Opinion: Gas Conservation Threatens Road Funding
But First Snide's Remarks:For years I have been telling anyone who would listen that the two biggest beneficiaries of high gas prices were the oil companies and us with fuel-taxes funding our various governmentsThe recent small tick up in improved MPG has brought cries and wailing from within those who get it in Washington...high fuel prices mean higher taxes with which to repair our roads, build our bridges and fund mass transit...
I believe that itís time to recognize that there has to be another way to continue to do what must be done...can you imagine the howling and budget cutbacks when those anticipated and needed high MPG alternative powered vehicles finally make their delayed appearance...roads crumbling, bridges falling and big city transit fares climbing even higher (oh yes your fuel taxes also go to mass transit, oh well thatís another story)...
Itís time to design and implement a system that funds our highway and transportation needs through a use tax of sorts, that is paid out every year at a rate that will generate the funds that this country needs to maintain and improve its infrastructure, and which by the way will cost the consumer much less than the combination of fuel costs and taxes then it does now. What do you think? email@example.com
Washington DC July 24, 2008; The AIADA newsletter reported that the U.S. House passed legislation that would steer $8 billion to highway projects next year, in a prelude to a broader debate over how much to invest in roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure.
The bill passed Wednesday is essentially a stop-gap measure designed to plug a gap between fuel-tax revenue flowing into the federal Highway Trust Fund and funding promises Congress has made to the states.
But it also spotlights a long-term problem confronting policymakers as consumers drive less and use more fuel-efficient vehicles. According to the Wall Street Journal, conservation means less gas-tax revenue is going into the Highway Trust Fund, which Congress taps every year to send transportation funding back to the states.
Current estimates indicate the trust fund will take in at least $3 billion less than Congress planned to spend next year. "The mechanism for financing highway and transit projects is obsolete," said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.). "In the long term, Congress must address this problem...in the short term, however, our only option is to pass this legislation and make sure the Highway Trust Fund remains sound and we avoid a transportation crisis.".