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$4/gas... coming this summer to a station near you...

Wumpus

makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
8,161
154
Six Shooter Junction
AUSTIN (June 11, 2012)--The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is offering $5.7 million in grants to replace diesel vehicles with ones that use hybrid or alternative energy technology.

The grants are available under the Texas Clean Fleet Program.

They can be applied to vehicles using electricity, natural gas, propane, hydrogen or methanol.

Organizations that have at least 75 on-road vehicles and intend to replace at least 20 diesel vehicles can apply for the grants.

Texas lawmakers have tried to encourage companies with large fleets of big diesel vehicles to switch to cleaner fuels and have also passed laws encouraging natural gas fueling stations around the Dallas-Houston-San Antonio triangle.

Many Texas cities are close to violating federal clean air standards.

Replacing older trucks and buses could help avert triggering strict federal rules.
 

woodsguy

gets infinity MPG
Mar 18, 2007
1,083
1
Sutton, MA
I just learned that the gas tax hasn't been raised since 1993! Currently it is at 18 cents a gallon (why isn't it a percentage?) and would need to be 29 cents just to bring it up to inflation. If it were up to me I would put it at 10% and every month it would go up by a quarter percent until it is 25%
 

berkshire_rider

Growler
Feb 5, 2003
2,552
10
The Blackstone Valley
I just learned that the gas tax hasn't been raised since 1993! Currently it is at 18 cents a gallon (why isn't it a percentage?) and would need to be 29 cents just to bring it up to inflation. If it were up to me I would put it at 10% and every month it would go up by a quarter percent until it is 25%
Massachusetts gas tax is $.21, (since 2000) not $.18. Also, don't forget the federal gas (money grab) tax.

Why should it be brought up at all or why would you want to pay more?

More taxes aren't the answer. Reform of how current tax revenue gets used is. Have a look at the roads you drive on a daily basis and then wonder where the fvck the millions they are collecting is going. What % of the gas tax revenue is getting allocated to "earmarks" that aren't road and bridge repair related in Massachusetts?
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
33,219
6,141
Portland, OR
More taxes aren't the answer. Reform of how current tax revenue gets used is. Have a look at the roads you drive on a daily basis and then wonder where the fvck the millions they are collecting is going. What % of the gas tax revenue is getting allocated to "earmarks" that aren't road and bridge repair related in Massachusetts?
The roads in Southern Oregon suck because they are using that money to pay the Sheriff's office. :rofl:

But they couldn't pay the Sheriff's office because they didn't raise taxes.
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/f67/i-said-no-new-taxes-250621/
 

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,808
9
looking for classic NE singletrack
Massachusetts gas tax is $.21, (since 2000) not $.18. Also, don't forget the federal gas (money grab) tax.

Why should it be brought up at all or why would you want to pay more?

More taxes aren't the answer. Reform of how current tax revenue gets used is. Have a look at the roads you drive on a daily basis and then wonder where the fvck the millions they are collecting is going. What % of the gas tax revenue is getting allocated to "earmarks" that aren't road and bridge repair related in Massachusetts?
Uh.......

1) The $0.18 tax referred to is the *federal* gasoline tax, and it hasn't changed since 1993 (back when gasoline was under $1/gallon).
2) "More taxes aren't the answer". Really? Guess what, for local roads you as a property taxpayer foot most of the costs for building and maintaining. Someone's got to pay for resurfacing, pothole repair, plowing/sanding/salting, etc. As a percentage gas taxes were ~20% of the cost of gasoline in 1993, and since then gas mileage has gone up, consumption has decreased (we're using 10% less than in 2007), and the difference has been made up either through the general fund (ie, income taxes) or bonds (which will mean higher taxes in the future). "User fees" (tolls, gas tax, etc) account for just 51% of the costs of roads in this country.



God forbid we actually force the users of the road to *pay* for the roads... For all the talk of "personal responsibility" these days nobody actually wants to pay the taxes necessary to *actually* be personally responsible.
 

woodsguy

gets infinity MPG
Mar 18, 2007
1,083
1
Sutton, MA
As a percentage gas taxes were ~20% of the cost of gasoline in 1993, and since then gas mileage has gone up, consumption has decreased (we're using 10% less than in 2007), and the difference has been made up either through the general fund (ie, income taxes) or bonds (which will mean higher taxes in the future). "User fees" (tolls, gas tax, etc) account for just 51% of the costs of roads in this country.
Yea, that number should be 100%. In fact by putting the tax at 25% (about $1/gal or 5.5x the current rate) I would use the surplus to develop green technologies (electric cars, solar panels, etc) and better fund schools.

When gas was getting close to $3/gallon people were acting like the economy would grind to a hault. But it never did. Then it spiked over $4/gal and people are again screaming the sky is falling. And again, people adjust and everything is fine. Then it drops to $3.50 and suddenly the sales of large suvs and trucks surge. WHA?!?! I can't help but think of all the lost revenue if they would have just collected more tax when gas was cheaper. But its not too late. Compared with the rest of the world $4/gal is still pretty cheap. Many people pay almost double that. So we are still seeing lost revenue. Americans burn about 400 million gallons of gasoline every day! We could have the best roads in the world and be a leader in green technology (instead of woefully behind) with that money. Of course when we do go green, there goes the revenue. :)
 
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dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,808
9
looking for classic NE singletrack
Yea, that number should be 100%. In fact by putting the tax at 25% (about $1/gal or 5.5x the current rate) I would use the surplus to develop green technologies (electric cars, solar panels, etc) and better fund schools.
You're delusional if you think that's what they'd use all that $$ for. :rofl:
I tell you what - Raise the gas taxes to cover 100% of the road costs in this country and I'd be more than happy to fund the rest of that with my property/income taxes that *aren't* going to subsidize roads...

Sand/salt in the winter: 100% paid for through local property taxes
Fire/police: 100% paid for through local property taxes
Pothole repair: 100% paid for through local property taxes
Reconstruction major roads: 25% paid for through local property taxes
Reconstruction minor roads: 100% paid for through local property taxes
Deficit in the highway trust fund due to not raising the gas tax to keep up with either inflation or improved efficiency in cars: 100% paid for through federal income taxes
etc.
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
6,499
2,806
God forbid we actually force the users of the road to *pay* for the roads... For all the talk of "personal responsibility" these days nobody actually wants to pay the taxes necessary to *actually* be personally responsible.
What do you think is a fair tax on road/commuting/messenger bikes?
Cyclists (rightfully) demand equal rights re: using the roads but bikes lanes/signage etc don't pay for themselves.
 
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dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,808
9
looking for classic NE singletrack
I'd be willing to do it based on weight (since we're talking about damage to the roads, right?). The average American uses ~500 gallons of gas each year (~13k miles/year, ~25mpg vehicles), so every driver pays $90 in federal gas taxes on a vehicle that's usually close to 4,000lbs curb weight, or about $0.02/lb.

My bike weighs 23lbs, so that means I should pay.......... $0.46 per year.


Where can I send my check? Even if you figure on state taxes doubling the taxes you pay, it'd work out to a little less than a whole, shiney new dollar.

Edit: By the way doing that math and seeing what a mind-boggingly-low amount that people pay in gas taxes only reinforces the fact that we are a nation of whiners. Less than $100 in federal gas taxes per year for the average driver? It's no wonder our roads have gone to sh!t.
 
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dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
6,499
2,806
Vehicle weight and the resulting damage isn't what I'm talking about.
That's already addressed in registration fees, excise taxes, toll surcharges, vehicle bans on certain road types etc.

The registration for my 7400# commercial registered 3/4t truck is 7x my wifes 4000# car, I can't drive on certain roadways and my bridge/tunnel tolls are double a passenger vehicle. These added costs are directly attributable to the increased damage my heavier vehicle incurs versus lighter vehicles.

I'm talking the cost of bike lane construction, lost revenue from parking spaces lost to bike lanes, lane marking/signage, signals, legislation, enforcement etc. The cost is the same for 18# road bike or a 65# Roadmaster DUI-cycle so weight can't be a criteria.

Cycling is simply devoid of any means from which costs incurred by the community to facilitate their use can be recouped.
Something as simple as a $25 annual registration fee and license plate could address the problem.
 

woodsguy

gets infinity MPG
Mar 18, 2007
1,083
1
Sutton, MA
That's another thing my surplus would pay for - bike paths! Not just bike lanes. I don't believe bikes and cars can coexist. I want more separated paths.
 

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,808
9
looking for classic NE singletrack
Vehicle weight and the resulting damage isn't what I'm talking about.
That's already addressed in registration fees, excise taxes, toll surcharges, vehicle bans on certain road types etc.

The registration for my 7400# commercial registered 3/4t truck is 7x my wifes 4000# car, I can't drive on certain roadways and my bridge/tunnel tolls are double a passenger vehicle. These added costs are directly attributable to the increased damage my heavier vehicle incurs versus lighter vehicles.

I'm talking the cost of bike lane construction, lost revenue from parking spaces lost to bike lanes, lane marking/signage, signals, legislation, enforcement etc. The cost is the same for 18# road bike or a 65# Roadmaster DUI-cycle so weight can't be a criteria.

Cycling is simply devoid of any means from which costs incurred by the community to facilitate their use can be recouped.
Something as simple as a $25 annual registration fee and license plate could address the problem.
Well, since more than 50% of local roads are paid for through NON-user fees like property and sales taxes, I'm pretty sure that I'm currently "paying my fair share". If we can shift *all* of the costs to users then I'm actually ok with paying a proportionate amount for my use as a cyclist. Yes, signs and paint cost money, but it *pales* in comparison to the amount of money spent on roads and highways. We actually have some pretty amazing paved trails here in WI, and it's $20/year for a pass to ride on them (hikers are free). My wife and I gladly pay the $40/year to ride them, although it's not a dorky license plate but rather a small piece of paper that you carry with you. It means that you don't have to pay for each of the half-dozen bikes that you might end up using at some point.

Lastly, cities have pushed alternate means of transportation because it *saves* them from having to do either more major repairs on roads or expanding the infrastructure to accommodate the additional traffic. It's why part of the transportation spending goes to public transit, because it's cheaper than trying to figure out how to accommodate 2x the number of drivers in, say, Manhattan. It's the same with bike paths/lanes. During the nice weather here in Madison ~6.5% of workers commute by bicycle (~7,000 adults) each day. That's 7,000 fewer drivers, 7,000 fewer parking spaces needed (especially in the summer when tourism is up), and 28,000,000 pounds of vehicles that aren't being driven on the roads each and every day. The city has started putting in "bike corrals" during the summer in which, by temporarily taking away one parking space they can fit a bike rack for 20 bikes. Higher density parking results in greater economic activity for the nearby shops and restaurants, and local businesses have been *begging* the city for more bike parking around them.

So yes, if we can shift all of the costs of roads on to users through raising the gas tax, and I'm asked to pay a small amount each year for road use I will *gladly* pay it. I want the ~$200 reduction in my property taxes first, though...
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
33,219
6,141
Portland, OR
That's another thing my surplus would pay for - bike paths! Not just bike lanes. I don't believe bikes and cars can coexist. I want more separated paths.
They just extended Fanno Creek here and have a big re-open planned. Still need to redo the crossing at Hall, but it's a long, paved, wide path that I can haul ass on. I will be riding to work next week. $80 fill ups can suck it.
 

berkshire_rider

Growler
Feb 5, 2003
2,552
10
The Blackstone Valley
Uh.......

1) The $0.18 tax referred to is the *federal* gasoline tax, and it hasn't changed since 1993 (back when gasoline was under $1/gallon).
2) "More taxes aren't the answer". Really? Guess what, for local roads you as a property taxpayer foot most of the costs for building and maintaining. Someone's got to pay for resurfacing, pothole repair, plowing/sanding/salting, etc. As a percentage gas taxes were ~20% of the cost of gasoline in 1993, and since then gas mileage has gone up, consumption has decreased (we're using 10% less than in 2007), and the difference has been made up either through the general fund (ie, income taxes) or bonds (which will mean higher taxes in the future). "User fees" (tolls, gas tax, etc) account for just 51% of the costs of roads in this country.

God forbid we actually force the users of the road to *pay* for the roads... For all the talk of "personal responsibility" these days nobody actually wants to pay the taxes necessary to *actually* be personally responsible.

Combined federal and state gas taxes are $.41 in Massachussets. ($.51 in Wisconsin). It's all tax money that is supposed to be used to maintain/build/upgrade the roads and bridges.


There isn't an available money problem, but an allocation of the available money problem.

A good sized portion of the $$$ is being used to pay down bond debt and for earmarks, and thus is unavailable to be used for it's intended purposes. I'll bet there's also some other "uses" of this money that are inappropriate, but that's not information any of us would be privy to.

If they want to raise the gas tax ~$.05 to generate more $$$ to help pay for the roads - great. But only if the extra $$$ raised is 100% used for it's intended purpose. No other use is appropriate or you will continue to have the same problems and the roads will still suck. It will just cost an extra $.75 each time you fill the tank to have the same ****ty roads. :p

Also - I think your math is off a little. I'll bet the average gallons purchased by an individual driver each week is more than ~9. Most people probably use a full tank or closer to 15 gallons a week.
 

woodsguy

gets infinity MPG
Mar 18, 2007
1,083
1
Sutton, MA
In 2008 the 209 million drivers in the US burned 138,182,394,000 gallons of gasoline. That works out to 661 gallons per licenced driver. Taxes at $0.18/gal total up to $119 for the year. If said driver averaged 25mpg he/she traveled 16,525 miles at a cost of $0.007/mile.

To look at it another (simpler) way, if you are getting 18mpg you are paying 1 cent in gas tax per mile. Way too low.
 
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dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,808
9
looking for classic NE singletrack
Average miles driven: 13,476.
Average fuel economy: 23.8 mpg.

566 gallons per year. 10.9 gallons per week. Isn't actual research better than what you "think" people are using?

Still means that the average driver is paying ~$100 ($104, technically) in federal gas taxes. For me in WI it breaks down as (for average Wisconsin driver):

Proportionate basis:
$100 - Federal gasoline tax
$186 - State gasoline tax

Fixed driver:
$75 - Annual registration (goes to WisDOT fund)

Fixed resident:
$300-400 (Approximate use of my property tax dollars going to local road upkeep/construction, snowplowing, police/firemen/ambulance, etc.

WAY more than 50% of the money spent on local roads come from either property taxes or fixed-rate from just owning a car that sits in my driveway. Far LESS than 50% of the money comes from the specific users through gasoline taxes. I only drove a couple thousand miles last year. Combined I think my wife and I spent something like $700 total on gasoline. Yet we're subsidizing the people who drive all of the time. The ones who get in their car to drive down the block. The ones who drive SUVs that weigh double what my wife's 2500lb Focus weighs.

I'm not talking about raising the gas tax by $0.05, I'm talking about quadrupling it and eliminating the costs to residents through property taxes, and reducing the license-plate fees to just whatever it costs to run the DMV. Why should I be subsidizing everyone else's driving?

By the way, your idea that we raise enough money but it's being squandered through mismanagement and "earmarks" without any facts to back it up is cute... We're using 10% less gasoline today than we were in 2007, and 5% less than we were just last year. We're also driving almost as many miles as we did, we're just getting more efficient at using gasoline.

So miles driven is staying the same, and we're buying less gas. And thanks to the fact that it's $0.184/gallon instead of a percentage of the total cost, it means we're taking in less money than we were. How exactly can you claim that we have more than enough money for road upkeep again?
 

X3pilot

Texans fan - LOL
Aug 13, 2007
5,860
1
SoMD
Live around an Amish community. Why don't they tag and tax those buggies? You should see the damage the buggy wheels and horseshoes do to asphalt.
 

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,808
9
looking for classic NE singletrack
You get that from a slide which says that a dept that's in place to pay down debt from transportation projects is paying down debt from transportation projects?

Seriously?

(As has been pointed out previously, most maintenance is actually paid for through local taxes. Just check out Seattle, or you can just get it from this article. So, basically if you want to gripe about the condition of the local roads, stop posting links to MassDOT or CTF.)