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If gas taxes can only be used to fund roads... then roads should only be funded by gas taxes. In other words, the tax needs to be raised so that roads require no additional subsidies from other sources.
Can't you use the same argument regarding other forms of transit?The fact is, while this sounds appealing, it would make the cost of doing business go up ridiculously. Remember what gas prices were doing to the cost of goods, prior to the recession?
Some countries in Europe are discussing using GPS to track the movement of people's cars, so they can charge them per kilometer of road use. I think it's a horrible idea, due to the Big Brother implications, but it's an interesting idea, and an alternative to higher gasoline taxes.
You would have to trade out one tax for another. For example, if the gas tax goes up at a per-capita level of X, the income tax would have to drop by the same amount.And yes, if the subsidy for driving was eliminated, I would welcome eliminating the subsidy for transit. It would mean an increase in fares (probably a quadrupling), but it would also require eliminating the sales taxes and other funding sources that pay for transit.
You don't need GPS to implement a per-mile usage structure. If a taxi's fare meter can calculate your fare without GPS, so can the family car. A "road meter" could be tied into your car's odometer. If you have a low balance on your car's meter, then swipe your debit or credit card through the meter and off you go.
It would be a major step towards immobilizing the poor, and overall increasing the relative size of our country/world. It would promote density and localizing business. It's hard to predict its effects on costs of goods, and it's definitely a killer for rural folks/farmers. It has pros and cons.