What are your thoughts on raising the fuel tax to help fund infrastructure improvements?

roadscholar88

Active Member
Yesterday President Trump announced that he would consider raising the fuel tax for the first time in nearly 25 years to fund infrastructure improvements. What are your thoughts on this?
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
New car sales in 1970, 8,399,000 total sales.
New care sales 2007, 7,618,000 total sales.
There is a 4.6% annual decline in vehicle sales since 1999. Domestic sales are actually 6.4%.
And the trend reached a high in 1978 and it's been falling ever since.
in 1975, the annual fuel used was 759 gallons per licensed driver.
in 2006, the annual fuel used was 653 gallons per licensed driver.
That's a difference of 13.36 billion gallons or 341 million barrels LESS gas we are using in 2006 vs 1975.

All of these numbers come from the US FHWA and Bureau of Transportation statistics.
Publications | Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Still trying to make heads and tails out of how many vehicles are actually on the road.
Publications | Bureau of Transportation Statistics
How can there be a declining sales level, even given the increased life span of cars from 5 years to 9 years. Yet the number of cars license increase at a faster rate of growth.

Someone in Washington and Detroit are blowing some pretty good smoke rings.

Basically, cars, have remained steady overall since 1980 at about 130,000,000 registered vehicles since 1980. The number of motorcylces and 4wheelers have sky-rocketed though.

Considering that cars have gone from 13.5 mpg to 22.1 mpg, even remaining even for the number of cars and the increased mileage from about 10400 to 14500 miles per year driven. That is 389 million barrels of gas. At 20 gallons of gas per 42 gallon barrel of oil, that's about 819 million barrels of oil annually. that's about 34.3 billion gallons annually. The exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 Million.

That's almost 3200 Exxon Valdez's as much oil we are NOT using in 2006 compared to 1975.
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Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
The roads have to be paid for. It's the federal government's job to maintain "post roads." Today, I would interpret that as the Interstate system, even though most State governments have taken that on. However, the federal government is required to (by law) contribute. Therefore, as long as we're talking an increase in line with inflation and not some exorbitant amount, yes.

But figure out how to get a fair amount from people who drive hybrids as well. They use the roads, too, and should pay their fair share.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
The bigger issue too is as cars get more fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles come on line, you loose the tax revenue from your primary source.

Electric hybrid take over.

Fine. Base the road tax on miles driven. Not fuel purchased
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
The last time the fuel tax was raised was 1993. Since then inflation has taken a huge bite out of the purchasing power of what the fuel tax can buy, and if anything our infrastructure needs have vastly increased. The collection of fuel tax at the pump is the most efficient way to raise money for the roads.

For all of these reasons Congress should raise the fuel tax, with the following provisos...

1. Index the fuel tax rate to inflation. This would maintain the purchasing power of the tax, and largely eliminate these idiotic political fights and bickering over funding a critical national need.

2. Require that the funds raised be spent only on projects related to maintaining the existing road network, and expanding it.

3. Prohibit spending on public transportation, "beautification," hiking trails, and @Duck's driveway.

4. I don't have a problem with matching funds being spent with states on national infrastructure projects involving US and state highways, but local projects to "widen main street" are out. So is supporting NY state waterways so rich jerks can play at sea captain on their fancy boats.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
The collection of fuel tax at the pump is the most efficient way to raise money for the roads.
How can you raise road tax revenue at the pump, when we are physically using less fuel?

How can you create fuel tax revenue when they use lpg, CNG or electricity which are not taxed?
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
The bigger issue too is as cars get more fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles come on line, you loose the tax revenue from your primary source.

Electric hybrid take over.

Fine. Base the road tax on miles driven. Not fuel purchased
All the whining over tracking where you go would have to be overcome.

Do you favor an odometer tax, or open road tolling like they're using in Masholachusetts?

How can you raise road tax revenue at the pump, when we are physically using less fuel?
It's what we're using now. I don't have a problem with a different method, as long as we're not talking manual toll collection.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Vehicle miles is a taxing option that comes up quite often. We may get their at some point, but those highly concerned about being tracked by the Government will fight it to the end. I really don't know of any other fair way to collect a highway tax though, other than tolling every road.

A vehicle miles tax would still need to be collected at the pump, which would require scanning the mileage off the vehicle. If it's not paid at the pump, with money out of the person's hand right at that moment, there will be a door opened up to subsidizing the tax for those who supposedly can't afford it, which will result in the tax being further raised for each mile everyone else drives. I don't want to go down that road.

However you base the collecting, collect it at the pump
 

Lumpy1071

Well-Known Member
This exact topic has been hugely debated in Tennessee over the last few months.
I've listened to both sides of the argument from every angle.
As a strict conservative (fiscal and social) I am never in favor of raising taxes. My heart skips a beat just thinking about it.
BUT -- I do believe that building/maintaining roads and bridges is 1/3 of the primary functions of the Federal Government, as designed and intended by the Founding Fathers.
I understand completely why the numbers don't work, as MN Driver points out, something is stinky in Helsinki. In the end, They're gonna have to have more of a budget to fix the roads. I'm not even going to debate IF it's necessary.
My conclusion is that the tax should never be a flat dollar amount. It should be a percentage. The percentage should never have to go up.
The big problem with the electric, CNG, hybrids and the Amish not paying their share must be addressed by a flat tax due every year when they register/renew their dooshy little Prius or their buggy.
 

Duck

Bumper sticker slogan goes here
Supporter
There should be no increase in any kind of highway taxes until the swamp is drained and measures are put in place to make sure NONE of it is spent on anything you can't drive on. No bicycle paths, statues of dead politicians, mass transit systems, rail, airports, signs that say "Some Dead Guy Memorial Bridge", etc.

All the whining over tracking where you go would have to be overcome.
No. It's not whining. People have a right to not have their movements tracked by the government. Period.. That should not even be open for discussion.

The only "whining" is from Big Brother saying "but the electric cars don't pay their fair share" .

Fine. If "green" vehicles aren't paying fuel taxes and a new system based on vehicle miles needs created, so be it. But it can be done without tracking everybody's movements.


What difference does it make NOW where you go with your car? What if one guy buys his gas in the town he lives in but commutes 100 miles each way to work every day using mostly federal highways but his neighbor gets his gas at the same gas station but drives the same amount of miles while never leaving town, because he delivers pizzas or something?

The vast majority of people driving around in Chicago don't live in Chicago. They commute from the suburbs and buy their gas there because the taxes are too high in Chicago. And yet somehow Chicago still has funds to plow their 8 billion miles of pavement every time it snows.

Why in the hell would tracking everyone's movements be necessary when all you'd need is a tamper-proof odometer?

It isn't.

If Chicago needs money for pothole repairs because nobody is stupid enough to buy gas in the city if they can get it in the suburbs where they're not taxed to death, the mayor whines to the state or the feds and they get their funding.

Flat tax based only on total miles driven, with no regard to where they were driven, and let the government do it's ****ing job and disperse the collected taxes based only on where it's needed.

It's not complicated.

In fact it's way less complicated than having computers constantly analyze the routes driven by 8468534552375 people.

The "we need to track everyone so we know which roads they wear out" is just a bullshit excuse to track people. Thanks to Snowden, we know the government loves to spy on everyone, so it should come as no surprise that they'll make up whatever bullshit excuse they can think of to continue to do so.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
There should be no increase in any kind of highway taxes until the swamp is drained and measures are put in place to make sure NONE of it is spent on anything you can't drive on. No bicycle paths, statues of dead politicians, mass transit systems, rail, airports, signs that say "Some Dead Guy Memorial Bridge", etc.


No. It's not whining. People have a right to not have their movements tracked by the government. Period.. That should not even be open for discussion.

The only "whining" is from Big Brother saying "but the electric cars don't pay their fair share" .

Fine. If "green" vehicles aren't paying fuel taxes and a new system based on vehicle miles needs created, so be it. But it can be done without tracking everybody's movements.


What difference does it make NOW where you go with your car? What if one guy buys his gas in the town he lives in but commutes 100 miles each way to work every day using mostly federal highways but his neighbor gets his gas at the same gas station but drives the same amount of miles while never leaving town, because he delivers pizzas or something?

The vast majority of people driving around in Chicago don't live in Chicago. They commute from the suburbs and buy their gas there because the taxes are too high in Chicago. And yet somehow Chicago still has funds to plow their 8 billion miles of pavement every time it snows.

Why in the hell would tracking everyone's movements be necessary when all you'd need is a tamper-proof odometer?

It isn't.

If Chicago needs money for pothole repairs because nobody is stupid enough to buy gas in the city if they can get it in the suburbs where they're not taxed to death, the mayor whines to the state or the feds and they get their funding.

Flat tax based only on total miles driven, with no regard to where they were driven, and let the government do it's ****ing job and disperse the collected taxes based only on where it's needed.

It's not complicated.

In fact it's way less complicated than having computers constantly analyze the routes driven by 8468534552375 people.

The "we need to track everyone so we know which roads they wear out" is just a bullshit excuse to track people. Thanks to Snowden, we know the government loves to spy on everyone, so it should come as no surprise that they'll make up whatever bullshit excuse they can think of to continue to do so.
Fine... you can pay for my next round of suspension repairs due to that infantile attitude.

:D
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
Or we could just convert the entire national road net to a tolled enterprise.

:rolleyes:

None of this is free, and the need for infrastructure repair is both immediate and urgent.
 

Tazz

Infidel
All for privatizing roads, and tolling them on a per use basis. Most lose their damn minds at the suggestion.

However a wheel tax is as simple as a certified check of your odometer at every plate renewal. No need to track movements etc. A simple line on your registration with last years odometer reading and this years. Of course a lot of people are going to try and fake it or just as some here do not bother. We just confiscate their vehicle when caught and sell it at auction for their share ;)
 

Tazz

Infidel
This exact topic has been hugely debated in Tennessee over the last few months.
I've listened to both sides of the argument from every angle.
As a strict conservative (fiscal and social) I am never in favor of raising taxes. My heart skips a beat just thinking about it.
BUT -- I do believe that building/maintaining roads and bridges is 1/3 of the primary functions of the Federal Government, as designed and intended by the Founding Fathers.
I understand completely why the numbers don't work, as MN Driver points out, something is stinky in Helsinki. In the end, They're gonna have to have more of a budget to fix the roads. I'm not even going to debate IF it's necessary.
My conclusion is that the tax should never be a flat dollar amount. It should be a percentage. The percentage should never have to go up.
The big problem with the electric, CNG, hybrids and the Amish not paying their share must be addressed by a flat tax due every year when they register/renew their dooshy little Prius or their buggy.
We are getting a tax hike in Tennessee

House, Senate approve Haslam's gas tax proposal


Now we just have to watch that they spend it on roads and not Megan Berry's goofy assed Clarksville rail line.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
All for privatizing roads, and tolling them on a per use basis. Most lose their damn minds at the suggestion.

However a wheel tax is as simple as a certified check of your odometer at every plate renewal. No need to track movements etc. A simple line on your registration with last years odometer reading and this years. Of course a lot of people are going to try and fake it or just as some here do not bother. We just confiscate their vehicle when caught and sell it at auction for their share ;)
This would work well.
 
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