Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Gas Tax Increase Ahead

Car drivers would support an increase in the federal gas tax, but only if Congress stops using it as an economic development slush fund. We also resent the doubling of road and highway expansion costs and we see corruption in the system.

Use taxes should be the least corruptible taxes we pay. Highways, sewers and water supply are typical government responsibilities.

There is a political divide between car drivers and transit customers, passenger train riders, bike riders, airline fliers, greenspace occupiers and retail development subsidizing fans. Car drivers resent using their gas tax to fund anything except roads and highways.
Tax hounds remind us that cars are more fuel efficient and gas tax revenue has dropped.  Automobile gasoline prices have stabilized in the $2 range and our highways are in need of expansion and maintenance.  

Fuel taxes in the United States. The United States federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel.

The FY 2017 President's Budget request for the Department of Transportation is $98.1 billion.

Federal excise tax revenues—mostly collected from sales of motor fuel, airline tickets, tobacco, alcohol, and health-related goods and services—totaled $98.3 billion in fiscal year 2015, or 3 percent of federal tax receipts.

Highway-related excise tax revenue totaled $37.4 billion in FY2015, 38.1 percent of all excise tax revenue.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation passed in 2010 contained several health-related excise taxes. Currently, the largest is an annual fee on health insurance providers. This fee represents a fixed aggregate amount for each calendar year ($11.3 billion for 2015), which is imposed on insurance providers according to their market share. 
This tax is being repealed.

There is a case for sending all transportation responsibilities and costs to the States and closing the federal DOT slush-fund to break up the “communitarian” slush-fund.

My advice to the States is that all transit should be private.  Cities, counties and States need to leave this to the private sector and phase out all tax subsidies. In a free market, consumers must control the price of the service.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

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