Do motor-vehicle users in the US pay their way?
Governments in the US spend over a hundred billion dollars per year to build and maintain roads and provide a variety of services for motor-vehicle users. To pay for these infrastructure and services governments collect revenue from a variety of taxes and fees. The basic objective of this paper is to compare these government expenditures with the corresponding user tax and fee payments in the US. At the outset I argue that the such comparisons tell us something about the equity but not necessarily the economic efficiency of highway financing. I then present four different ways one might tally up government expenditures and user payments, depending on the extent to which one wishes to count "indirect" expenditures (e.g., on prosecuting car thieves) and non-targeted general-tax payments (e.g., severance taxes on oil). I make a comprehensive analysis of all possible expenditures and payments, and then compare them according to three of the four ways of counting expenditures and payments. The analysis indicates that in the US current tax and fee payments to the government by motor-vehicle users fall short of government expenditures related to motor-vehicle use by approximately 20-70 cents per gallon of all motor fuel. (Note that in this accounting we include only government expenditures; we do not include any "external" costs of motor-vehicle use.) The extent to which one counts indirect government expenditures related to motor-vehicle use is a key factor in the comparison.
Volume (Year): 41 (2007)
Issue (Month): 10 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/547/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Proost, S. & Van Dender, K. & Courcelle, C. & De Borger, B. & Peirson, J. & Sharp, D. & Vickerman, R. & Gibbons, E. & O'Mahony, M. & Heaney, Q. & Van den Bergh, J. & Verhoef, E., 2002.
"How large is the gap between present and efficient transport prices in Europe?,"
Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 41-57, January.
- Stef Proost & Kurt Van Dender & Christoph Courcelle & John Peirson & Duncan Sharp, 2001. "How large is the gap between present and efficient transport prices in Europe?," Chapters,in: Reforming Transport Pricing in the European Union, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Stef Proost & Kurt Van Dender & C. Courcelle & B. De Borger & J. Peirson & D. Sharp & R. Vickerman & E. Gibbons & M. O'Mahony & Q. Heaney & J. Van den Bergh & E. Verhoef, 2001. "How large is the gap between present and efficient transport prices in Europe?," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0120, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
- Chouinard, Hayley & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2004. "Incidence of federal and state gasoline taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 55-60, April.
- Chouinard, Hayley & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2003. "Incidence of Federal and State Gasoline Taxes," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt5q74052d, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
- Glaister, Stephen & Graham, Daniel J., 2005. "An evaluation of national road user charging in England," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(7-9), pages 632-650.
- Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2005. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1276-1289, September.
- Parry, Ian & Small, Kenneth, 2002. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," Discussion Papers dp-02-12-, Resources For the Future.
- Nash, Chris & Sansom, Tom & Still, Ben, 2001. "Modifying transport prices to internalise externalities: evidence from European case studies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 413-431, July.
- Rothengatter, Werner, 2003. "How good is first best? Marginal cost and other pricing principles for user charging in transport," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 121-130, April.
- Keeler, Theodore E & Small, Kenneth A, 1977. "Optimal Peak-Load Pricing, Investment, and Service Levels on Urban Expressways," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 1-25, February.
- Saleh, Wafaa, 2005. "Road user charging: Theory and practice," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 373-376, September.
- Henrik Hammar, Asa Lofgren and Thomas Sterner, 2004. "Political Economy Obstacles to Fuel Taxation," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-18.
- Farrell, Séona & Saleh, Wafaa, 2005. "Road-user charging and the modelling of revenue allocation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 431-442, September.
- Goldman, Todd & Wachs, Martin, 2003. "A Quiet Revolution in Transportation Finance: The Rise of Local Option Transportation Taxes," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2gp4m4xq, University of California Transportation Center.
- Peter Bickel & Rainer Friedrich & Heike Link & Louise Stewart & Chris Nash, 2005. "Introducing Environmental Externalities into Transport Pricing: Measurement and Implications," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 389-415, November. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)