Monday, June 06, 2005

I really shouldn't read as much as I do. Here's something else that's just a tad silly.

In an effort to cut down on traffic congeston, The United Kingdom is considering a "Pay-as-you-go" road tax. This £1.34/mile (less on rural roads) tax would allegedly replace the road use tax and the gas tax. GPS units installed in every car would report the milage to the government.

So let's see if I have the logic of the proposal right. Road taxes would disappear. I have no clue how much that is, but I can assume that it's a nice little saving for the citizenry. Then the gas tax would be cut. That would be significant.

In the US, the Feds charge $.18 per gallon. Then each State taxes gas. In Texas, we pay an extra $.20. That's $.38 per gallon. With current gas prices at $2.05/gallon, that means gas retails at $1.67/gallon, and the gas companies had recorded record profits this year. If we assume that our local gas retailer makes a $.05/gallon (which is probably high), then the gas companies sell the gas for $1.62. And they've made record profits this year. But I digress.

Anyway, the goal of this plan is to reduce driving, right? That's the only way I can see to reduce congestion. But instead, some policy wonk has decided that taxing milage is the way to reduce congestion. Because if people have to pay a lot to drive a lot, they won't drive.

Why don't they just pass a law requiring people to live within a mile from their place of work?


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