Monday, March 27, 2006

If You've Got to Raise Taxes, at Least Do It Right

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine made an interesting remark Saturday to a gathering in Rockingham County, according to the Daily News Record:

Kaine said his proposal will put the burden of payment on users of highways by raising auto-sales fees, car-insurance premiums, registration fees and license-reinstatement fees for what Kaine termed "abusive" drivers: motorists with poor driving records, including habitual offenders.
It is encouraging to see that the Governor believes that the burden of maintaining and building Virginia's roads (and transit projects) should fall upon those who use (and abuse) the roads -- as opposed, say, upon the non car-owning population. It's a baby step toward a rational transportation funding formula. But....

Read the rest of the commentary at Bacon's Rebellion.


At 11:21 AM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

No argument from me on this. Those that use should pay. There are still regional issues and truck issues. Having sucked money out of NOVA for years, it seems unfair to now change the rules based solely on use or location. Too much of VA revenue comes from NOVA not to send at least some of it back.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Toomanytaxes said...

Ray Hyde: You have spotted one very large omission -- the failure of the Governor's and Senate's plan to recover the added maintenance expenses caused by heavy trucks in cost-based fees levied on those vehicles. One might even respect the forthrightness of the Senators if they had stood up to the truckers lobby. If bad drivers are to pay more and they should, why are the heavy trucks getting a relatively free pass? Rhetorical question, of course.

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

Nope, I have covered that in my comments to this in the Bacons's rebellion blog, and in previous comments. I firmly believe that if we think users should pay, the place to start is trucks. Our highways were never intended to be used as rolling warehouses that pay no real estate tax, and are a safety hazard as well.

When I see one of those truck signs that says this vehicle pays more that $4563 in road use taxes, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Furthermore, it has been my observation that trucks sporting those signs are more likely to drive as if they own the road.

But the farm owns many vehicles that are special purpose and seldom used. Kaines plan to tax insurance and ownership, rather than use is going to hurt me, and the ability to keep the farm.

And the other problem with user fees for roads is that even people who never drive benefit from roads. They should pay too, maybe more, because their goods are delivered, and mostly by trucks.


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