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GasBuddy News Article

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Freakonomics: Doing a U-turn on the gas tax

Marketplace -- The cars we drive today are more fuel-efficient than ever, and that would seem to be great news for everyone. But here’s one downside: transportation budgets are heavily powered by the gas tax.

"And right now, the nation relies extremely heavily on gas taxes for transportation funding," according to Jaime Rall, from the National Conference of State Legislatures. She says that better fuel mileage means less money for roads and bridges. "Advancements in fuel efficiency pose some real problems for transportation budgets."

Plus, the gas tax isn’t a percentage but rather a fixed amount -- which, because no politician wants to raise the gas tax, has been stuck at 18 cents a gallon for 20 years.

So what should be done about it?
...
billing drivers based on their mileage.


Read the Full Article

Submitted Feb 21, 2013 By: BurntOrange
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Freakonomics: Doing a U-turn on the gas tax Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

Posts:22,985
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Message Posted: Feb 25, 2013 2:58:38 AM

I agree rjh, not able to find 1.75 either.

However, unlike other taxes, gasoline taxes are fixed taxes. No matter what the price, the tax per gallon remains the same.
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rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 1:17:36 AM

EssexAdri - "Gas Tax is the single highest source of revenue for the entire tax code. In some states the combined Federal & State Gas Tax "exceeds" $1.75 A GALLON"

And where do you get that figure from?

From what I can find, the highest combined gas tax is less than $0.75, much less $1.75.
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geminijax
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Feb 22, 2013 1:11:12 PM

HawaiinGuy, you are absolutely correct.

"A govt is like a baby, with a healthy appetite on one end and no responsibility on the other end."

-- Ronald Reagan

Re the "fair share", I've never heard a politician nor a Dem supporter quantify it. How much exactly is "fair share"?
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Canucktree
Champion Author Alberta

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Message Posted: Feb 22, 2013 7:17:54 AM

Na-naa!
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EssexAdri
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 11:25:05 PM

This article is "propogandic BS".
The tax-paying population (meaning someone filling up "their own" car vice a Government or Military vehicle) burns through "hundreds" of "millions" of barrels a day, EVERYDAY, including Christmas.
Gas Tax is the single highest source of revenue for the entire tax code. In some states the combined Federal & State Gas Tax "exceeds" $1.75 A GALLON (for your standard 12 gallon tank, which can hold 13.5 gallons with the pipe, that's $23.63 in Gas Tax every time you fill up), and 10s of millions of people fill up their tanks everyday in this country.
The problem isn't that fuel efficiency is cutting into the taxes, because its not doing that. The problem is that the money generated by the Gas Tax is being divied out to things other than road improvemt/new construction like it is supposed to be by law. Instead, it is in large part dumped into the over-all pot of moneys the government has available for whatever it wants to spend. The Gas Tax does generate a surplus for what the Federal & State DOTs need to do their joBS, but the DOTs are nowhere near the 1st hands in the pot for spending that money. They are supposed to be the 1st, and the excess goes to the general fund. And if the collected taxes consistently exceeds DOT's needs over a long period (a time period, which the Gas Tax Laws do not define further than that) the Tax is supposed to be revised downward to more closely reflect the funding needs of the DOT.
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HawaiianGuy
Champion Author Idaho

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 11:11:07 PM

It's never enough, is it? Government is like an insatiable beast that is constantly demanding more and more to keep it at bay. Unfortunately, no one has ever defined just what that "fair share" politicians keep harping about really is.
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NedW
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 10:09:46 PM

Thank you for submitting this article, BurntOrange.
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RambleOn
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 10:00:36 PM

Taking Finland's policy then suggests that the police target wealthier looking drivers due to the reward of a greater revenue-producing fine. Hmmm, isn't that called profiling? Ethically our politicians who endorse such ideas show their true colors -that they're not interested in enforcing traffic safety as much as they're interested in TAKING whatever they can from YOU -especially if they think you have more that they can take.

Also, I think most billionairs are not out driving themselves around and therefore their chauffers' annual salaries would be the ones the courts would contend with as they determine the fine. I suppose beat-up-looking old lemon-ish cars would be less likely pulled over among the more valuable cars committing moving violations.

[Edited by: RambleOn at 2/22/2013 1:03:32 AM EST]
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Nshmidt
Sophomore Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:58:54 PM

Nothing should be done about it, it's bad enough now as it is.
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Buddy2264
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:56:40 PM

First make sure the money went or goes for roads and bridges, I am guessing NOT! Then find a better way, mileage or another way....because we still use the roads and bridges and have to pay for them, and increased MPG and other alternatives have reduced the taxes.....
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RambleOn
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:51:35 PM

Poor and ignorantly irresponsible solution. The revenue continues to flow in and a MAJORITY of motorists will CONTINUE to drive because they have to get to work, school, doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, etc. and then there's the transportation industry. The large portion of America is experiencing LESS income than what used to come in but these retarded "expletive-of-unkind-verbiage" politicians want to keep the full throttle on their income like spoiled little princesses. Fire them and take back America before they bankrupt us.
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Prodaddy
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:42:53 PM

I thought everyone already knew this
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ican2step
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:38:30 PM

Who didn't see this coming?
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wshokie12
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:37:10 PM

We need a more efficiently run government.
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10k
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:35:30 PM

are some of y'all people just that stupid, or are y'all just flat-out nobama butt-kissers ??..there ain't a darn thing that needs to be done about the gas tax-how bout if those worthless scum in washington start living within the means-you can't get blood from a turnip-i'm tired of paying for y'alls crap, and those worthless politicians crap..
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PrinceLH
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:34:44 PM

They need to change their tax scheme, for gasoline. Drop sales tax and put a set tax on it. That way, government could get the same amount, no matter what the price of gas is. Then they could put the arm on Big Oil and the speculators and get this economy going again.
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unicornpmb
Champion Author Buffalo

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:31:37 PM

Raising the gas tax making it more costly to drive could backfire.
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Cableman66
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:29:55 PM

What happens when the elected officials in DC run out of our tax money. Well naturally they tax you even more. So get ready for more taxes cause you just know they can't find a way to save money or reduce fraud. Got to pay off all those debts to folks that got them elected. I would be glad to pay CSX for a couple of gallons of diesel fuel if they would haul some of the BS out of DC.
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badharley
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:28:50 PM

Just GREED.
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defiancegasman
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:27:47 PM

Billing drivers based on their mileage will NOT get rid of the GAS TAX, just double charge drivers!!

Better to raise INCOME TAXES to help fund the roads and allow the top 10% to pay their FAIR SHARE!!! Better yet, ALSO TAX the RECORD PROFITS of BIG OIL to help pay for US roads.

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Aviator_Rob
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:26:31 PM

And could any of us imagine, @RAE344, that so many mouth-breathers could be suckered by Fox News into believing all of this ridiculous Right Wing rhetoric about unleashing the power of the free market.

Meanwhile, those same knuckle-draggers are getting fleeced by the same anti-regulation, free-market charlatans.

P.T. Barnum was right. There really is a sucker born every minute. Fox News relies on it.
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mlmeng
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:25:50 PM

skybiker is making sense.
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mfeldstein
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:23:20 PM

I'm sure they'll find something else to tax.
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crreed1
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:22:58 PM

old news
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shopnshop
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:22:14 PM

not good
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RAE344
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:22:14 PM

Do you think a smart man like our president, with a wife that was never proud of this country until her husband was elected, didn't think this would happen?
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Bigwaynef
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:21:21 PM

Trash it...
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KrsnaDragon
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:21:18 PM

Old 'news'.
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CCLighthouse
Champion Author Hartford

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:19:11 PM

Time for bed folks! : 0
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TheeRedRam
Champion Author Hartford

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:17:31 PM

Hummmm things to ponder
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pastorpaulcg
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:17:13 PM

unintended consequences
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tedjm1
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:16:16 PM

I wonder what % of gas tax is used for road repiar & re-building?
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boatfloyd
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:16:03 PM

Raise the gas tax by one cent.
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jkpsr
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:15:55 PM

We need to raise the gas taxes or change to a mileage tax.
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singlemom27
Champion Author Ventura

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:15:23 PM

I think the cost of administering taxes based on mileage will exceed the benefit. Why not set the gas tax at a percentage of the price rather than a set amount per gallon.
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unclenorman
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:15:08 PM

An alternative to taxing gallons or miles is..................?
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Rooster922
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:15:07 PM

Well . . . . what do you think, bro?
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ScottTee
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:15:05 PM

gas only, no mileage tax
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pa79th
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:13:03 PM

Bull hokey! Everyone, and I mean everyone benefits from the roads...kep the tax on the gas.
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BobD2009
Champion Author Long Island

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:12:29 PM

Government will always find a way to fleece the public.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:11:08 PM

“But then, take all tools out and eliminate gas taxes.”

Why don’t you want people to carry tools? They do add a little weight and reduce mileage a touch but I would hate to be without a jack and lug wrench when a tire goes flat.
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obimerrill
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:10:27 PM

So the politicians will find a way to take from us what the oil companies will lose as we go to more fuel efficient cars!?
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regout
Champion Author Quebec

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:10:03 PM

Users have to pay more.
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Matt G
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:09:38 PM

Good
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sjhman
Veteran Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:08:18 PM

hmm
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Rageagainsttm
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:08:06 PM

Find a better way.
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naspa
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:07:54 PM

If it comes down to paying for road I agree with a mileage tax. But then, take all tools out and eliminate gas taxes. No double or triple dipping.
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bigsranch
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:06:31 PM

Ding everybody a flat amount on their registration, based on weight, and eliminate the fuel tax.

The semi's that drive across multiple states already do complicated fuel tax reporting based on mileage, so I'm sure that could be factored in.
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Glock26
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:06:00 PM

Government Greed!!!
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ManOfLeisureII
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2013 9:05:01 PM

Why is the answer always a tax increase?
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