Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Increase the Gas Tax? Think Again

The Journey Takes On 'McCloskey Monday'

Metro 2
Interstate 66 headed into Washington DC. Here is an opportunity for demand tolls to be put in place to support needed improvements.

Virginia may enjoy the lowest gas tax in the region, but think again before raising it on that count. If you travel the region in your business (I do), where will YOU buy fuel, given the choice. The lower rate assures more purchases by people passing through or coming over from Maryland.

Statistics may say that you'll raise $50 million annually with a one cent increase. Actual experience suggests you'll get less as people conserve or choose to buy in other states.

There is no way a single toll is going to fill the coffers. That's not the point though. Look at the Dulles toll road and you will see that tolls can provide the capital to bring private sector energy into providing NEW, and much needed highway improvements.

The areas that will support them are the areas that most need them. What's wrong with localizing the meeting of needs anyway?

A toll is a tax. Yes, but it is a voluntary tax. You are free to take Virginia Route 7 to Leesburg but plenty of people have no problem coughing up the money to drive on the tollway. This weekend in Chicago I happily payed 80 cents a trip to use the Illinois tollway to get to the suburbs. I noticed a lot of other drivers doing the same.

Congestion at the toll booth? Ever heard of EZ Pass?

The operative word might be IMPROVED. Build new wider bridges and improved roads and toll them with EZ Pass and safe well maintained roads will be a reality. Oh, be sure to lockbox the gas tax revenues we're already receiving. Then you'll have maintenance covered.

Phil Has These Thoughts [click to read].

1 comment:

Joy Jackson said...

It's the same in Dallas and any other large metropolitan area. I agree with tolls.