Thursday, December 9, 2010

Transit policy is screwing me over (IV)

The Market Urbanist makes a point that I was unaware of:

Unlike state and federal highways, local roads are almost entirely subsidized out of general revenues – user fees like gas taxes are barely kicked down at all to municipalities for local road costs, as Randal O’Toole, who is much more knowledgeable about road financing than I, has told me. In fact, given that local roads are (I assume?) paid for out of property taxes and sales taxes levied on local Seattle residents, it would seem that those who don’t drive in Seattle actually pay more for the roads than the average person who uses them! This could be exacerbated by property taxes, which are often higher for renters– who are more likely not to own cars – than for homeowners

I'm REALLY getting screwed. The argument for "user fees" to cover the total cost of transit holds no water whatsoever when local roads are paid for overwhelmingly from the general fund. There are non-gas-tax forms of user fees for cars, but I can't imagine they generate anywhere near enough revenue. I ask again: why is it okay to subsidize roads but not transit? Perhaps it's because only gang members take the bus.

No comments:

Post a Comment