Taxing Drivers…Not Gasoline

Now here’s a new way to approach the funding of rebuilding our horribly corroding transportation infrastructure, tax the automobile driver, not the gasoline fuel used! The Chicago Tribune® ran an article this morning, Wednesday, June 29, 2016, which certainly focuses an ongoing economic issue facing the United States…its crumbling roadway infrastructure.

Executive Summary

  •  Charge fee for miles traveled
  • Mail out monthly invoices
  • Some people want mileage tax to be dependent upon pollution impact of vehicle being driven
  • State’s reliance on gas tax no longer a viable option
  • Federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993
  • Privacy issues raised by tracking automobiles in proposed manner
  • “gaming” the system will be an interesting challenge for cheaters
  • Why not use GPS technology?
  • Gee, how do we “divvy” up the tax revenue with interstate travel?
  • How much should the “per mile” charge be?

 

Here’s a link to the article: http://www.pressreader.com/usa/chicago-tribune/20160629/282067686244280

Here’s a nice website hosted by the ARTBA American Road and Transportation Builders Association:

http://www.artba.org/about/faq/

Their FAQ page answers a host of transportation-related questions from “who’s responsible for what” to “how are the tax revenues collected.

Here’s an article from the Huffington Post® that basically says highway tolls can get the job “done” as far as generating revenue to repair the roads: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patrick-d-jones/highway-funding-made-simple_b_8900386.html

Lastly, here’s the website for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.cfm

A little history of the U.S. highway system:

The U.S. interstate highway system was created during the Eisenhower Administration. President Eisenhower wanted our National Defense to be strengthened by the ability of defensive equipment and troops to be able to move faster and more freely around the United States. Website: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/50interstate.cfm

Before the Interstate highway system the only “cross-country” highway in the U.S. was the “Lincoln Highway.” There is an official Lincoln Highway Association that tells the story of the highway and shows a map: https://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/

Here’s the official U.S. government website about the Lincoln Highway: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/lincoln.cfm

Another “fabled” highway is U.S. Route 66. It starts in downtown Chicago, Illinois, at Michigan Avenue and Jackson Blvd. and ends in Santa Monica, California. Here’s the website: http://www.historic66.com/

So here we are in the year 2016. More cars and trucks on American roads than ever before, and bigger and faster vehicles on the road than probably ever before.  Currently, a seeming “glut” of crude oil will make traveling by automobile very attractive to the consumer/traveler. As reflected in the history of U.S. highways above, technology and economics and defense have, in the past, played a part in the building of road infrastructure but what good is an infrastructure that is full of “pot holes,” crumbling bridges, unsafe overpasses, and outdated “financial funding” mechanisms which are intended to repair it????

One of my pet idioms is “you pay one way or you pay another.” So…how are we going to “pay” for new roads?

Author update July 3, 2016: Just read a news article “Women’s motorbike trek to mark sisters’ 1916 feat.” Here’s a website to commemorate the monumental feat. I can’t image two women crossing the U.S. on motorcycles in 1914, sistersmotorcycleride.com. They used the Lincoln Highway which I mentioned above in my blog. Women were spunky back then, but that’s the American spirit isn’t it!

 Drive

 

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