Thursday, August 29, 2019

More on Tolls

A commenter on my last post told about the State of Connecticut wanting to impose tolls on almost every road and bridge in order to generate revenue. Fuel tax revenue for state are in the decline. Louisiana went from a high of $762 million in 2006 to $589 million in 2014. The state tried to increase the gas tax by $0.16 last session taking the state from one of the lowest fuel taxes to one of the highest. It failed miserably.

There are a couple of reasons for this decrease. One is the federal governments regulation on automobile mileage. The CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency) has been slowly adjusted resulting in people driving cars with higher gas mileage. The unintended consequence is that less gas purchased means less tax revenue. One of the reasons given for putting a toll on our bridge was the failure of the gas tax increase. All states are feeling this pinch and it will only get worse with electric automobiles and the Green New Deal.

Another thing that makes tolls so attractive is the technology. Gone are the days of manned booths and baskets that you toss your change into. It's done with electronic transponders and license plate readers. All they need to do is install a goal post over the highway and install some readers. There are private companies that offer to do this for free for a cut of the revenue.

And there has been talk about putting trackers on automobiles and taxing you by the miles you drive. This intrusion into your personal business should scare the crap out of you. But it is coming if the wrong people get into power.

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