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Tenn gov Wants More $ For Fuel


Don SC

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Unfortunately, Gov. Haslam of Tennessee has offered a plan to the state legislature to increase gas and diesel fuel prices in the near future. Gas proposal is 7 cents per gallon and diesel proposal is 12 cents per gallon. Love my state, but I hate this increase.

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So is there an alternative that you would prefer? In Texas the legislature and governor have "held the line" on gas tax increases for many, many years. And the result has been an explosion of toll roads, public-private partnerships, bond issues, and money coming from the general fund/rainy day fund to attempt to pay for the growing backlog in construction and maintenance.

 

Folks don't want to pay tolls, and they don't want to see their taxes raised, but they want good quality roads and they want them now!! Quite a dilemma...

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An alternative? Yes. I'd like to see the legislature use some of the $1billion plus surplus that our state has and let them use that money for the road projects. I realize what you're saying about not wanting my taxes raised, but the surplus should allow for that. Apparently, what we're doing now works pretty good. 2nd year in a row for a surplus in the state coffers..

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An alternative? Yes. I'd like to see the legislature use some of the $1billion plus surplus that our state has and let them use that money for the road projects. I realize what you're saying about not wanting my taxes raised, but the surplus should allow for that. Apparently, what we're doing now works pretty good. 2nd year in a row for a surplus in the state coffers..

 

Fair enough. I'll tell you that I've worked as a highway engineer in Texas for almost 40 years now (some at the DOT, now private) and sustainable, long-term highway funding is a big problem for most states. With vehicles becoming more efficient across the board (not to mention electric vehicles that use no gasoline/diesel) the revenue from gas taxes isn't keeping up. Using budget surpluses and rainy day funds (essentially the same thing) is at best a short-term solution. I imagine that in Tennessee as in Texas there are a many groups fighting for that surplus.

 

In an economy where gas prices fluctuate wildly over periods of months and years, I've scratched my head over the reluctance to raise gas taxes 10 - 20 cents a gallon as a means to provide stable long-term highway funding. And I consider myself a hard-nosed fiscal conservative!! But I understand that if there is a short-term surplus many would prefer to see it spent now and kick the funding can down the road for another year or two.

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In an economy where gas prices fluctuate wildly over periods of months and years, I've scratched my head over the reluctance to raise gas taxes 10 - 20 cents a gallon as a means to provide stable long-term highway funding. And I consider myself a hard-nosed fiscal conservative!! But I understand that if there is a short-term surplus many would prefer to see it spent now and kick the funding can down the road for another year or two.

So very true, and with a lot of other funds as well, but road taxes are probably one of the most difficult to solve. Most of us actually pay less in fuel taxes today than we did 10 years or more ago, just because our cars are so much more fuel efficient. It seems to me that some sort of per-mile tax is going have to come if we want good roads.

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It seems to me that some sort of per-mile tax is going have to come if we want good roads.

 

That's why toll roads are the fairest. Gas sippers, electric cars, bicycles, etc all pay their fair share and commensurate with usage. Those "Sun Passes" and other automatic toll payers can be expanded and installed all over. (And should generate a whole new industry on how to defeat them.)

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I am tired of paying taxes for programs that give lazy people a source of income for staying home doing nothing. How about we help get those people off the taxpayers back and put them to work on the roads and many other projects to help offset the free ride they are getting.

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And of course it has nothing to do with Haslams STRONG connection with Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers! :ph34r:

If he has a financial interest in a fuel seller, I'd think that he would want to keep fuel taxes low in order to sell more, rather than to increase taxes and make people want to use less of it?

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I am tired of paying taxes for programs that give lazy people a source of income for staying home doing nothing. How about we help get those people off the taxpayers back and put them to work on the roads and many other projects to help offset the free ride they are getting.

How many of those people are you talking about .Is there enough make a difference

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How many of those people are you talking about .Is there enough make a difference

 

And are they qualified to "work on the roads"?? Having volunteered at a few state parks that utilized folks serving "community service" sentences these tend not to be the most skilled or motivated of people.

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The problem with Toll roads is that a large percentage of the toll collections goes toward paying the collection expense, people, booths, accountants, and enforcement. As far as lazy people, the incentive to work is not there. I know many people from Mich that get seasonal unemployment benefits and would turn down jobs because the additional income earned was only about $40 a week. So like they said, why work, unless the pay was in cash.

Greg

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Chicago promised to stop charging tolls once the expenses for building the roads were paid off. They didn't.

 

Linda Sand

The only toll road in Chicago is the Skyway which the former Mayor Daley sold off. Very few used it and it would never be paid off considering it was manageed by the city. I believe a foreign corporation now owns and runs it. The Illinois Tollway is state run and they continue to enlarge and expand so they will never go out of business, too many nephews to give jobs to.

 

As far as new fuel taxes I was paying +$4.00 a gal when we started full timing if it stays under $3.00 and the roads are smoother, which will improve fuel economy I'm all for it. It's not that things cost more but thanks to the Federal printing of dollars they are not worth what they once were. More dollars chasing the same amount of goods is inflation but printing more dollars is devalueation.

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The problem with Toll roads is that a large percentage of the toll collections goes toward paying the collection expense, people, booths, accountants, and enforcement.

None of the toll roads that I've been on recently have had any people in booths collecting tolls, except for a toll bridge that we crossed in Niagara, NY last summer.

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Toll roads were one of POTUS Obama's plans to help pay for infrastructure upkeep, repairs, and new construction of interstates. It seems to have evaporated a few years ago.

The downfall was the transportation industry. They can write-off many transportation costs the private citizen cannot, leaving governmental units back to relying on the general fund.

 

Oh, Indiana is also increasing fuel tax, they just haven't decided what method to use yet.

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None of the toll roads that I've been on recently have had any people in booths collecting tolls, except for a toll bridge that we crossed in Niagara, NY last summer.

So how did you exit Ontario? The Ambassador bridge at Detroit, Blue Water bridge at Port Huron, International bridge at Soo are all manned Toll Booths. Most of I-80 booths through Ohio and IN. are still manned although a few less used exits are now automatic. I-Pass is becoming more common now, but even then the collection process is still a large part of Toll road expenses. (non-value added}

 

Running 4 axles across IN I-80 cost +$32 in tolls and you still pay the $0.16 gallon fuel tax on top of that. I read that IN has entered a 99 year lease on the I-80 Toll road to IFM Investors as of 2015 for a huge one time payment. This was after the tax payers paid for the road but did not receive any rebate from the sale, not a bad deal for the state government budget!! The state budget was black for 2015. :)

Greg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Unfortunately, Gov. Haslam of Tennessee has offered a plan to the state legislature to increase gas and diesel fuel prices in the near future. Gas proposal is 7 cents per gallon and diesel proposal is 12 cents per gallon. Love my state, but I hate this increase.

 

 

 

The (your) state gov wants to 'keep up with the Joneses' - whichever of the other 49 they may be.

 

Hope your love / hate relationship works out.

 

.

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..... and you thought you had it bad!

 

So, are all of my CA friends ready for the new gas taxes?

$.12/ gal. on gasoline (adding approx. 5% to current cost)

$.38/ gal. on diesel fuel (adding approx. 15% to current cost)

+increase of percentage on excise taxes per gal from 1.75 to 5.75%, which constitutes a 4% increase on some portion of the current pump cost we are already paying.

Oh and as if that wasn't enough, $38 increase on vehicle registration. It is unclear, but appears to be all registrations including boats, motorcycles, trailers that are not PTI, atv's, etc.

Both the taxes and the vehicle fees are tied to inflation indexes so that they will automatically raise over time.

But wait, that is not all.

$100/ year registration increase to zero emission vehicles because we wouldn't want them driving around for "free".

Ending OHV and Harbor fund deposits and "reallocating" them to road based funds. No more OHV or boat or harbor funding despite the fact that OHV's have to pay road taxes on the fuel purchased at service stations. Typical government. Pay more in fees, get less in return.

Surely, (please don't call me Shirley) we will use all of the new funds on roads, right? Nah, we are going to write the law so that it we create and fund a whole new department that reports to the Governor. We also break another, already created department, off and make its own. More bureaucracy.

Percentages of money will be diverted to rail and other projects that do not put pavement down where we drive. Have you been out on I-5 or I-80 lately?

$2M/ year will be diverted to the CSU system for traffic study and training. No pavement there.

Allocates a certain amount to local (county and city) governments. Then allows those cities and counties to use the money for other than road projects if the local jurisdiction's roads are deemed good enough.

There is a cap that states how much money can be allotted by these new taxes. The bills do not state what happens to money that might be in excess. No actual expected amounts of revenue are discussed. Presumably the LAO will cover that at some point.

To my friends in the CA Legislature, I would say why don't you return the road tax money that is already being raided for other purposes to fixing our roads and stop reaching into our pockets.

No on AB1 and SB1.

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