Car Dependency is a heavily subsidized by local taxes

Thinking about local taxes and private vehicles. A few points to expand upon

  • Registration fees and gas taxes are far to low
    • The current infrastructure maintenance burden is much to high given the revenue from these sources
    • Registration fees should be based on the burden the vehicle imposes on roads and society, so things like weight, size, utility, efficiency, loudness, etc. As is registration fees are primarily based on age or monetary value of the vehicle
      • the U in SUV supposedly stands for utility but these vehicles often have no more utility than a compact car while being a much larger danger and bigger burden on the environment. They should be heavily taxed. Large emotional support trucks too. They aren’t work trucks and everyone knows it.
  • Sales taxes on vehicles provide perverse incentives
    • New car sales taxes are a big revenue source for municipalities. This creates incentives for cities to enshrine car dependency and to measure local economic health by the sale of the very thing which guarantees to choke cities with traffic, pollution, and the need for subsidized parking
    • Trading an old inefficient behemoth for a newer much more efficient model is disincentivized by the current structure. Trading vehicles merely to get a better fit for current use should be encouraged, but with sales tax the way it is, it may not be worth it monetarily to trade for a economy commuter if your situation has changed and a work truck or minivan is no longer what you need on a regular basis.
    • Casinos and other institutions with known, clear negative affects on society are taxed in such a way that their proliferation is intentionally limited or offset – assuming lack of corruption of course – not so with cars. It is time to end the political favoritism towards car dealerships.
  • Public transit funding should come from private vehicle users until balance between public transit and private transit is achieved
    • Roads are public space that should primarily be for people not cars. If cars are going to displace the public they should foot the bill to enable the public to exist and transit safely again.
    • This would include protected bike lanes & free public transit. Think about it, If cars didn’t exist we wouldn’t need the protected bike lanes, and public transit ridership would be so high fares could be minimal or likely without the need to build and maintain insane amounts of infrastructure solely for cars it could be easily funded by all the state and local property taxes used currently to fund that along with the massively car oriented state DOTs.
    • obviously drivers will object, but one way to market it in a positive light would be to label it as a traffic reduction fee. The car infrastructure isn’t going anywhere in the short term, so essentially paying to move people into public transit or biking is going to reduce congestion which should make driving a fair bit more pleasant.

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