By the Gallon or By the Mile? Adrian Moore and Johanna Zmud Discuss Transportation Infrastructure

By the Gallon Or By the Mile?

On August 10, 2011, Reason Foundation Vice President Adrian Moore and Rand Corporation Transportation, Space, and Technology Program Director Johanna Zmud talk about the pros and cons and tricky issues of replacing fuel taxes with per mile road pricing as the main way to fund transportation infrastructure. Introduced by Reason's Shirley Ybarra.

The event was held at Reason's DC office by the Transportation Research Forum, Young Professionals in Transportation, and Women's Transportation Seminar.

Approximately 43 minutes. Filmed and edited by Joshua Swain.

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  • Ska||

    Zmud? It's not just a telnet client?

  • Paul||

    Not any more...

  • ||

    Johanna Zmud + Adrian Moore = Adrian Zmed?

  • Jeff P.||

    So God just smote the DC region.
    Reports, please.

  • Joe M||

    It was just a 5.9, no biggie.

  • jtuf||

    We felt the quake in New Jersey. It was just a bit of shaking here. I thought the cat had knocked something down.

  • Jeff P.||

    A My9 reporter just actually said it was a "mild earthquake just weeks before the 9/11 anniversary."

    Meanwhile, Jennifer reports some of my action figures fell over...

  • Paul||

    Meanwhile, Jennifer reports some of my action figures fell over...

    Which ones... it's important to know.

  • Jeff P.||

    They all look alike to her. I'll have to wait til I get home. I suspect my Space Ghost and Maria from Metropolis may have toppled. They are not particularly stable.

  • ||

    You have a Space Ghost action figure? [Kneels before Jeff P. as if he were Zod.]

  • Jeff P.||

  • ||

    Excellent.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Spaaaace Ghoooost!!!

  • Ska||

    Yeah, felt it in NY too. Just a weird feeling for the most part.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It was felt in Western PA (but not my me personally).

    Does anyone know if Palin tweeted crosshairs over D.C. recently?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Felt it here down in the Norfolk area. Shook the building pretty good, definitely a lateral quake. USGS says it was shallow (1/2 mile).

    I was just up in that area visiting a gem mine.

  • Bee Tagger||

    I felt it in Western PA. My first thought was that Hydrofracking had started. But when I didn't die, I figured it was something else.

  • Al-Qaeda||

    Oh, it was something else.

    Infidel.

  • CE||

    5.9 is a respectable quake, even in California. In the East, it's unheard of.

  • SIV||

  • Greentard||

    GLOBAL WARMINGZZZZZ!!!!!!!!

  • db||

    A meteor carrying an alien zombification virus veered off course from its intended target this afternoon, crashing in central Virginia. USGS and CDC officials reminded citizens to "duck and cover."

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I live and work within about 38 miles from the epicenter. It was pretty wild here. Evidently, it was the biggest quake in the state's history. It's still causing a lot of buzz.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Richmond or Charlottesville?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Richmond

  • Joe M||

    It seems to me like there is a decent correlation between vehicle size and fuel consumption, such that an 18-wheeler puts a road under a lot more burden than an economy car, so gallon vs mile isn't that huge of a difference. Of course, I can't WTFV at work, so I dunno if that was covered or not.

  • jtuf||

    The fuel tax charges for wear and tear on the road and for emitting air pollution. Charging per mile will not be far to drivers with less polluting cars. The current system of charging per gallon with tolls on select roads works best.

  • ||

    The fuel tax charges for wear and tear on the road and for emitting air pollution.

    I wasn't aware that the fuel tax was a tax on pollution.

  • ||

    It's an excuse for the government to take your money, like every other tax.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The solution of fully privatizing all high volume highways, and returning local and rural streets to adjacent property owners, works best.

  • ||

    And the second-best solution is handing high volume highways to quasi-governmental authorities (the more such authorities the better, to reduce the potential for roads in politically disfavored areas to subsidize roads in politically favored areas).

    If nothing else, it's probably a lot easier overall (politically speaking, of course) to move a highway to a quasi-governmental authority (with the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the anti-toll crowd) and then after people are used to paying the tolls, fully privatize the authority (with the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the "Oh noes, a corporation will own the road!" crowd) than it is to confront both crowds at the same time.

  • ||

    How about they start using the fuel taxes they already collect for, oh I don't know, roads? States and the feds slosh that cash into their general funds and what trickles back out to road maintenance and improvements is pathetic.

  • Paul||

    This.

    Often, tax allocations are tradition-based, not law-based. When politicians see a pile of money, it's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that it doesn't matter where it came from, only where it's going.

    The more "effective" transportation taxes are merely informs us as how badly they'll be spent.

  • Joe M||

    They really don't even have a trickle. As far as I'm aware, the vast majority of funding for road construction and improvement comes from bonds.

  • ||

    Barry Bonds? Or James Bond's family?

  • Highway||

    As a group, we're paying for the roads we get. So whether it's slushed through the general fund or it's kept separate, it's unlikely that keeping gas taxes completely separate would get us much more in the realm of roadway construction funding.

    I would like to see things kept separate just on general principles, but I don't think that there's a huge discrepancy between the amount that is spent on roadways and transportation and the amount collected by gas taxes. All the studies I've seen have been far from complete in tracking that money.

  • Lyle Lanley||

    I'll grant that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but if fuel taxes are used in the general fund, politicians have every incentive to maintain the minimum number of roads to keep the population from revolting and then spend the rest on their pet projects. When the roads around here become inadequate for their traffic or a bridge needs to be replaced, and then that doesn't happen for 10 years, it's not because I'm not paying for it at the pump. Fuel taxes should go to roads only, and if the gov wants to build a new playground or perform a 10-year-study on smelt, THAT ought to come out of the general fund. Or a tax on the brats in the playground.

  • ||

    Stupid joke handle from a different thread was almost appropriate here...

  • Highway||

    Well, that's the thing. We don't really know whether fuel taxes are adequate or not, because all the funding sources are mixed up, and then deal with bonds and deferments and federal grants and all that kind of monkeying about.

    I agree that the funding should be kept separate and accounted for, and used for roadway projects, but think that a lot of people's ideas of 'roadway' and 'transportation' projects might need to expand. For instance, is a retrofit project to provide stormwater management for an existing road in or out? This is work that would need to be done to be able to build a new road, and definitely is an impact from the existing road. But most people don't see a wetland or a stormwater pond as a 'transportation project'.

  • Highway||

    And I also meant to mention that people might be surprised to find out that if we segregate the gas taxes and tolls, that there isn't enough to build roads. So what would be the repercussions of raising the gas taxes to cover that stuff. As the guy in the video says at the beginning: New projects that I don't see don't exist.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Well how much we DO have in the highway trust funds could go to buy more roads if we got rid of the Davis Bacon Act and quit paying for overpriced union labor.

  • ||

    This (again).

    What really pisses me off is that the NH Constitution specifically forbids these taxes to be used for anything other than roads.

    But the NH Supremes, whose infinite wisdom I have many reasons to piss all over, decided that it was perfectly OK when those greedy pricks in the statehouse did an end-run around this by bonding future DOT revenue.

  • SIV||

    The Reason Foundation are tax and toll fags. When they paint a "private" stripe on the left lane of your local fuel-tax funded and paid freeway and require a toll to drive in the "Lexus lane" of the public road you already paid for, thank that asshole Robert Poole.

  • ||

    the pros and cons and tricky issues of replacing fuel taxes with per mile road pricing

    What makes you think it's an issue of "substitution"?

  • ||

    Right. My trust in government says they will create a new one and keep the old too.

  • Gerholdt||

    There has been discussion of increasing the registration fee for hybrid and plugin vehicles, because their reduced fuel use does not contribute enough to road repairs.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    We can avoid statist selection of winners and losers, by allowing private concerns to obtain full ownership of highways and charge their own pricing systems.

  • ||

    the pros and cons and tricky issues of replacing fuel taxes with per mile road pricing

    Per mile road pricing generally seems to be accompanied by proposals to put tracking devices on vehicles.

    For that reason, it should tarred, feathered, drawn, quartered, beheaded, and ridden out of town on a rail.

  • ||

    You don't want the government tracking your every move?

  • O2||

    tracking devices? u mean like GPS?

  • Paul||

  • Colonel_Angus||

    GPS does not track your movement, it only tells you where you are. A GPS receiver only receives simple signals from satellites and calculates your position on its own. Tracking requires things that have nothing to do with the GPS system- recording movement, and transmitting the information through other means such as cellular communications systems.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck any version of that... I'll rip the fuckin' thing right out of my car.

  • kinnath||

    I can think of no technology that would allow the state to determine miles driven without producing a dosier recording every place the car has been.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    sure , it could be done. But it won't. It is known.

  • Paul||

    You could easily put a black box on a car which was a simple, electronic odometer. Make it a federal offense to tamper with it (see: smoke detectors/airplanes) and voila, you're now taxed, regulated and set free.

  • ||

    Car's already have an odometer which is is illegal to tamper with.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    My car, my rules.

  • kinnath||

    How does this simple, electronic odometer report its data to the tax authority? By what means does the tax authority verify the odometer has not been tampered with? How does the tax authority catch people that put bigger tires on the car to reduce the number of wheel revolutions (and miles recorded)? By what means does the citizen contest an apparently erroneous odometer reading in court?

    The only technology that will stand up in court is going to be GPS tracking and continuous wireless reporting (or batch reporting when you drive passed a sensor).

  • Paul||

    Mad Scientist: Yes, but this would be in a box, and it would be black.

    But seriously, it could be installed on older cars where the government wouldn't care what the 'historic' mileage was on the car (what current odometers are used for) but what's being driven from the time the tax took place.

    Kinnath:

    Not sure about the state you live in, but those of us who live in smog-control states, they could plug it into the OBD II port on your car and pull it there, or if it's not OBD II integrated, it could be read wirelessly via RFID technology when you go in for your inspection or emissions test.

    How does the tax authority catch people that put bigger tires on the car to reduce the number of wheel revolutions (and miles recorded)?

    Nothing stopping the feds to require all 50 states to bring back the inspection system-- which still exist in a number of Eastern states. Your tire size will be checked against the pinion factor for the odometer. Besides, while this is a technically possible dodge by drivers, it's one that would rarely be taken. The expense of larger tires etc., against the shaving of miles off the odometer wouldn't be worth it for most drivers.

    By what means does the citizen contest an apparently erroneous odometer reading in court?

    The same process you have for an erroneous electrical meter reading?

    The only technology that will stand up in court is going to be GPS tracking and continuous wireless reporting (or batch reporting when you drive passed a sensor)

    I disagree. GPS is actually easier* to fool and more inaccurate. Issues of tunnels and temporarily lost satellite signals. Check your GPS some time. Religiously turn it on before you start any trip and turn it off when you stop. You'll find that over the course of a week the mileage is somewhat off.

  • kinnath||

    I live in Iowa. No inspections, no emissions tests.

    RFID to a second odometer is no different that a state agent looking at your primary odometer.

  • Paul||

    RFID to a second odometer is no different that a state agent looking at your primary odometer.

    There are important technical differences, but in a general sense, you're correct. But it still makes the primary point that there is technology you can apply for per-mile taxes that don't provide a "dosier recording every place the car has been."

    Putting aside that discussion, however, we already have evidence that the government prefers GPS technology for this problem... because it provides a "dosier recording every place the car has been."

    You know, post 9/11 world, 'new normal', terrorism and all that.

  • kinnath||

    In order to verify/debug the correct operation of the unit after the fact, it will be highly desireable (if not outright necessary) to be able to know when and where the miles were logged.

  • kinnath||

    You can create a dosier of everywhere the car has been by just putting out lots of RFID readers on the roads.

    GPS is not actually necessary to meet the needs of the statist fucks promoting these ideas.

  • Paul||

    You can create a dosier of everywhere the car has been by just putting out lots of RFID readers on the roads.

    GPS is not actually necessary to meet the needs of the statist fucks promoting these ideas.

    Yes but that would require massive infrastructure and unlike GPS, you'd still end up with huge gaps in data. If you do it like the emissions testing system then you can shove the cost onto non-government entities and centralize it into a few predetermined areas, then simply mandate that drivers must report once a year to location X.

    I would like to know about England's system where they actually use GPS for this, and see how easy it is to drop a small faraday cage over the antenna. Anyone know anything about England's system?

  • kinnath||

    Let's not forget congestion based pricing -- so you need position to determine the tax rate for each mile of concrete or blacktop.

  • kinnath||

    So I spend alot of time thinking about how people detect systems that are broken (you have to do that when you work on systems that kill people when they fail).

    I see gaping holes in the verification process for a system that just reports miles driven when you pass by an RFID reader.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Paul, your ideas are demonstrating every problem with statist transportation.

  • Paul||

    Paul, your ideas are demonstrating every problem with statist transportation.

    Which means mission accomplished. I was able to get into the headspace of the standard bureaucrat. What do I win?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Car Black Boxes, courtesy of the Federal Government.

  • Ancapistan||

    You could do that but who is going to read it? Is there going to be a GOV employee swinging by the house on a monthly basis looking for my mileage tax?

  • kinnath||

    The simple solution would be to force everyone to submit to an annual inspection where a state agent reads your odometer and enters the current mileage into a state database. Then the state would send you a bill.

    This, of course, would result in riots when people see how much money they owe the state for the priviledge for driving on the state's roads for a whole year instead of having those taxes buried in the price of a gallon of gas.

  • ||

    That wouldn't even work due to geographic issues. Unless you collect and redistribute at the Federal level, you'd get usage distributions at the state level that likely would not reflect usage at the state level.

    Of course, nothing is perfect. 95% of my commute is in MA and I buy 100% of my gas in NH.

  • Paul||

    The People of NH thank you. Now go home.

  • CE||

    This, of course, would result in riots when people see how much money they owe the state...

    Tax riots? In the USA? If people aren't rioting already when they look at their pay stubs every two weeks, I don't see how they would get worked up over per mile or per gallon taxes.

  • ||

    Easy - they would have to write a check for that tax. Unlike payroll withholding or the current gas tax.

  • kinnath||

    That gets people's attention.

  • ||

    ""Per mile road pricing generally seems to be accompanied by proposals to put tracking devices on vehicles.""

    Not necessarily. There could be a couple of new lines on the income tax forms where you must declare your odometer reading at the start and end of the year.

    But since very few people seem to care about being tracked, and the gov wants to put black boxes in all new vechs sold (may be law already), mandated tracking devices may be in order.

  • ||

    The fact that it could be tracked nonintrusively doesn't mean that it will.

    Note how many of the proposals for mileage taxes jump right to the constant tracking of all your movements all the time model.

    Not a risk I care to run, or a battle I care to fight.

  • kinnath||

    Who needs traffic cameras when you car can report every time you speed or fail to click you seat belt.

  • Government||

    or a battle I care to fight.

    Convenient. We kind of count on you not wanting to fight the battles.

  • ||

    I'll fight it if I have to, G.

    Thought experiment: Who would be more likely to support constant tracking of all your movements all the time: Obama, Romney, or Perry?

  • kinnath||

    yes

  • A. Nell Magic||

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    "Ihre Papieren, bitte; wo gehen Sie? Warum? Was tun Sie hier? Wie viele Gelt haben Sie?"

  • Gunter||

    Wie viel Gel brauchst du?

  • solly989||

    What is the libertarian / objectivist position on earthquakes?

  • ||

    Shit happens / Those awful libertarians did it

  • Paul||

    What is the libertarian / objectivist position on earthquakes?

    Either under my desk or running toward the exit. Fuck that falling debris theory, I'll take my chances outside than in this deathtrap of a building.

  • ||

    Shortstop.

  • Ted S.||

    Missionary.

  • ||

    I wasn't aware that the fuel tax was a tax on pollution.

    Silly you.

  • kilroy||

    Why do I get the feeling there's a "Pack 'em and stack 'em." agenda behind this.

  • ||

    No, not like GPS. A GPS unit tells YOU where the GPS unit is. A tax mileage tracking device tells the government where your car is. See the difference?

  • kinnath||

    Absolutely like GPS. A GPS receiver says where the receiver is, what direction it's going, and how fast it's going.

    This piece is common to a personal navigation device (e.g., Garmin Nuvi) or a surveillance device (e.g., mileage tracking device).

  • ||

    Using taxes to change behavior is tyranny. Pure and simple.

  • CE||

    Using taxes to change behavior is tyranny. Pure and simple.

    Fixed.

  • Paul||

    Using taxes to change behavior is tyranny. Pure and simple.

    Welcome to America.

  • Leigh||

    Outside of libertopia where all roads are private, what about this:
    a gas tax for pollution.
    a tire tax for roads,bridges,freeways.

    The tire tax would be based on the weight capacity and wear/mile.

    Of course, this would have to be a federal tax, with the proceeds divided between the states and the fed based on travel. Sounds a lot better than having the government track your mileage too.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Leigh,

    Of course, this would have to be a federal tax, with the proceeds divided between the states and the fed based on travel.


    Ok, so if I travel along I-10 from Houston to San Antonio, my taxes would be spread among the several states I have not stepped on? Does that sound "fair" to you?

  • Zeb||

    Sadly, I think we have moved past fair and have to consider what is more or less tolerable.

  • ||

    a tire tax for roads,bridges,freeways.

    Would create an incentive to keep your tires for too long, as the new set would be more expensive. Old tires are dangerous tires.

  • Brendan||

    Registration that is based on vehicle weight and not price. A light expensive car doesn't wear the infrastructure nearly as much as a less expensive heavier car.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The Rand Corporation is working with a Koch Bros. funded entity? All the conspiracy nuts need now is the Bildebergers or the Rothschild family...

  • ||

    You know who else thought a modern highway system was important?

  • ||

    Eisenhower?

  • CE||

    Benjamin Franklin?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Big Asphalt?

  • Ted S.||

    TCM just showed Joan Crawford's 1931 movie Possessed last night. One of Crawford's two suitors was a man getting in on the highway-building racket.

    Funny how little changes.

  • ||

    I have no problem with the federal government maintaining an interstate highway system. I believe it is Constitutional and actually required for national defense purposes.

    That said, the maintainence of that system should be self-sufficient, with taxes collected by the FedGov by the users of those specific roads and funds allocated to the Department of Defense. And I think National Guardsmen and Reservists should build and maintain the roads as part of their training.

    The easiest way to collect these taxes, BTW, would be to make those roads toll roads. And since I abhor the ability of the FedGov to track me, I would be paying my tolls in cash. This would also make the tax much more voluntary than the current system.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yep. The restricted access points make the Interstates very sell-able, and part of the sale "price" can be the ability of the armed forces to use them whenever they want.

    I'd let the Army Corps of Engineers do the building, though...

  • SIV||

    The army can't even build a road on their own bases without destroying it immediately after. Military roads at home "steal" from local private contractors!

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The interstate highway system was entirely unnecessary. We already had a U.S highway system with the capacity to handle all defense related needs, which the interstate system basically duplicated. And this capacity has been utilized exactly zero times. The interstate highways have all the characteristics of a road that can be easily profitable if privatized right now.

  • Gojira (formerly Jim)||

    ...I would be paying my tolls in cash.

    Around Dallas, they don't allow you to. There are no humans and no coin-baskets. Your licenseplate is photographed, and a bill is sent to the address you have on record with the DPS. If you fail to update your address, and thus do not receive the bills, you are charged something like $25 per toll, for "collection fees". Many people around here owe thousands of dollars. And they WILL put a warrant out for your arrest to the highway patrol.

  • Old Mexican||

    Threadjack:

    On the issue of the Illinois judge that upheld a decision to cancel a contract with a Catholic charity for adoptions, I mentioned that there would be less adoptions. MNG and highnumber questioned my assertion (which was not, it was a logical conclusion). I tried to reply but Reason.com suddenly became unavailable - the earthquake, perhaps?

    Anyway, here's the reason why there will be less adoptions: Lawsuits.

    MNG asked why would there be less adoptions if the client base suddenly increased. That's not the problem, MNG. The ruling, for all intents and purposes, has granted a right to a certain group of people: gays. EVEN if the Catholic adoption agencies accepted gays as potential parents, any presumed transgression, any seeming case of "discrimination" (like not accepting a gay couple's application, no matter their viability and wherewithal as parents) would ipso facto become grounds for a frivolous LAWSUIT, making the adoption agencies prefer gays over straight couples ALL THE TIME as a matter of policy. This would be a disincentive for straight couples to seek these adoption agencies as they would be automatically discounted in favor of gay couples, all the time.

    ERGO, less adoptions.

  • ||

    Fewer adoptions. I can't take that error, anymore. That one, or the reign/rein conflation.

  • ||

    And accommodate. Two Ms! Two!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pro Libertate,

    Fewer adoptions.


    Fewer, right. Sorry, my Spanish-to-English thinking cap did not catch that one.

    (Yes, there's no word for fewer in Spanish; we use the word that means "less")

  • ||

    Sorry, that came out cranky. I pardon you.

  • ||

    The reign in Speign. . . .

  • Zeb||

    You may well be right, but it is still only an assertion about a matter of fact. I suppose we will find out (if we care enough to continue paying attention).

  • AlmightyJB||

    Just wait until gay marriage becomes a civil right. If they refuse to perform those they will not be allowed to perform ANY marriages and will also lose their tax exempt status, and perhaps be shut down.

  • kinnath||

    If public roads must exist (standard libertarian disclaimer goes here), then they should be funded with use fees. The two obvious points of tax collection would be registering the vehicle for use on public roads, and toll booths to fund the development of new roads.

  • ||

    I really don't see the issue with the gas tax as a best available approximation for user fees. Any other method, including the ones you list, are riddled with flaws.

    For what you list, registrations don't address usage volume, and tolls don't address side roads. Tolls are great for specific transportation developments (bridges are always the prime example), but the suffer mightily as a general infrastructure fiscal support mechanism.

  • kinnath||

    The only problem with gas tax is that cars are getting better milage, so the tax authority is taking it in the ass. So the state has to change the tax rate on an annual basis to keep up with newer cars.

    But, I still think gas taxes are the best proxy for road usage.

  • ||

    You know what, this just isn't true. Cars are getting better mileage, but there's no way the tax authority is taking it in the ass. Here's an example. My neighbor works for CalTrans running loaders and graders and mowers and plows and whatnot. His crew works out of a small yard in Ojai where their maintenance bay has a roof but is not enclosed. Recently, the union guy showed up and proclaimed that the field mechanic can't possibly do his job in that bay since the weather in Ojai is just so inclement and terrible that it's surely a hazard. Mind you, this is the mechanic whose job it is to do repairs in the field. So now instead of having this guy check over their grader, they have to drive it 25 miles to the CalTrans yard in Ventura, and they have to have a pilot car with a flashing light, of course. So here are your tax dollars at work: the grader needs to be topped off with hydraulic oil, which is a 10-minute job even for a lazy union slob. This job requires one guy to drive a truck and another to drive the grader (15 MPH tops) for 2 hours to the other yard, then both of them wait around for the mechanic to come over and pour fluid into the reservoir, then it's a 2 hour drive back. Do I even need to mention the fuel costs, or the wear and tear on the roads from CalTrans' own equipment, or the traffic jamb caused by running a large vehicle at 15 MPH down a fairly busy 2-lane road, or the opportunity cost of having 2 guys kill at least half a day doing essentially nothing?

    THIS is where your tax money is going. The tax authority has PLENTY, they're just complete jackasses when it comes to spending it.

  • ||

    Probably be simpler to just have the mechanic drive out to the job site and do routine maintenance there as "field maintenance".

  • ||

    That's what he used to do until they decided that outdoor bay in one of the nicest climates in the U.S. was just so hazardous. They can't do it on the side of the road unless the vehicle is actually disabled.

  • ||

    Wait till your buddy explains the off road-in use regulations. You'll actually think CalTrans does a good job when you hear the stoopid from the CARB.

  • kinnath||

    I said tax authority on purpose. This limits it to the people charged with collecting taxes. The spending authority is a different bunch of people.

    The irony is when the regulators (a third party altogether) put rules in place that cut the consumption of a commodity that the tax authority depends upon to provide tax revenue.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Give the side roads back to adjacent property owners as public easements, and let them turn to dirt. Communities redevelop accordingly (less driving). Problem solved by the free market.

  • CE||

    Why bother? Per gallon taxes are probably fairer than per mile taxes, since heavier vehicles that cause more road wear use more fuel per mile.

  • ||

    Logic like that goes out the window when the real motivation is just getting more money.

  • ||

    Two Ms! Two!

    And they melt in your mouth, not in your hand!

  • ||

    Precisely!

  • AlmightyJB||

    So with the new gps tracking system, if your car sits outside a bar for more than 2 hours does it send an alert to the cops with your make/model,license plate and home address? Also, do you get an extra tax everytime you go to a fast food chain? Just curious.

  • kinnath||

    Simple enough to do

  • ||

    Wait till they figure out that they can give speeding tickets based on the data collected from these boxes.

    Fuck that shit. I'll walk everywhere if they ever institute this kind of liberty-robbing bullshit. BTW, wouldn't this be unconstitutional because of the 4th Amendment?

  • AlmightyJB||

    According to law driving is a privilage, not a right. Plus - commerce clause, the gift that keeps on giving. Like herpes.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    BTW, wouldn't this be unconstitutional because of the 4th Amendment?

    They didn't have any qualms about violating the 5th when it came to piss tests. The 4th is a tatter, anyway.

    ... Hobbit

  • ||

    Why stop there? Based on your location we could govern your throttle to ensure compliance with the speed limit. All location data must be held in a highly secure and in no way abusable database for at least a year. That way law enforcement can see where you've been at any time. When there's been a bank robbery, assume all cars within 3 blocks of the bank were accessories. And why bother with parking meters when we can just send you a bill automatically after every trip downtown. Entering a school zone could cause a 100dB alarm to go off inside the car to alert you to be more attentive. It could also alert law enforcement if spend more time in that school zone than it takes to drive through it, you dirty pervert.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Or when they bust a drug dealer they can check who has been to his house and what houses he visited. Or if you attend a Tea Party event you and everyone you visit or who visits you can go on the domestic terrorist watch list.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "replacing fuel taxes with per mile road pricing as the main way to fund transportation infrastructure"

    What do these have to do with a free market?

  • SIV||

    The Reason Foundation is a central planning advocacy group. You didn't know this?

    The event was held at Reason's DC office by the Transportation Research Forum, Young Professionals in Transportation, and Women's Transportation Seminar.

    Dey luv dem sum identity politics too.

  • cynical||

    What makes you think a free market in transportation infrastructure is really feasible? Is there a good test case? I don't merely mean a place where roads/rails are privately owned -- they also have to be built and maintained without eminent domain, subsidies, or any other sort of public assistance.

    Almost all infrastructure (roads, sanitation, water, power, communication) in developed nations is either outright public, or is some sort of heavily regulated hybrid public/private entity. Maybe it's possible to do it another way, but I'm skeptical.

    Even for systems less bound by the constraints of topography, such as wireless communication systems, government will usually feel the need to step in and create virtual property rights that limit entry into the market (and while it's tempting to chant COASE here, the fact is that it's nice to have arranged formally beforehand to make sure that party A's cell phone tower doesn't interfere with the operation of party B's pacemaker rather than dealing with things on an ad hoc basis, so some minimal level of licensing and regulation can produce some major utility).

  • yemek tarifleri||

    thanks

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