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by Bryan Goebel
At first I was annoyed by the idea of a VMT (vehicle mileage tax) since gas taxes are so much simpler to collect and do the best job of discouraging carbon emissions. But the idea won’t die because of the sense of injustice that hybrids and electric cars (all six of them on the road right now) don’t seem to be paying their fare share to support the roads.
After some reflection, I think a VMT would be okay as long as it’s prorated based on the weight of the vehicle. After all, it’s the weight of the vehicle that causes the wear and tear on the roads, so it’s ridiculous a Smart Car (1609 lbs) should have to pay the same amount of road repair tax as a Humvee (5200lbs). With a weight-based prorate,a Prius (2932 lbs) would pay 54% of the tax that a Range Rover would pay (5465 lbs).
Even though if we were remotely concerned about climate change and the possible collapse of our very civilization we would place a serious carbon tax on all fossil fuel, at least a weight-based VMT would discourage gas-guzzlers (since they tend to be heavier) as well as encourage people to turn to transportation options other than private vehicles altogether. If the VMT goes forward, we must hold politicians feet to the fire and require it be prorated by weight. It’s only fair.
Road damage is, I believe, proportional to the fourth power of gross vehicle weight, so that Hummer would be paying twelve times more than the Prius in your example.
See “The AASHO Road Test”, 1962
just got a response from Muni. you can read it here: http://bit.ly/lSIDg
thanks, all, for your comments and support. happy shooting!!
“I have a sinking feeling we're all going to learn once again that hindsight is 20/20, and that all this caving to merchants' unfounded fears will result in an entire generation of lost opportunity to make our streets safer and more lively.”
– Upright Biker
In response to "SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought by Visionless Mayor's Optometrist"