02 October 2007

Walkers Subsidize Drivers

An interesting article claiming that cars do not pay their way (ie: walking taxpayers subsidize driving taxpayers):

The analysis indicates that in the U.S. current tax and fee payments to the government by motor-vehicle users fall short of government expenditures related to motor-vehicle use by approximately 20-70 cents per gallon of all motor fuel. (Note that in this accounting we include only government expenditures; we do not include any "external" costs of motor-vehicle use.)

That implied subsidy of 20 to 70 cents a gallon -- which excludes social and environmental costs such as climate damage and uncompensated crash costs, which Delucchi has tallied elsewhere -- equates to 7 to 25 percent of the current price of gasoline. On a dollar basis, U.S. drivers are underpaying local, state and national governments by $40 to $105 billion a year.

I link to this for two reasons. I am tired of people complaining about the price of gas and voting against any politician (if there are any) that proposes to raise the oil tax. Secondly, I am tired of hearing people say that rail/bus service must pay for itself. It is hard for other transportation methods to compete with subsidized cars.

The only thing I would add is that subsidy of any transport, will increase the distance that people travel daily. Lacking subsidy, more people would live closer to work and shops.

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