Taxes. It really all boils down to taxes.
We have high traffic? Well, we encourage cars in the State of California. And if you take a step back, you can see how 50% of the economy is due to cars, sales, and parts and service. So, we need all those cars on our roads to drive our economy. But we have one big problem. We will run out of oil and gasoline in our lifetime.
I have to admit, I really like Sarah Palin. Why? Because she is the first politician to talk about saving oil and using other energy in its place. I see how comfortable she is with carbon caps, and I can see it is because she knows that at our current burn rates, we will be out of oil by 2050 anyway. And, I also have to say that Sarah Palin is very sexy when she talks of Trillions of cubic feet of untapped natural gas in Alaska. But even if we got that natural gas out of the ground...we have a problem.
Remember, 50% of our Economy is related to the automobiles Americans love. And our taxation of the automobile is primarily centered around the gas pump. Sure we pay other taxes and registration. But when it comes to taxing us based on use...it currently boils down to the $.80/gallon tax at the gasoline pump.
So, what is the big deal? Well, pretty much any other energy source (except ethanol) can be refilled at your house. And the taxes for transportation don't go that way. There are no transportation taxes on the electricity, gas, or water (could make hydrogen) delivered residentially. And gasoline is only available at the pump. Do you know of any other way to get gasoline? See the problem? If we tax the resources going to your house for transportation and you don't drive...well that isn't fair.
We need to change our tax scheme. Yes it is a scheme, but get over it. We have to pay for the roads somehow. But here is the problem I have with changing the tax game. I have a bad feeling about our beloved leaders playing both sides of the tax fence on this. I truly believe that they will add taxes and not compensate with tax reduction elsewhere. And we need to protect against this very issue.
Let's eliminate the double taxation.
If taxes are fair, then transitioning taxes should be fair. If we are going to start taxing people for toll roads, then it is time that we provide refunds for those commuters so that they are not double taxed. If someone pays a toll to drive 10 miles, then they should receive a refund of 10 miles worth of transportation tax that was pre-paid at the pump.
Allow for tax credits related to hot lanes. And while you are at it, how about we have a formula for multi-passenger vehicles. How about we let them pay the toll fees with the following formula MultiToll = (Normal Toll / number occupants). That seems fair enough. If you carpool, the toll is cut in half, and can get down to 25% with 4 occupants.
So seriously folks, can we get going on shifting the tax away from the pump. It is really starting to hurt our economy.