Drive me, no new tax fees

I think our legislators are on the right track when it comes to road funding, but I would do some tweaking on the proposal;

The bill would boost money for maintenance and construction projects on state and county roads throughout South Dakota. The state’s tax on gasoline would jump 5 cents a gallon by May 1 and another 5 cents in 2012. Vehicle registration fees also would rise over two years, as would the state’s excise tax on new vehicles.

I agree vehicle registration fees should go up, but I also think the whole system needs an overhaul. You should pay a higher rate based on the weight of your vehicle and it’s fuel efficency. If you drive a light vehicle that gets over 35 miles a gallon, your fees should be reduced. We should be rewarding people who choose to have less impact on our roads. I also think the excise tax on vehicles should be the same as food. I have never understood why we pay a higher rate on goods that are essential to life then we do on automobiles. The whole argument from the car dealership lobby will be that it will hurt sales. Bologna. You can finance your excise tax into your loan and spread that expense out over the life of your loan. It won’t hurt sales. While I think a gas tax is a fair way to fund roads, I would probably hold off on that for at least a year and see if the other two proposals work first. I like gas taxes because, like I mentioned with my registration fee idea, it has less impact on people who choose to drive more fuel efficient vehicles.

7 Thoughts on “I would go a step further

  1. Plaintiff Guy on December 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm said:

    Gas tax and registration increases are necessary. Lots of gas tax comes from non-residents crossing the state and resident impact is acceptable. It’s time to raise registration fees. Other revenue methods can be imposed over time as would be required. The state needs revenue. Unlike the city of Sioux Falls, they can be trusted with expenditures.

  2. Well, something has to be done.

  3. Yeah something has to be done – 1) reduce the state’s air force (it’s in the DOT budget); 2) stop building four lane roads to towns losing population, closing schools – build roads were people are, not were they aren’t; 3) stop building bridges & exits to nowhere; 4) stop subsidizing large vehicles – make the folks that damage our roads pay their fair share; 5) gas use (and collected revenue) is way up from when the tax was last raised; 6) costs are coming in under budget since we are in deflation; 7) prioritize the DOTs wish list – give some roads to counties, if they want it, they can pay for them.

  4. You make some good points John. I think ‘most’ highways in SD are in pretty good shape, but we do need to keep up with it. Gravel roads are just that, gravel roads, you cannot expect much from them.

  5. Ghost of Dude on December 28, 2009 at 7:28 am said:

    I’ve never understood why we fund a fixed cost with a variable revenue stream.

    If gas prices go up to $4 again, people will buy less gas and less tax money will come in to fix roads. However, the semis that really wear down our roads will still be driving on them just like before. Winter will also take its toll.
    I don’t mind gas taxes, but it seems to be a pretty bad way to fund road construction and maintanence.

  6. Plaintiff Guy on December 28, 2009 at 8:38 am said:

    Perhaps, tolls and stimulus money for the interstates and state maintains state highways only.

  7. some douche on December 28, 2009 at 9:46 am said:

    A variable gas tax (percentage instead of fixed amount per gallon) would help fix the decrease in demand problem. If gas goes to $4, the tax automatically goes up to compensate.
    Vehicle registration fees go up for every car, truck, van, etc. over 2000 lbs. Tiny cars don’t see an increase.

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