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Archive for the ‘Tax’ Category

State and Federal Fuel Taxes: The Road Ahead for U.S. Infrastructure Funding

Thursday, September 29th, 2016
Table 1: Summary of state tax rates in cents per mile for gasoline, diesel, and E85.

Indexing fuel taxes to inflation in addition to imposing a states’ sales tax increases revenue significantly but suffers from a continuous decline in the long-run due to increased fuel efficiency. Our results indicate that although a mileage fee is politically and technologically difficult to achieve, it avoids a declining tax revenue in the long-run.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Ranking Member, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
Congressman Peter DeFazio

In 2014, DeFazio was elected to the powerful position of Ranking Member on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard, highways and transit, water resources, railroads, aviation, and economic development.

“[Citizens] need to speak up, speak out. They need to contact their members of congress, their senators. They need to particularly weigh in in an election year and, go to a debate, or ask them a question as publicly as you can, ‘what are you going to do to fix Americas infrastructure?'”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Henry Petroski, Historian & Author of The Road Taken: The History and Future of America’s Infrastructure

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Henry Petroski Professor of Civil Engineering in Pratt School of Engineering

Henry Petroski is an Aleksandar C. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering at Duke University, as well as an author and historian. His most recent book is titled The Road Taken: The History and Future of America’s Infrastructure.

Roads that aren’t paved correctly should not be paid for. They should be redone. If we have something, work done in our house and it’s not done right, we expect the contractor to redo it. We don’t just write another check. I believe unfortunately that too many times the government that represents the people and spends the people’s tax money does do just that.

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Issuance of New Money Bonds Remains Low in Large U.S. Cities

Thursday, April 14th, 2016
Figure 1 New Money Issuances Hit a 24-Year Low in 2014

THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS
Cities in the United States play a substantial role in funding critical infrastructure with investments in capital projects such as roads, bridges, schools, and libraries. For example, all local governments accounted for 35 percent of total highway and transit spending from 2008 through 2012. To pay for these projects, cities often sell bonds on the municipal market.

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Indiana: History and Analysis of Gas Taxes

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
Figure 1. Inflation-Adjusted Gasoline Excise Taxes, USA and Indiana (1932-2015); Figure 2. Sales Tax Cost per Gallon of Retail Gasoline in Indiana (1962-2015)

BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
CENTER FOR BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH
With gasoline taxes static or declining due to inflation, the costs of constructing and maintaining roadways and developing congestion relief has grown. The cost per mile of road maintenance has increased roughly 22 percent since the late 1990s and will certainly continue to grow in the coming years (ITEP, 2013). The real (inflation-adjusted) reduction in the gasoline excise tax reduces the state’s ability to fund highway construction, operations, maintenance and relieve congestion. In addition, there have been other issues that affect the stability of the gasoline excise tax revenue.

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Alternative-Fuel & Electric Vehicles: State Taxes & Fees

Monday, January 11th, 2016
Figure 1: Alternative Fuel Conversation Rates, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

AMERICAN ROAD & TRANSPORTATION BUILDERS ASSOCIATION
As the use of alternative-fuel and electric cars and trucks continues to grow as a share of the U.S. fleet, state governments are relying on a mixture of user fees and taxes to ensure these drivers are contributing their fair share to highway and bridge construction and maintenance programs…The number of alternative-fuel cars and light trucks is expected to grow from 21.5 million vehicles in 2016—accounting for 9 percent of the U.S. vehicle stock—to 29.3 million vehicles in 2021, or about 12 percent of the entire fleet, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Alternative-fuel vehicles include electric cars and trucks, hybrids, and vehicles that run on propane, fuel cells and natural gas.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Rod Diridon, Sr., Emeritus Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
Rod Diridon on The Infra Blog

Rod Diridon, Sr., served as executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute from 1995, four years after the Institute’s creation, until 2014 when he moved to Emeritus status. Mr. Diridon has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs, most related to transit and the environment.

“The minimum gas prices around the world are more than double, sometimes triple, the United States…Now the public in America wants a gas tax increase: the polls show it. The polls show that if the gas tax increase will be used for transportation and infrastructure improvements, then the public supports it sometimes as high as 80%…But the U.S. can’t do it because Congress doesn’t have the courage.”

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Public Perception of Mileage-Based User Fees

Monday, December 28th, 2015
Figure 1: Support for MBUF by Polling Year. Note: Sample size = 28. Five questions on general support for MBUFs are excluded from this figure because the poll extended over multiple years or the information on the year the poll occurred was unavailable.

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
In recent years, the real value of fuel tax revenues has declined significantly as a result of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, failure to adjust tax rates to keep up with inflation, and fewer miles driven. This decline in the purchasing power of the revenues collected has led to ongoing funding challenges for transportation infrastructure and increased uncertainty about future funding options. The long term sustainability of motor fuel taxes has come into question, in view of increasing fuel efficiency and possible shifts to alternative fuel vehicles. Interest has grown in the potential of replacing the current fuel tax — assessed at the federal level and in many states as a flat fee per gallon — with new road usage charge assessed on all miles traveled. This method is often referred to as a mileage-based user fee (MBUF), road usage charge (RUC), vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee, or per-mile tax.

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A Requiem for the Highway Trust Fund

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 8
The FAST Act, signed by the President on December 4, marks the beginning of the end for the Highway Trust Fund as we have known it. The $305 billion 5-year measure draws heavily on general funds (to the tune of $70 billion), and relegates to a virtual anachronism the “user pays” principle that was the philosophic foundation of the federal-aid highway program for the past 60 years.

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ARTBA: Ronald Reagan and the Highway User Fee

Friday, September 11th, 2015
ARTBA: Ronald Reagan and the Highway User Fee

You might be surprised to learn that Ronald Reagan, conservative tax-cutter, was an adamant supporter of investment in infrastructure maintenance.

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