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Why States Toll: An Empirical Model of Finance Choice

  • David Levinson

    ()

    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

This paper examines the question of why some states impose tolls while others rely more heavily on gas and other taxes. A model to predict the share of street and highway revenue from tolls is estimated as a function of the share of non-resident workers, the policies of neighboring states, historical factors, and population. The more non-resident workers, the greater the likelihood of tolling, after controlling for the miles of toll road planned or constructed before the 1956 Interstate Act. Similarly if a state exports a number of residents to work out-of-state and those neighboring states toll, it will be more likely to retaliate by imposing its own tolls than if those states don't. The policy implications for the future of congestion pricing are clear, if hard to implement. Decentralization of finance and control of the road network from the federal to the state, metropolitan and city and county levels of government will increase the incentives for the highway-managing jurisdiction to impose tolls. And tolls are a necessary prerequisite for an economically efficient strategy of congestion pricing.

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File URL: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/WhyStatesToll.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 200102.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy 35(2) 223-238 (May)
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:whystatestoll
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
Fax: +01 (612) 626-7750
Web page: http://nexus.umn.edu

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