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Author Topic: U.S. Should End Gasoline Tax to Pay for Roads, Boxer Says Back to Topics
Oredigger94

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 12:21:04 AM

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, who’s in charge of writing legislation to continue highway construction after 2014, said she favors eliminating the 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline that pays for such work.

The California Democrat said at a hearing today she wants to replace the levy paid by consumers at the pump with a new tax paid on oil at refineries. That tax would generate enough revenue to fund highways and mass transit for six years, Boxer said.

“This could bring in more than all the other taxes bring in for transportation,” said Boxer, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “It would fund highway programs for six years, and it would do that while we do away with other fees. It’s a very exciting idea.”


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kboykool
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 7:41:20 PM

MAC48, YumaFellow was responding to an earlier post in regard to a mileage tax. Because vehicles have the same effect on roadway maintenance regardless of their energy source, this seems the most equitable. The problem is that it is nearly impossible to manage a system like that without having Big Brother Inside and creating a whole new layer of government to track people's mileage--or at least a whole new branch of the IRS. While this has only been attempted at the state level, there is no reason the federal government wouldn't try that approach. Alternatively, the easier method would be a user fee rather than a mileage based tax. If the fee was say representative of the average driver (15,000 miles per year) and the average gas mileage of a vehicle (say 25 mpg for passenger cars) then those traveling more or with less fuel efficient vehicle would in effect be getting a break. Commercial vehicles could have a larger fee as well as heavier vehicles which create greater need for road maintenance.

Your point about other uses of Highway Trust Fund dollars (not to mention "borrowing" from it to pay for other programs) is well made. Like you said, this has been going on for some time and there is no good mechanism in place to deal with those other aspects. One method would be to cover those programs with "general fund" dollars and not highway dollars. For non-transit projects, they should be funded like National Parks and other programs for the common good. However, unlike city parks, National Parks often have entrance fees associated with their operations and vendors are charged a fee to sell their wares, etc. Keep in mind, though, much of the trail funding is through Local Public Agencies (LPAs) and not for federal lands. The transit projects, though, should be funded through user fees like you said.
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DanMtz
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 1:49:50 PM

If Barbara Boxer is "excited" about a new tax, I'm concerned...
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MAC48
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 1:13:26 PM

Yumafellow -- This article is discussing Sen. Boxer and some studies ideas on modifying the Federal motor vehicle fuel tax with has nothing to do with and would make no changes in the motor vehicle fuel tax imposed by the states.

User fees paid by the user of the governmental service or infrastructure provided is the most fair form of taxation possible. The problem with the Federal Highway Trust Fund (FHTF) is that the revenue has been used to pay for politically feel good, a.k.a politically correct, projects such as mass transit, hiking trails, bicycle lanes/trails, light rail, etcetera in addition to funding highway construction and maintenance over the years.

User fees imposed on hikers, bicyclist and users of mass transit should be used to fund the needs of these governmentally provided transportation infrastructure. The FHTF should only be spent on highway construction, reconstruction and maintenance infrastructure used by vehicles. After a few years of only spending the FHTF revenue on vehicle specific infrastructure, we will know if the Federal motor vehicle tax rate needs to be raised or if the current 18.4 cent per gallon of gasoline and the 24 cents per gallon of diesel rates are adequate or need to be increased.
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Sneakers55
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 12:43:41 PM

I just wrote my US Senator (Cornyn, R-TX, who serves on the Senate Finance Committee) objecting to this proposal by Barbara Boxer.
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Sneakers55
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 12:20:22 PM

They were just saying on the news that if the Government shuts down, nonessential Government workers would be sent home. They said there were 800,000 nonessential Government workers. When it comes to those 800,000, how about starting with Barbara Boxer?


[Edited by: Sneakers55 at 9/30/2013 12:22:34 PM EST]
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Sneakers55
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 12:15:45 PM

On Sep 30, 2013 2:14:31 AM, Gnusman53 wrote:

>if the oil industry really felt that way.... they should give back ALL
>the subsidize and tax credits/breaks etc.... and stand on their own feet.....

Why should oil companies be required to give back the tax code preference items that ALL manufacturing companies receive?
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Sneakers55
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 12:10:05 PM

On Sep 30, 2013 8:16:33 AM, lazydoggs3 wrote:

>lets do away with all taxes

Lets do away with Barbara Boxer, you people in California have to vote her out the next time she comes up for re-election. Problem solved.
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Sneakers55
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 12:07:23 PM

Barbara Boxer is a Democrat from California. Of course, she wants to tax more and more. She wants to replace a tax at the point of sale with a tax at the refineries. Guess having a tax that Big Oil has to pay is more politically correct. But Big Oil will just pass it along to the consumer.
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lazydoggs3
Veteran Author Fresno

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 9:16:33 AM

lets do away with all taxes :)
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Retired-Coastie
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 9:05:34 AM

The little guy will be hurt in the end, either way.
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txequitygas
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 8:21:58 AM

tax tax tax, I really think that is all Blue State Senators think about..
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rbutterw
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 7:26:40 AM

duh
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Gnusman53
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 3:14:31 AM

Well Kar... if the oil industry really felt that way.... they should give back ALL the subsidize and tax credits/breaks etc.... and stand on their own feet.....
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KAR120CSII
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 12:04:38 AM

Nuther case of the govment interferring with private business --
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lippoe_sokan
Champion Author Provo

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 11:54:06 PM

Actually, a gasoline tax is basically a use tax, and as taxes go, it makes more sense than most.
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kboykool
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 11:06:08 PM

I think YumaFellow has the right idea. I've posted on this topic before, so I won't go into detail, but either the combo approach or we all pay a flat fee is probably best. Otherwise, be prepared for more toll roads.
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tillandsia
Veteran Author Gainesville

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 8:19:15 PM

I think this is a simpler, fairer way to fund maintenance and improvements to the country's infrastructure, which we ALL (both producers and consumers) benefit from.
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Peachy1
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 4:18:23 PM

Here's an idea Barbara: The salary that you make and those of your cohorts will help pay for this.
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MAJB
Veteran Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 4:14:39 PM

Taxing it at the refinery level would be a fair compromise, except we still need to find out a way to make the eco vehicles and bikes pay for the roads they use.
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YumaFellow
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 4:07:57 PM

The problem with charging for miles driven is that it does not take into account miles driven outside of the state charging the tax. Of course, Oregon is a haven for people who want to pay low license fees. We see lots of "Oregon" plates on the highways, but the owners don't live there. So Oregon may not prove to be such a great deal if it charges for miles driven.

Personally, I would rather have the tax on gas go up with a flat fee for EVs and hybrids. The problem we have is that we are not providing enough funds to do the upkeep on our highways and bridges.
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DesertRat2011
Champion Author Riverside

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 3:18:36 PM

Refineries would just pass the cost down to us at the pump.
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evowner
Champion Author Salem

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 2:58:50 PM

No, instead go with a per mile driven tax. Oregon has such a pilot program planned for 2014. It's equal for everyone including the EVs.
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BumpinButch
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 2:02:48 PM

Taxing is already a mess to clean up by anyone.
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NilesBishop
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 1:55:26 PM

Not sure how shifting the tax from the consumer to the producer will change anything. It's not like the producer won't pass along the increased tax to the consumer.
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gmcgas
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 1:38:17 PM

volume sold made the diffrence.
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BigRedVTX
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 1:21:44 PM

Counting mileage may not be the best "tax" method to utilize to replace the fuel tax.
There are those that don't drive much versus those that are required to drive a lot to achieve their goals of work and recreation.
I would think there would be some type of combination as long as fuel flows from the pumps.
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mitt4prez
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 12:55:49 PM

The usual response from a govt worshiper: govt needs moremoremore money. Never ever, is the possibility of cutting considered. How much of gasoline tax money is spent on actual construction/maintenance?
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 12:16:37 PM

What's really sad is that the tendency here is to condemn without even considering the issue. This is both sad and irresponsible.

This is not really Boxer's idea. She is simply bringing it up for discussion because we have a serious problem. The fuel tax has long since stopped covering the cost of maintaining our roads and bridges because cars and trucks are getting a lot more miles per gallon. Somehow we have to how we intended to pay for maintenance because poor roads and bridges in need of repair make driving more dangerous. That means either we institute a mileage tax that will certainly cause howls of resentment or we can implement the plan that Boxer advocates . . . that will cause howls of resentment.

With the mileage tax, drivers will pay for the road by being taxed according to how many miles they drive. With the Boxer plan, everyone who benefits from oil products will pay. Drivers will possibly benefit because the costs of our transportation system will be spread out over a larger number of people.

Regardless of which system is eventually employed, the payback for a betters roads and bridges system will more than cover the added taxation we'll see.

[Edited by: Houckster at 9/29/2013 12:20:04 PM EST]
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Nikontraveler
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 12:02:16 PM

She is a Dolt. That would just shift the tax burden temporarily to the oil companies at which point the oil companies would now increase the prices on ALL the products including plastic, pharmaceuticals and everything else that is made from a barrel of oil.
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bar1035
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:56:51 AM

and since they get more money, we get to pay more money. Boxer not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
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Shadowwarrior
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:52:22 AM

still pay more for gas
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niceguytx
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:50:47 AM

We need to find a fair way to pay for the maintenance of the current roads and new roads.
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Skunk63
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:41:53 AM

This doesn't solve anything other than giving oil companies the ability to pass on the cost in more ways to users. Boxer isn't terribly smart.
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scu227
Champion Author New Haven

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:40:22 AM

WE should eliminate it. They don't use it for its intended purpose and do not have any accountability !!!!!!
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forresj
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:37:05 AM

This idea might have merit. Oil is used in just about everything in our daily lives including roads, packaging, structural plastics, lubricants and animal feed to mention a few. The tax would be indexed to inflation. Because of the slow growth of the economy, gasoline tax revenue has been dropping as more motorists resort to conservation.

Oil companies will probably pass the cost to a broader range of manufacturers that require refined oil products in their products.

[Edited by: forresj at 9/29/2013 10:44:41 AM EST]
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Don20
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:33:43 AM

U.S. Should End Gasoline Tax to Pay for Roads, Boxer Says..

Think she is going to have a hard row there, oil companies will fight that all way to supreme court.. Or they will pass it along to consumers...
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mazdaboy
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:27:43 AM

It's not a matter of if it will happen, but when it will happen.
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36IHBinder
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:26:42 AM

I think it is time to move the tax from gas. But moving it to oil isn't it either.
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Tutootin
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:24:51 AM

Wizrd03, Excellent post!!
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ggg452
Champion Author Manitoba

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:22:35 AM

Everyone needs to pay for roads...even if you don't own a car (really?????)open your fridge...it all arrives somehow by transport.
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Tralp
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:21:54 AM

Yea and the price of gas will go up even higher. If they get the 18.4cent tax they will raise the price 36.8cents to have it paid for.
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NoGas714
All-Star Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:20:39 AM

So the tax is moved from the pump to the refinery. The price at the pump won't change because the tax is still in the finance chain, the price of everything made from plastic will go up because the tax is at the refinery.

If this passes, when you buy garbage bags, you'll be financing road repairs.
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WVUtailgater
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:19:06 AM

what does she know
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TravellinTom
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:18:24 AM

I would suggest paving a road with Barbara Boxer. That way, she would be somewhat useful. It would end up costing taxpayers even more money since ALL oil would be taxed.
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olefin
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:17:21 AM

About right for a CA Democrat!
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peanutsMN
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:16:12 AM

The consumer always pays in the end so just keep the gas tax.
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Lengas
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:15:52 AM

And the price of gas will go up up up up.
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bowler360
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:15:40 AM

We pay, no matter who pays up the chain of events.
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Smartywife
Champion Author Medford

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:14:15 AM

We will pay for it one way or another. Barbara Boxer has had NO good ideas that are favorable to California.
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mysub
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 10:13:32 AM

CYSWXMAN, I'm afraid your right. It will still get passed on back to us.
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