user fees

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

Northeast looks at GHG reductions that boost the economy

By Eric Sundquist Clean transportation investments funded by market-based user charges would reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also providing a net economic benefit, a study for five Northeastern states and the District of Columbia contends. The study was released to coincide with

Beyond silos—Funding a multimodal transportation system

By Mary Ebeling There is an increasing urgency to addressing the transportation funding crisis, not simply for highways but system-wide. As urban areas—where most of the country’s population lives—become increasingly multimodal, a shift in the funding paradigm is required for such a system

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

Virginia drops retail fuel tax; states struggle with transportation funding

By Robbie Webber When Governor Bob McDonnell signed HB 2313 into law, Virginia became the first state to completely eliminate the retail fuel gas tax. It will be replaced by a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gasoline, a 6 percent tax on diesel, an increase in the cost to title a car, a $100 fee for

Economist urges less general revenue, more user fees to support air travel

By Eric Sundquist The use of general revenue to support highways, transit, and intercity rail is familiar. Now with the across-the-board cuts dictated by the federal budget sequester, it’s also clear how much air travel relies on non-user revenue. Disruption in air travel has been one of the

Wisconsin is most recent state to consider mileage-based user fee

By Robbie Webber Wisconsin is the most recent state to consider a mileage-based user fee (MBUF). The Transportation Finance and Policy Commission, created as part of the 2011-2013 biennial budget, recommended consideration of the fee in addition to current gas taxes, licensing, and registration

GAO: When it comes to highways, all states now receive more funds than they contribute

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms that between 2005 and 2009, every state received more Federal-Aid Highway Program dollars than it contributed through the gas tax and other fees. This is a change from the past when the country could be divided into “donor”