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Just read a news item about a possible tax on hybrids because their owners don't pay enough tax at the pump to pay their fair share to maintain roads. The whole article is below, or can be found here:

http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/13254682.htm


Posted on Fri, Nov. 25, 2005

Report suggests taxing hybrids for highway fund money

JIM ABRAMS

Associated Press


WASHINGTON - Taxing hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars and billing drivers for miles driven are among the approaches being suggested to avert a shortfall in money to maintain the nation's highways.

Less than four months after President Bush signed a six-year, $286.4 billion highway and public transit act, a report commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money and Congress needs to think about new revenue sources.

"Decisions are going to have to be made in the very near future," said Ed Mortimer, the business lobby's director of transportation infrastructure, acknowledging it could be a tall order. The next highway bill is years away and lawmakers may be loathe to return to a measure that was widely criticized for being padded with thousands of special-interest projects.

The Senate came to an acrimonious halt recently when a senator suggested shifting to hurricane relief the money from two Alaskan bridge projects, including a $223 million project linking Ketchikan to a sparsely populated island with an airport that critics have dubbed the "bridge to nowhere." Congress later removed the bridge from a list of protected projects, but money for it is still part of Alaska's share of federal highway dollars.

The recently issued study, commissioned but not endorsed by the chamber, estimated that the trust fund, financed by the federal tax on gasoline, will take in only $231 billion over the six-year course of the act, and that the highway portion of the fund would hit a zero cash balance in 2008, a year before the act expires.

The report also concluded revenues from all levels of government will fall $500 billion short of what is needed just to maintain pavement and bridge conditions and traffic levels through 2015, and $1.1 trillion short of what is needed to improve the nation's infrastructure.

"Without a significant influx of new revenues," said Associated General Contractors of America's CEO Stephen E. Sandherr, "our nation's transportation network will also continue to deteriorate, impacting mobility and economic well-being."

The Transportation Department, in a statement, said it "has recognized for some time the growing strains placed on the Highway Trust Fund, which is why Secretary (Norman) Mineta championed the creation of an extensive review of the fund's future in the recently enacted surface transportation bill."

In the short term, the study recommended that the federal gas tax, set at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993, be indexed for inflation. Of that, 15.44 cents goes to highways, with most of the rest to mass transit accounts.

Last year the House Transportation Committee backed raising the tax, the only major tax not adjusted for inflation, by 4 or 5 cents to pay for a $375 billion bill. The administration warned that the president would veto any bill that increased taxes.

The study argued that the fuel tax has lost one-third of its purchasing power since 1993 and that of the 60 cents per mile that drivers now pay to operate a car, only 1 cent goes to federal taxes.

Other possible short-term money-raisers include expanded use of tolling and bonds, closing fuel tax exemptions, recrediting interest to the trust fund and dedicating 10 percent of U.S. Customs import revenues to port and freight facilities.

Proposals for the longer term could be more controversial. One is that owners of hybrids and other alternative fuel vehicles pay a vehicle fee, the argument being that drivers should bear their fair share to fill the potholes and fix the bridges, regardless of how much or what kind of fuel they use.

In the same vein, the report said federal and state governments should begin moving from the fuel tax to a mileage-based system. The current tax, in place since 1956, could have diminishing returns as cars become more fuel efficient and if Americans, turned off by rising gas prices, buy smaller cars.

Revenues deposited in the trust fund in the 2004 budget year totaled $34.7 billion, unchanged from four years earlier.

Oregon has already initiated a voluntary "vehicle miles of travel" program under which cars are equipped with GPS systems that track miles driven. Drivers pay a periodic fee based on that rather than a tax at the pump.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., a senior member of the Transportation Committee, expressed some doubts about the experiment, saying it penalized fuel-efficient vehicles and was "very high-tech, very complicated and very controversial."

The Chamber of Commerce study said governments must begin planning now because "it will take at least 10 to 15 years of significant experimentation to develop mileage-based revenue systems that can be tailored technically and politically to the needs of the states and cities."

ON THE NET

Information on the study can be found at:

http://www.uschamber.com/ncf/publications/default.htm
 

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How STUPID! :roll: I didn't notice a proposal to additionally tax larger, gas guzzlers.
 

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Taxing

It is beyond belief that we have our tax credit on one hand and this proposed mileage tax on the other. Our little tiny Hybrids really rip up the roads so much more that the Hummers and Dodge Rams. Our government simply cannot help but make themselves look stupid in almost every decision they make.

On the GM topic someone mentioned the old quote about how GM goes, so goes the country...... time to move???
 

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tax

As roadway wear and tear is related to vehicle weight, an annual registration fee proportional to that would seem reasonable.

Levying at the point of fuel tax would capture much of the vehicle weight variability, and also incorporate miles driven.

Either could be argued as reasonable; neither would likely be supported by truckers' or large vehicle manufacturers' lobbyists.

Are low-pollutant, low-CO2 emitting vehicles represented by any important lobbies in Washington?

DAS
 

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Let's start by eliminating federal funding of mass transit and have all of the federal gas tax placed in the trust, rather than just a portion of it. Mass transit needs to support itself with revenues it generates from riders.

Then let's take funds from non-infrastructural budgets and move it to an infrastructure budget, such as the trust.

No society has ever taxed itself into prosperity.
 

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I saw a show on road building materials years ago, I think it was 60 minutes. Anyway the point of the story was that old tires were used to pave the roads instead of asphalt. The old tires were ground up, the problem was they worked too well and road builders wouldn't make as much money if the roads lasted way longer. So the road builders lobby not to use the rubber material.
 

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fish_antlers said:
Personally I think its about time we had a tax like this. Glad someone on Capitol Hill grew some balls!
I'm all for it if they tax gas guzzlers for the cost of sequestering the excess carbon dioxide they spew out. Now that would take real balls given the oil and automotive industry lobbyists.
 

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Sounds familiar

Had a similar incident in the Pacific Northwest about 15 years ago. The utility companies and the government begged people to use less energy, govt. grants for home insulation & energy-efficient homes.....

Power company was losing money so they "had to raise" the rates.........
 

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Garbage?? Sounds pretty fair to me:

owners of hybrids and other alternative fuel vehicles pay a vehicle fee, the argument being that drivers should bear their fair share to fill the potholes and fix the bridges, regardless of how much or what kind of fuel they use.
 

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fish_antlers said:
Garbage?? Sounds pretty fair to me:
I responded to a similar comment of yours a few messages ago. Why is it that you are very happy to disagree with other people's posts, but when an intelligent response to your post is made, you ignore it? Even if you didn't think it was intelligent, I would think you would at least try to point that out. I mean you obviously do have the time to make many posts. Just curious.
 

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I must've missed what you said... I'm not ignoring you.. I just tuned out the replies as they were full of nothing but complaining...

all of this seems very anti-liberal to me as the quote I posted from the proposal is about as liberal as you can get... the road belongs to everyone and we should all pay to maintain it.

Your cars still have 4 wheels and use public roads.

I guess being a left wing liberal is okay until you have to pay yer share

:roll:
 

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"...Just read a news item about a possible tax on hybrids because their owners don't pay enough tax at the pump to pay their fair share to maintain roads..."
**********************************************************
With the focus on fuel economy, even Congresss isn't dumb enough to pass anything like this. They find their shortfall $$'s the old fashioned way: Barrow It
 

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fish_antlers said:
I must've missed what you said... I'm not ignoring you.. I just tuned out the replies as they were full of nothing but complaining...

all of this seems very anti-liberal to me as the quote I posted from the proposal is about as liberal as you can get... the road belongs to everyone and we should all pay to maintain it.

Your cars still have 4 wheels and use public roads.

I guess being a left wing liberal is okay until you have to pay yer share

:roll:
NEW TAX!! Any vehicle that gets less than 25 miles per gallon must now pay a $100.00 environmental destruction fee for every 1mpg the vehicle gets below the 25 mpg threshold. In addition to this tax, all vehicles must also pay $10.00 per every pound over 2600lbs for road impact use. Taxes will also be acessed $10.00 for every inch in height that they exceed 54" and 65" in width, this is to compensate the National Chiropractic Foundation for "neck" therapys that have been rendered due to having to look around SUVs. Fees will be imposed at the rate of $100.00 per hour for every hour that SUVs are occupied(driver) by a single person and is compounded by a formula of unknown origin (IRS) for every available unoccupied seat in the SUV vehicle. SUVs equipped with video monitors for rear occupants of the vehicle will be acessed $10.00 per every inch that the screen is less than 24 inches in the diagonal dimension, this fee will compensate the American Ogle Assoc. for strained eyes trying to view the small screens while following the video monitor. SUVs and large trucks displaying a "NASCAR" car# will be taxed 10 times the displayed number. If your vehicle has a "BUCK-mark" on it add $12.50. If any of the fish in your catfish pond has horns, you will be charged a genetics infraction penalty. If said fish are all asexual, then they must be promptly "dehorned" and sent to the CDC in Atlanta, Ga for study.........other fess and levies are at the descretion of the Chamber of the potentialy Coerced. Additional taxes can be imposed without the consent of the people and are obligated to pay all the stupid fees proposed by such. All fees will be acessed one month before the vehicles registration renewal month and must be remitted in full before registration renewal can be granted. :roll:

Definitions: SUV-A large multi-passenger vehicle that promotes nothing but status in some cases, some of which can't seem to get thier rims to stop spinning when they stop. This category includes pick-up trucks driven by a single person that can seat up to four and has a tailpipe larger than 3 1/2 inches in diameter. The "beds" of which usually are half full of Mountain Dew, various spent rifle cartidges (usually .22, .410 and 30-30) and various beer cans mixed with Skoal or Copenhagen snuff tins.

I figure that gill lip Durango horns will be coughing up 2K plus on his "born on date"....or "hatch date" maybe I should say. Was the rest of the roe spawned on? If so...we are in trouble. :shock:

I'm leaving for Washington now.....to promote my new agenda! :D
 

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fish_antlers said:
Personally I think its about time we had a tax like this. Glad someone on Capitol Hill grew some balls!
Obviously something you have no use for..... (BALLS) thank the genetics god!:roll: ...unless you castrated yourself! :shock:
 

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The solution is simple: increase the gas tax. Eventually most everyone will be driving more efficient cars but you'll still have the same revenue for maintaining the roads. The few losers who still drive guzzlers will have to pay through the nose.
 
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