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Do You Favor Spending $700B On Infrastructure Paid For By Highway Taxes?

Discussion in 'American Politics' started by mark46, May 10, 2021.

  1. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm fine with supporting everything in the Biden jobs plan.

    However, let us discuss one aspect of the bill: spending money on traditionally defined infrastructure: roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and railroads.

    There are proposals to separate this piece out. Would you support $700B or even $1T to be spent on this type of infrastructure paid for by an increase to the gasoline tax?
     
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  2. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    Im not sure if gasoline taxes are the best way to do improvements as now we have gas, hybrid, and electric. So Tesla owners, for example, would not pay any of this. Not that there are that many out there, but as we keep changing we do need to come up with a per mile usage tax version.
     
  3. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For now, this seems to be the best method. And yes, there will be some additional benefit for those who use electric cars or hybrids. That's OK for now.
     
  4. Aryeh Jay

    Aryeh Jay Veteran Supporter

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    I will support it if some of the money goes to a shovel ready project using Ming era technology to construct a Great Wall from sea to shining sea in order to protect the purple mountains from the evil hordes who wish to take them for their own use.
     
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  5. wing2000

    wing2000 E pluribus unum Supporter

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    Yes.

    Now one might argue: it's not fair to those who don't use our road system. However, until the day arrives when Americans are okay with the gov. gathering data from RFID trackers installed in their vehicles....a gas tax is as good as it gets IMO.

    The Federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993....
     
  6. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    Under normal circumstances, that may be doable.

    However, amidst the current impending gas crunch we may be dealing with, he may need to look into other areas where he can get that funding.

    Relying on a gasoline tax, when they're talking about potential gasoline shortages (scarcity creates even higher base prices pre-tax)...it may be harming some people in the process.

    Gasoline taxes (during a time when gas is priced steady, or decreasing) is less impactful to consumers. If a person is on a fixed income already, and the price of gas goes up, and the tax on the gas goes up at the same time, that could have some pretty negative impacts.

    With regards to gasoline related taxes, I'm much more a fan of "gas guzzler" taxes over regular gasoline taxes. Currently, it only impacts cars, and Trucks & SUVs are exempt

    Gas Guzzler Tax | US EPA

    If it were me, I'd remove the Truck/SUV exemption from the gas guzzler tax before I'd raise taxes on gasoline itself.

    The people who drive a Ford F-250 or large SUV daily for non-commercial purposes are the ones doing most of the unnecessary polluting and more unnecessary wear & tear on the roads in the first place... they should be the ones footing the bill. Not a fixed-income person who's trying to fill up their Honda Accord to get back and forth to work.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  7. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    That is something to consider. Gas prices have a multiplier effect on goods and services that are transportation heavy. As it is now, the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline will drive prices up temporarily where I live. It also shows the vulnerability of our infrastructure and the need for additional funding.
     
  8. trunks2k

    trunks2k Contributor

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    With the increase in usage of electric vehicles, we are going to have to start moving away from relying on gas taxes to fund highways. We'll have to start looking at mileage based taxes or something. Maybe a mileage based tax based on the type of car (heavier cars pay more) and energy efficiency (cars that can go further on a KW pay less, gasoline pay more the lower the MPG).
     
  9. SimplyMe

    SimplyMe Senior Veteran

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    The first issue with that is that you must have some type of mileage check -- and adding the "infrastructure" of checks will add cost, you'll need the checkpoints, tax collection system, etc. as well as a means to enforce compliance. A cheaper alternative may be if they could get the information from the vehicle remotely, but then you add the issue of "big brother" watching you drive.

    I do think an increased gas tax is likely the best, in the short term. Better economy and less driving pay less, as they don't use as much fuel -- so it is, in a sense, still a "gas guzzler" tax. Yes, electric cars are "free" but encouraging more electric vehicle usage is a reason to give them this "tax incentive."

    I've seen different ideas of what a future may look like. Regardless, I think the country is better off getting rid of the extra tax, not replacing the gasoline tax, and just funding highways out of Income tax (or other alternative taxes, such as a general sales tax, which may be used in the future).
     
  10. trunks2k

    trunks2k Contributor

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    Nah, you just do it when you renew vehicle registration or some other sort of periodic check. States require things like annual or bi annual registration renewals and safety/emissions inspections. Piggy back off of that to to record mileage and bill appropriately. Get a bill, that you can pay off over the course of a year - no selling the car or registration renewal unless you are good on the tax bill.
     
  11. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    We get a mileage request for our vehicles when we renew our car insurance each year. Easy enough to get an annual tax that is paid monthly or something.
     
  12. Brihaha

    Brihaha Member

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    I like the idea of spending taxpayer money on things we need to improve America. Building bridges and roads serves us more than erecting walls. We can cut funding for unnecessary spending to subsidize any gasoline taxes to fund infrastructure. If congress cannot find a way, we Americans should find representatives who understand that politics is the art of compromise. Continuing to elect incumbents is obviously not benefitting all us citizens. Actions speak much louder than politicians' hollow words.
     
  13. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Biden wants to spend more than $6B. We clearly need some tax increases to pay for such spending.

    Gas tax increases need to be one of those increases. We might note the level when these taxes were last increased. No tax is perfect, but this one comes close. We can consider tax deductions or credits for truckers.

    We need to consider other tax increases to pay for the other half of the jobs/infrastructure bill and the family bill. Taxes on those who make more than $400K and reversing half of Trump's corporate tax decrease should pay for alot. Even spending more on IRS enforcement of cases against the rich and corporations will help.

    However, for NOW, we have passed the COVID bill that will provide stimulus and money for months to come. We NEED to fix our physical infrastructure, and have an easy opportunity to this with a $700B bill paid for by gas tax increases.
     
  14. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    I'm generally not a fan of consumption taxes because they tend to be regressive in practice. That being said, if we are to keep it, we need to raise it and then index it to inflation. I feel this way about most things in the federal government btw, from taxes to minimum wage. But I also think just relying on gas taxes isn't the right approach anyway, because even if the infrastructure was limited to roads, bridges and tunnels, they benefit more then just the people who use them. I don't have a car or driver's license, so I don't pay a cent on taxes on fuel. But I wouldn't be able to live my life the way I do without roads and bridges and the like, because they connect me with the rest of the country.
     
  15. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Would I support a gasoline tax rise to support that part? Yes, especially if combined with an small electricity surcharge also, so that electric vehicles (or heavy electricity users) can help pay a small part. But...it may be easier politically if just a gas tax, as that would be more visibly in a simple way like a user fee, which would help garner broad support.
     
  16. SimplyMe

    SimplyMe Senior Veteran

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    Sure, but that is a function of the state. While the federal government could request the states for that information, many states would refuse (I'm guessing most Republican states, showing their citizens they are trying to stop "unfair taxes" from Uncle Sam; much like the claimed with Obamacare). In fact, many states would likely "sue" the federal government, like with Obamacare, that the Federal government is infringing on the state's rights.

    But even the states that agree to do it will likely still want to be paid their costs (and they'll likely claim in the millions of dollars) to collect and pass on that information to the federal government.
     
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