Taxing by the mile, not the gallon

Despite recent legislative changes to gas tax transportation funding in Utah, the problems with this once reliable revenue stream will only continue. Pacing with inflation (or lack thereof), more efficient vehicles and hybrids, are only part of the challenge. In response, even more progressive states like Massachusetts and Washington are considering a regressive idea: Taxing by the mile. And Oregon is on it. From Pew’s Stateline Daily: SALEM, Oregon—Evan Burroughs plopped into his 1996 Subaru Outback and pointed to a green plastic box tucked below the steering column. It blinked…

Gas Taxes are Broken, But How Do You Fix Them?

Imagine if you had to pay 2015 prices with 1997 dollars. Unfortunately, that’s the exact situation that we’re in with gas taxes. Between inflation and increased fuel efficiency, they just don’t buy what they used to, a situation that’s been a boon (yay de facto tax cuts) and bane (boo decreased road maintenance). It’s obvious that a fixed per-gallon excise tax on fuel isn’t a stable way to fund roads proportional to usage. What’s less obvious is what can be done about it. One of the more intriguing proposals on…

It’s Time for Utah to Rethink Gas Taxes, Not Raise Them

As the legislative session is set to begin, one of the biggest rumblings coming out of the legislature have been around increasing gasoline taxes and/or indexing future gas taxes to gas prices. While there is definitely a case to be made for increasing the funding for our roads, it is time to look at better options for funding them instead of just raising taxes. With the current proposal on the table, the gas tax would go up by around 10 cents a gallon initially and then be further adjusted on a yearly basis…