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American lawmakers can't make up their mind about how best to meddle in the market

Source: Boston Globe



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RE: Fuel Economy?
By amanojaku on 6/2/2014 8:16:46 PM , Rating: 3
I think Mint was saying that putting people in jail for recreational drug use is stupid, and that minorities are unfairly jailed for drug possession. Therefore, the fair solution would not be to imprison more white recreational drug users, but to stop arresting people for non-violent recreational use.

It's not a racist analogy, because statistics show that minorities ARE unfairly jailed for minor drug offenses and receive harsher sentences than whites. This is one reason why people are constantly calling for prison reform, because the number of non-violent criminals in prison is bankrupting the states and leading to more crime. Prisoners don't pay for themselves, and people with criminal records have a hard time finding jobs, leading many return to their previous actions or worse.

Back to cars... 18-wheelers do significantly more damage to roads than passenger cars, but there's no point in taxing them more. They work for businesses who pay significant sums in taxes already, and there are less 18-wheelers on the roads than there are passenger cars. EV and hybrid owners should pay an equivalent tax to replace the gas they don't use. The point isn't the gas, it's the roads, and those drivers are using them just like everyone else.


RE: Fuel Economy?
By StormyKnight on 6/3/2014 1:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Back to cars... 18-wheelers do significantly more damage to roads than passenger cars, but there's no point in taxing them more. They work for businesses who pay significant sums in taxes already, and there are less 18-wheelers on the roads than there are passenger cars. EV and hybrid owners should pay an equivalent tax to replace the gas they don't use. The point isn't the gas, it's the roads, and those drivers are using them just like everyone else.


http://truecostblog.com/2009/06/02/the-hidden-truc...


RE: Fuel Economy?
By Mint on 6/3/2014 1:59:48 AM , Rating: 1
Thank you for explaining to Reclaimer my simple analogy.

But you're wrong about not wanting to tax 18-wheelers. If they're responsible for most road damage, then they should pay for it. What businesses pay in other taxes is an orthogonal issue. More importantly, if one company's shipping ruins the roads 100x as much as another, it should pay 100x as much in road taxes. It shouldn't be spread evenly among all companies, or among light duty drivers.


RE: Fuel Economy?
By amanojaku on 6/3/2014 1:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
For you and StormyKnight (and everyone else, obviously):

The truecostblog link is unreliable. None of the links he has work anymore, so you only have his numbers to go by. And he's an unknown without any references, so who knows if his information is accurate and his conclusions valid. After all, he just performed a bunch of paper exercises without retrieving actual data.

Here's what I found from the Federal Highway Administration:
quote:
Based on the findings of the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) road test, damage caused by heavy trucks was long thought to increase with approximately the fourth power of the axle load. This means that one axle of 10 tons on a heavy truck was 160,000 times more damaging to a road surface than an axle of 0.5 tons (car scale).

In recent years, however, it was determined that the relationship between axle weights and pavement damage is complex and varies based on numerous variables, including environmental factors, type of terrain and roadway design. The National Pavement Cost Model (NAPCOM), which is the pavement model currently used by FHWA, estimates that for some types of pavement deterioration, doubling the axle load causes 15 to 20 times as much damage; for other types of deterioration, doubling the load only doubles the damage.

The U.S. Department of Transportation in its most recent Highway Cost Allocation Study estimated that light single-unit trucks, operating at less than 25,000 pounds, pay 150 percent of their road costs while the heaviest tractor-trailer combination trucks, weighing over 100,000 pounds, pay only 50 percent of their road costs.
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/091116/03.htm

Table 2 from the following link shows that the largest trucks pay between 50% and 60% of their total highway cost (including road damage) in taxes and fees (equity ratio). Who's picking up the rest? Not small cars (equity ratio of 100%) - it's vans, SUVs, and light trucks (check figure 5 for a graphical comparison of equity ratios).

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/9...


RE: Fuel Economy?
By Mint on 6/3/2014 2:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
Good find. Ideally I'd like a little more detail about how the cost allocation was broken down, and certainly would like more recent data given that driving habits have changed, but in the meantime I'll withdraw my claim.

From that data, cars do indeed have a large share of road cost, and EV road taxes makes sense.


RE: Fuel Economy?
By JediJeb on 6/4/2014 12:07:12 AM , Rating: 2
Another question is how many other taxes do the trucks pay that most vehicles don't. They pay excise taxes on 18 tires instead of just 4 for example and the tax on their tires is at a higher percentage than those for light cars. I have family who are owner/operators and the taxes and fees they pay is unbelievable.


RE: Fuel Economy?
By Solandri on 6/4/2014 3:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
Truck tires, in addition to being bigger, are typically inflated to 80-120 psi, vs 30-45 psi for car tires. So even if trucks are paying an excise tax per tire, they're still paying less per pound of road loading than passenger car tires.

e.g. A 3500 pound passenger car is putting 875 pounds of load per tire onto the road. An unloaded semi truck and trailer is about 32000 pounds, which divided over 18 wheels is 1778 pounds per tire. Fully loaded it can hit about 80,000 pounds (40 tons), or about 4444 pounds per tire. By this math, not only should the truck be paying an excise tax on all 18 tires (vs 4 for the car), its excise tax per tire should be about 5x higher than the car's.

Given some of the traffic flow problems I've seen in Los Angeles, I actually think it makes sense to create dedicated truck highways in urban and suburban areas, funded entirely by taxes on trucks.


RE: Fuel Economy?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2014 4:52:00 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah lets increase the costs of shipping through higher trucking taxes. Because that TOTALLY wont screw over everyone...


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