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How should heavy-duty trucks be taxed?

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  • Parry, Ian W.H.

Abstract

This paper develops and implements an analytical framework for estimating optimal taxes on the fuel use and mileage of heavy-duty trucks in the United States, accounting for external costs from congestion, accidents, pavement damage, noise, energy security, and local and global pollution. The analysis allows for endogenous fuel economy, increased auto travel in response to reduced truck congestion, and distinguishes driving by truck type and region. We estimate the optimal (second-best) diesel fuel tax at $1.12 per gallon and implementing it increases welfare by $1.34 billion per annum. Optimizing over both fuel and mileage taxes, and differentiating mileage taxes by vehicle type and region, yields progressively higher welfare gains. The most efficient tax structure involves a diesel fuel tax of 69 cents per gallon and charges on trucks that vary between 7 and 33 cents per mile; implementing this tax structure yields estimated welfare gains of $2.06 billion.

Suggested Citation

  • Parry, Ian W.H., 2008. "How should heavy-duty trucks be taxed?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 651-668, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:651-668
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    Cited by:

    1. Andre De Palma & Moez Kilani & Robin Lindsey, 2006. "The Economics of Truck Toll Lanes," ERSA conference papers ersa06p896, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Clifford Winston, 2013. "On the Performance of the U.S. Transportation System: Caution Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 773-824, September.
    3. Roberton C. Williams III, 2016. "Environmental Taxation," NBER Working Papers 22303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Parry, Ian & Strand, Jon, 2012. "International fuel tax assessment: an application to Chile," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 127-144, April.
    5. Dumortier, Jerome & Zhang, Fengxiu & Marron, John, 2017. "State and federal fuel taxes: The road ahead for U.S. infrastructure funding," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 39-49.
    6. Paul Koster & Erik T. Verhoef & Simon Shepherd & David Watling, 2014. "Probabilistic Choice and Congestion Pricing with Heterogeneous Travellers and Price-Sensitive Demand," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-078/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 13 Nov 2014.
    7. de Palma, André & Kilani, Moez & Lindsey, Robin, 2008. "The merits of separating cars and trucks," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 340-361, September.
    8. Luechinger, Simon & Roth, Florian, 2016. "Effects of a mileage tax for trucks," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 1-15.
    9. Santos, Georgina, 2017. "Road fuel taxes in Europe: Do they internalize road transport externalities?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 120-134.
    10. Georg Hirte & Stefan Tscharaktschiew, 2015. "Optimal Fuel Taxes and Heterogeneity of Cities," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 35(2), pages 173-209, October.
    11. De Borger, Bruno & Mulalic, Ismir, 2012. "The determinants of fuel use in the trucking industry—volume, fleet characteristics and the rebound effect," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 284-295.
    12. Guerrero, Sebastian E. & Madanat, Samer M. & Leachman, Robert C., 2013. "The Trucking Sector Optimization Model: A tool for predicting carrier and shipper responses to policies aiming to reduce GHG emissions," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 85-107.
    13. Dumortier, Jerome & Zhang, Fengxiu & Marron, John, 2016. "State and federal fuel taxes: The road ahead for U.S. infrastructure funding," IU SPEA AgEcon Papers 233758, Indiana University, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
    14. Robin Lindsey, 2010. "Reforming Road User Charges: A Research Challenge For Regional Science," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 471-492.
    15. Wu, Huiting & Colson, Gregory & Escalante, Cesar & Wetzstein, Michael, 2012. "An optimal U.S. biodiesel fuel subsidy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 601-610.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Truck tax Diesel tax External costs Welfare gains;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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