Sunday, August 23, 2009

With fewer miles driven, how does the govt make money for roads?

Hal Bunderson, chairman of Ada County Citizens for Better Transportation, outlines five options for road revenue generation in an opinion piece published in the ID Statesman. Excerpt:

There is general agreement that Idaho has serious transportation infrastructure problems. Idaho is a large state with several thousand miles of federal, state and local roads and a relatively small population to pay the costs. It is critical that we develop a balanced, long-term transportation-funding model.

Our existing model - a fossil fuel tax and a vehicle registration fee - is fundamentally flawed. In the face of inflation and increased demand, improved vehicle efficiency is providing less fuel tax revenue per mile driven.

Gov. Otter has appointed a "Task Force on Modernizing Transportation Funding in Idaho." It is not the first time policymakers have studied transportation funding. Some argue that they have studied it to death, confusing effort with results. Hopefully this time, policymakers will avoid politics and parochial interests and reach conclusions based on agreed guiding principles, disciplined evaluation and objective analysis of probable long-term consequences.

Read full story here.

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