group in a year to call for higher fuel taxes.

    With motorists driving less and buying less fuel, the current 18.4 cents a gallon gas tax and 24.4 cents a gallon diesel tax fail to raise enough to keep pace with the cost of road, bridge and transit programs.

    In a report expected in late January, members of the infrastructure financing commission say they will urge Congress to raise the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon and the diesel fuel tax by 12 to 15 cents a gallon. At the same time, the commission will recommend tying the fuel tax rates to inflation.

    The commission will also recommend that states raise their fuel taxes and make greater use of toll roads and fees for rush-hour driving.

    A tax increase on this order would be politically treacherous for Democratic leaders in Congress -- a gas tax hike was one of the reasons they lost control of the House and Senate in the 1994 elections. President-elect Barack Obama has expressed concern about raising gas taxes in the current economic climate. But commission members said the government must find the money somewhere.

    "I'm not excited about a gas tax increase, but the reality is our current gas tax doesn't pay for upkeep of the system we have now," said Adrian Moore, vice president of the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank in Los Angeles, and a member of the highway revenue commission. "We can either let the roads go to hell or we can pay more."

    The dilemma for Congress is that highway and transit programs are dependent for revenue on fuel taxes that are not sustainable. Many Americans are driving less and switching to more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, and a shift to new fuels and technologies like plug-in hybrid electric cars will further erode gasoline sales.

    According to a draft of the financing commission's recommendations, the nation needs to move to a new system that taxes motorists according to how much they use roads.

    "Most if not all of the commissioners have a strong belief and commitment that we need a fundamental transformation of the current system," said commission chairman Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a technology policy think tank in Washington.

    A study by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies estimated that the annual gap between revenues and the investment needed to improve highway and transit systems was about $105 billion in 2007, and will increase to $134 billion in 2017 under current trends.

    Projected shortfalls in revenue led the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, in a report issued in January 2008, to call for an increase of as much as 40 cents a gallon in the gas tax, phased in over five years.

    Charles Whittington, chairman of the American Trucking Associations, which supports a fuel tax increase as long as the money goes to highway projects, said Congress may decide to disguise a fuel tax hike as a surcharge to combat climate change.

    Transportation is responsible for about a third of all U.S. carbon emissions created by burning fossil fuels. Traffic congestion wastes an estimated 2.9 billion gallons of fuel a year. Less congestion would reduce greenhouse gases and dependence on foreign oil.

    "Instead of calling it a gas tax, call it a carbon tax," Whittington said. "As long as we label it as something else we may have the momentum and acceptance to move forward."

    Bottlenecks around the nation cost the trucking industry about 243 million lost truck hours and about $7.8 billion per year, according to the commission.

    The financing commission thinks the long-term solution is a mileage-based revenue system. While details have not been worked out, such a system would mean equipping every car and truck with a device that uses global positioning satellites and transponders to record how many miles the vehicle has been driven, the type of roads and time of day. Creation and installation of such a system would take about 10 years.

    Moore said commission members were initially concerned that using technology to track driving might violate drivers' privacy, but they've been assured that such a system could be designed to prevent vehicles from being "tracked in some big brotherish way."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    10.23.15 @ 04:49 PM
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    Do you ever get the feeling that no matter what we do to take a step forward, we take two steps back. While many people are driving less because of the expense of fuel and/or are trying to be environmentally conscientious and take public transportation or drive more efficient cars, we will now be penalized for it by higher taxes. I understand the reasoning behind it which makes sense, we do have to maintain our infrastructure but it's like a damned if you do and damned if you don't scenario because the government is surely going to get theirs.
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by loveevhsince79 View Post
    Do you ever get the feeling that no matter what we do to take a step forward, we take two steps back. While many people are driving less because of the expense of fuel and/or are trying to be environmentally conscientious and take public transportation or drive more efficient cars, we will now be penalized for it by higher taxes. I understand the reasoning behind it which makes sense, we do have to maintain our infrastructure but it's like a damned if you do and damned if you don't scenario because the government is surely going to get theirs.
    YUP!!
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 12:23 PM
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    This whole thing is complete bullshit. We already changed our habits and it effected the price of oil--the free market at work. Now they want to raise taxes because they don't have enough revenue coming in? Fuck that shit.

    The government needs to learn to cut back useless shit just like we all did. This big government at work folks. You can expect at least 4 years of this crap as the government attempts to dictate the economy. What will end up happening is they will increase the tax, people will drive even less, they will have less revenue coming in again, and then what? The slippery slope just got slippier.

    Remember that inflation that was biting us in the ass? This is just wishing it to come back with a vengeance. The government can fuck up anything.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Hmmm....Higher gas prices forced people to drive less....change driving habits...buy more fuel efficient cars...gas sales dropped.

    So a panel's brilliant idea is to further raise the price of gas...meaning less gas consumed...meaning lower gas tax income...meaning they'll have less money than if they just leave things the hell alone and let the economy correct itself...hey, college is starting to pay off...I can think like an assclown now!!!
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  6. #6
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    I heard one of the brothers on NPR's "Car Talk" offering a full endorsement of this plan a couple of weeks ago. Now I can comfortably call myself a "progressive," and I vote Democrat probably 80% of the time. That being said, such a drastic hike in the gas tax makes me seriously pause, mostly because I--like everyone else in the country--have seen the snowball effect higher fuel prices have had on everything these past few years. I agree that, by comparison, we pay significantly less for gas than most other countries and therefore can't quite complain much beyond our own borders. And, so it seems, the only time we are actually motivated to invest in research and development of alternative fuel and energy sources (something we should have been doing a LONG time ago) is when it impacts the bottom line. Also, our infrastructure is indeed crumbling and has gone neglected for too long (we in Minneapolis LITERALLY were witness to the deteriorating infrastructure a year and a half ago when the 35W bridge over the Mississippi collapsed into the river during rush hour). Taking all that into consideration, I do believe drastic measures need to be taken to address and fund reconstruction and repair; it has been largely ignored to this point because there is no simple and inexpensive way to fix the problem, and any politician proposing to tax heavily for, well, anything, is sure to see his/her political demise sooner than later. But now it's a real problem. What is the solution? The money has to come from somewhere. I don't think a sudden and massive gas tax hike is the most responsible way to raise the funds (mostly because of the overall impact it would have on the economy), but I don't cynically dismiss the idea of a "carbon tax." Either we take responsibility for our deteriorating roads and bridges, or we leave it to our children. I, for one, believe in sacrifice for family and country and am willing to pay my portion to help establish a better future for my family, your family, and our country.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 02:42 PM
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    A much better way to raise money to rebuild roads and bridges is to just sell bonds! Make the interest rate attractive and offer them tax free. While all the banks are giving you nothing it would work.Raising Taxes in any shape or form during a severe recession is insane but Iam afraid both parties are out to get our wallets Fed,State and Local.
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  8. #8
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardv View Post
    A much better way to raise money to rebuild roads and bridges is to just sell bonds! Make the interest rate attractive and offer them tax free. While all the banks are giving you nothing it would work.Raising Taxes in any shape or form during a severe recession is insane but Iam afraid both parties are out to get our wallets Fed,State and Local.
    how much more debt are u expecting you gov't to take on? Raising taxes isn't a good option either but at some point, people are going to need to understand that you need to pay for the services that the government provides. You can't keep slapping this on the back on future generations. This "buy now - pay later" stuff is what got you in this mess to begin with.

 

 

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