Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Do The Policy Work Before Raising Gas Tax

Before we start talking about new taxes for the state's transportation funding, let's do it one step better: have an independent analysis of the billions in projects that are on the books (and, thus, always shovel-ready) to determine what's really needed.

With apolitical auditing.

And authentic projections of driving and fuel consumption, and of transit needs, too.

And bring in the public early, and often, to see how people want these goals to be met.

Tolls - - and where, when, and what kind: by vehicle size, weight, time of day, etc?

Higher gas taxes?

Gas tax rebates, rebates, or deductions for alternative fuel, or hybrid-owners (disclosure: I own an '06 Civic Hybrid).

Dedicated gas or sales taxes for local and statewide transit?

Regional transit authorities, with local and multi-county taxing options?

It's a complex conversation, with plenty of revenue and policy questions, so let's do it right.

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