You Pay Road Tax Too
U.S. PIRG‘s compelling new report on the gasoline tax and U.S. road maintenance makes some startling points:
► Our roads have received some $600 billion (2005 dollars) in subsidies since 1947.
► The gasoline tax now only pays for about fifty-percent of costs, and is likely to go lower as hybrids and electric cars take to the road in numbers.
I’ve been looking for a credible, recent source of these figures for some time. They give additional support to several points that transit advocates have argued:
► Bicyclists pay for their share of the road (and may overpay), because they pay sales and income taxes.
► Amtrak is not uniquely subsidized. Federal roads are too.
► Local transit is not uniquely subsidized. Local roads are too.
One thing I didn’t realize: California is one of the few states that imposes an excise tax and sales tax on gasoline. What’s more, the sales tax is imposed on the excise tax, meaning that drivers are taxed on a tax.
Hat tip to Transportation for America.