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40-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase urged by federal panel
The Houston Chronicle ^ | Jan. 15, 2008 | RAD SALLEE

Posted on 01/15/2008 2:56:00 PM PST by BradtotheBone

A federal panel today recommended a steep increase in motor fuel taxes and an increased emphasis on mass transit to meet the nation's transportation needs and repair its deteriorating infrastructure.

In its report, the 12-member National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, appointed by Congress in 2005, recommended increasing the federal gasoline tax by as much as 40 cents a gallon, at a rate of 5 to 8 cents per year.

The current federal tax is 18.4 cents per gallon and the state tax is 20 cents. The price of a gallon of regular gasoline has hovered near $3 for months.

The report, Transportation for Tomorrow, also recommends congestion pricing — tolls that increase with the volume or speed of traffic — in metropolitan areas.

Other tactics suggested include "a freight fee for freight projects and ticket taxes for passenger rail improvements," according to the commission's announcement.

Three of the commission members, including the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, dissented from the conclusions.

"Raising gas taxes won't improve traffic congestion. It will only perpetuate our ineffective reliance on fossil-based fuels," Peters said in a prepared statement.

"A better way forward is to provide incentives to states willing to pursue more efficient approaches and to invest federal funds more effectively to give commuters real relief from gridlock," she said. Among those approaches, the dissenters suggested tolls and congestion pricing.

A statement from Gov. Rick Perry called the study recommendations "incredibly short-sighted" and said that "raising taxes is a surefire way to stifle growth, and limiting states' freedom to innovate will only make it worse."

As an alternative to tax increases, Perry and the late Texas Transportation Commission chairman Ric Williamson have advocated strongly that Texas enter long-term contracts with private companies to build and operate toll roads.

Perry said he also opposes the report's recommendations "curtailing states' ability to leverage the capital and innovation of the private sector."

Among the other recommendations by the 12-member commission:

— Work to cut traffic fatalities in half over the next 17 years by urging states to embrace new strategies to improve safety.

— Ease traffic congestion by expanding state and local public transit systems and highway capacity.

— Protect the environment by smoothing traffic flow, encouraging alternative commute options such as carpooling and public transit and promoting energy-efficient construction and lighting in transit systems to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

— Seek to develop new energy sources with new research programs costing $200 million annually over the next decade.

The proposals for improving the nation's transportation system, which are expected to cost $225 billion each year for the next 50 years, is at risk of stalling because of internal division. The commission's chairwoman, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, and two other members oppose gas tax increases and were issuing a dissenting opinion to the report that said private-sector investment and tolls would be sufficient.

The gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and recent efforts by Congress to raise it have faltered over the objections of the Bush administration. The tax increase is designed to take effect in 2009, after President Bush leaves office.

It is time for a "new beginning," the report said, calling the current strategy of patchwork repair "no longer acceptable."

The report also calls for the country to rebuild and expand its rail network to meet a growing demand for alternatives to congested highways and to promote partnerships between the public and private sectors at U.S. ports.

The commission was formed by Congress in 2005 to study the future needs of the nation's surface transportation system, which includes roads, mass-transit systems, ports and rail lines — as well as to recommend funding options.

The report comes as state governments and several business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, are calling on the federal government to raise gas taxes to pay for substantial transportation improvements. The Minneapolis bridge collapse, which killed 13 people and injured about 100, also shone a national spotlight on the unsteady condition of the nation's roads and bridges and drew new calls for additional spending.

The Bush administration has said that raising taxes won't cut congestion and creates additional risks for congressional pork, such as Alaska's infamous multimillion dollar "Bridge to Nowhere," which has been scuttled.

In its report, the commission unanimously agreed that measures of accountability were needed to keep watch over state and federal spending.

TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: dot; energy; gas; gasprices; tax; taxincrease
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To: BradtotheBone
i believe this tax would cause inflation and stagnation.

101 posted on 01/15/2008 9:41:16 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: Myrddin
The author thought we could double the corn. Also he mentions other ag products and biomass.

According to guru Al Gore, we'll be farming in Greenland and Northern Canada again soon.

102 posted on 01/16/2008 5:38:16 AM PST by purpleraine
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To: Adams
If Harry Reid has anything to do with this guy, then you know this panel was stacked.
There's more:
Frank McArdle ... recently been appointed at the suggestion of Senator Hilary Clinton
Busalacchi ... formerly the secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 200 based in Milwaukee
Mr. Heminger ... appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

103 posted on 01/16/2008 5:53:45 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: dragnet2
At the rate we are going, eventually they'll be taking 75 percent of our income in taxes and fees.
The goal is 100% - don't forget the "free" health care.
104 posted on 01/16/2008 5:56:21 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: jwalsh07
Americans currently use about 320 billion gallons of petro per year.

You number is too large. The US used approximately 9.3 million barrels per day in the past year. That equals 143 billion gallons per year ( 9.3M x 42 x 365 )

U.S. Finished Motor Gasoline Product Supplied

105 posted on 01/16/2008 6:21:58 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: dynachrome
Ain’t gonna be no grease for this one.

Then they should supply birth control pills. ( at my age I'd sure hate to come up pregnant)

106 posted on 01/16/2008 6:55:27 AM PST by dearolddad (Opinions are like rectums: everybody has one.)
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To: BradtotheBone

I’m at a loss for words...wait, no I’m not:

F*** You!!! (not you, but those proposing this...)

107 posted on 01/16/2008 6:56:27 AM PST by RockinRight (Huck(abee, not the Freeper Huck) Sucks.)
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To: purpleraine
According to guru Al Gore, we'll be farming in Greenland and Northern Canada again soon.

It's +2.3 F in my side yard right now. I had to stop a couple times while driving my son to work to put deicing spray on my windshield so I could see to drive safely. I'm way down south in Pocatello, ID. It's much colder in Canada and Greenland. The more likely scenario is food shortages from short growing seasons (too cold) or too dry. The morning ag report indicates that the snow pack has caught up to normal, so it might be a better year for the farmers. I'm seeing a few fields of corn around here for ethanol. Most people are still planting potatoes.

108 posted on 01/16/2008 7:55:34 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: oh8eleven
I seem to recall reading about a bloody American revolution against the ruling class government elite...

Soon they'll be taking 75 percent of our income...100 percent can't be far behind.

109 posted on 01/16/2008 8:15:56 AM PST by dragnet2
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To: BradtotheBone

Tax the friggin’ oil companies, not the people.

110 posted on 01/16/2008 11:32:52 AM PST by gopheraj
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To: gopheraj

Where do you think the money to pay any tax by any business comes from? It is included in the price of the product they sell.

ExxonMobil made $39.5 billion in profits last year.
They also paid $97.5 billion in taxes.

Sales-based taxes - $30.381B
Other taxes and duties - $39.203B
Income taxes - $27.902B

ExxonMobil’s 2006 Financial and Operating Review
Page 22

- - - - - -

ConocoPhillips 2006
Net Income $15.5 billion
Taxes $31.0 billion

Income taxes $ 12.783B
Taxes other than income taxes $ 18.187B

ConocoPhillips 2006 Annual Report
Consolidated Income Statement

- - - - - -

Income $3.8 Billion
Taxes $8.4 Billion

Taxes other than on income $ 5.533B
Income Tax $ 2.859B

page 48

111 posted on 01/16/2008 11:59:28 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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