Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tax Vehicles By Weight Instead Of A Gas Tax?

I blogged yesterday about the Senate passing a bill to charge electric-car owners a $100 annual fee to compensate for the lack of gas taxes they pay.

Many states, Washington included, linked funding for roads to a tax added to the price of gasoline years ago, only now the money isn't coming in because people are cutting back their gas consumption by driving more fuel-efficient cars, using alternative transportation to driving alone or just cutting back on driving.

So what to do? Charles Trentelman of the Standard-Examiner blogs has an idea- get rid of the gas tax and instead tax vehicles based on their weight. That way the heaviest vehicles that damage our roads the most also pay the most taxes. Read the blog post and let me know what you think.


Charles said...

I really do not like a flat tax based on the vehicle weight, but prefer a tax based on usage of the roads, so far the gas tax is the best to do that, but with more efficient vehicles using less gas it also means less money to repair the roads, so maybe another consumption tax on electric vehicles or hybreds or a small weigh tax. I know they do tax vehicles by weight now as our motorhome has a gross weight tax on the license.

SRTC Staff said...

You do have a point @Charles. How often do you take your motorhome out for a drive? Probably not often. Which means, if charged by weight, you could be paying a lot for something you rarely drive. I don't really like the fees for hybrids and electric vehicles much either though, because the people who buy those cars are trying to do something good for the environment but are then told they have to pay more for doing so. Although folks who can afford those kind of cars can usually afford the extra fee.

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SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

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