Frontier Group and U.S. PIRG
[From Press Release] As Congress struggles to renew the federal transportation law, a new report from CALPIRG Education Fund and the Frontier Group finds that drivers currently pay less than half the total cost of roads, and argues that while increasing gas taxes could fill the shortfall, it would leave other problems unaddressed.
The new report, “Who Pays for Roads? How the ‘Users Pays’ Myth Gets in the Way of Solutions to America’s Transportation Problems” exposes the widening gap between how Californians think we pay for transportation – through gas taxes and other fees – and how we actually do.
The new report comes with just a month left before expiration of the federal transportation act, and with the federal Highway Trust Fund on the brink of insolvency. Revenues from gas taxes and other user fees this year are expected to come up $16 billion short of the level needed to maintain current federal transportation spending, leading to the need for urgent congressional action…
The new report pulls back the veil on the “users pay” myth, finding that:
• Gas taxes and other fees paid by drivers now cover less than half of road construction and maintenance costs nationally – down from more than 70 percent in the 1960s – with the balance coming chiefly from income, sales and property taxes and other levies on general taxpayers.
• General taxpayers at all levels of government now subsidize highway construction and maintenance to the tune of $69 billion per year – an amount exceeding the expenditure of general tax funds to support transit, bicycling, walking and passenger rail combined.
• Regardless of how much they drive, the average American household bears an annual financial burden of more than $1,100 in taxes and indirect costs from driving – over and above any gas taxes or other fees they pay that are connected with driving…