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I agree, this is insane.

Two other problems I see:

1) Right now, the gas tax collects a lot of revenue from out-of-state drivers traveling through VA who only stop off to get gas on I-95 or I-81. Those people will now not pay a single cent to maintain our roads, except for maybe a minute additional sales tax if they buy coffee or fast food while they are gassing up. In the meantime, as you pointed out, the sales tax increase will hit in-state residents who don't even drive at all!

2) Won't this hurt shops and restaurants near state borders? I think, though I'm not sure, that VA is a little bit lower than most of its neighboring states and therefore gets a little bit of cross-border business. This removes that incentive.

3) This removes an important incentive for someone to buy a fuel-efficient sedan instead of an SUV, and also incentives to bike or take transit instead of walking.

4) Truck drivers in particular will love this ... but I don't think that's fair to the rest of us. Trucks cause at least double the damage to roads and bridges that cars do, but under this scheme truck drivers and car drivers contribute equally towards transportation. Under our current scheme truckers pay more because their vehicles use so much more gas ... in other words, gas consumption more or less rises proportionally with vehicle weight.

5) This is doubly regressive on low-income people who live in our cities. These people mostly walk or use transit, so now they are paying more money on groceries to support roads they don't even really use.

by Marc on Jan 9, 2013 10:54 am • linkreport

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