gas tax

Who pays for roads? Users, but only partly

By Eric Sundquist Most readers of this blog are well aware that subsidies are common across transportation modes. But it’s useful to have the numbers, and so periodic reports by the Tax Foundations, which supports “simplicity, neutrality, transparency, and stability” in the tax code, are

Support for transportation taxes and fees: Gauging public opinion

By Mary Ebeling The Mineta Transportation Institute has released its seventh annual survey report of public opinion on a variety of tax policies for funding transportation. The current survey presents ten tax options, worded in general terms and touching on different formulations of a vehicle

The psychology of public acceptance of gas tax increases

By Dan Handel Raising gas taxes is a perennial issue for states, and getting public acceptance is always front and center in the debate. Raising gas taxes serves the dual purpose of generating revenue for much-needed infrastructure maintenance, as well as incentivizing other modes of

Oregon user-fee launches July 1 with three program options

By Robbie Webber The first program to charge a per-mile fee to drivers will launch July 1 in Oregon. Although beginning with only 5,000 volunteers, the program will continue to expand as an alternative to reliance on the gas tax. Other states are considering similar programs as gas tax revenues

Oregon leads the way in addressing transportation funding challenges

By Chris Spahr It is not news that the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money by the end of August unless Congress takes action. The main problem is that the gas tax that feeds the Trust Fund is no longer an effective form of revenue. The reasons are numerous: There has been no increase in the

VMT in the news: A warning to investors, a policy lesson for Congress, a reality check on climate policy, and charts

By Eric Sundquist Flat-to-declining highway transportation demand has been with us for about a decade, and consensus is building for the position that it is not a historic aberration but rather a durable trend. A roundup of recent VMT-related news: VMT data has prompted Fitch Rating to caution

Washington business community ups support for operations, preservation

By Eric Sunquist The Washington Roundtable, a group comprising many of the state’s largest businesses, is urging passage of a nine-cent increase in the fuel tax. What’s most interesting about the proposal, however, is not the revenue ask, but where the group wants the money to go: for major

An environmentalist’s call to curb the federal role in transportation

By Eric Sundquist In the post-Interstate-building era, questions about the role of the federal government in funding surface transportation have become more common. Critics from donor states, for example, have argued that they should just keep their money at home, avoiding the transaction costs

Virginia governor proposes scrapping gas tax, raising sales tax to fund transportation

By Eric Sundquist Most discussion of possible solutions to the problem of stagnant gas tax revenues has focused on increasing user fees in some way – e.g., by raising fuel taxes, adding tolls, and/or adding VMT-based fees. The Minnesota Transportation Finance Advisory Committee called for all

Who Pays for Roads in Wisconsin? (1000 Friends of Wisconsin and COWS, 2011)

Transportation is one of the biggest-ticket items for state and local government. The cost is high, and so is misunderstanding of who pays for what. Taxpayers cover costs that should be borne by road users and these road subsidies push up tax rates, squeeze government services, and skew the