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Old 06-01-2012, 06:51 PM   #15
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Herbert Hoover signed the first Federal Gasoline Tax in 1932, it was 1 cent per gallon. FDR increased it to 1.5 cents in 1933. In 1951 it was raised to 2 cents per gallon. In 1956 Ike signed bill to make Interstates, it increased tax to 3 cents and also directed tire rubber and sales tax on trucks, buses and trailers paid to Highway trust fund. Ike increased gas tax to 4 cents in 1959. Kennedy extended the 4 cent rate until 1972, it actually stayed at that rate until Reagan increased the tax to 9 cents in 1982. At that time 8 cents went to Highway fund the other penny went to mass transit. In 1986 Reagan signed a .1 cent (1/10) increase to fund cleanup of leaking fuel tanks. 1990 George Bush Sr signed increase of tax by 5 cents (then at 14.1 cents) with 2.5 cents of that increase going to reduce the federal deficit. Clinton increased tax in 1993 by 4.3 cents, total rate set at 18.4 cents per gallon. All 4.3 cents were used for deficit reduction, not highways or transportation. In 1997 Clinton signed bill to redirect the 4.3 cents to the Highway fund since the deficit had been eliminated.

That's where the tax stands today.

FDR didn't do anything significant to FEDERAL Gas tax, but he did have a lot to do with NY state gas tax while governor of NY. He used it to reduce property and income taxes.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:50 PM   #16
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Taxes and raising them is ALWAYS the answer to fix problems with Government problems. Ever see a politician who did not love more taxes?
Here is a Catch-22. Our current Government is PUSHING hard to go green with smaller vehicles with high MPG, electric vehicles with very high MPG and alternate fuel vehicles. So will taxes be effected with less gas being bought to move these vehicles? Ya...you bet ya! So there you go....got your wish for our politicians to justify higher taxes to move your vehicle down the road. Watch closely....this will be happening in your area soon.
I agree that raising taxes seems to be the solution always used by our governments towards fixing problems. And, there are certainly many taxes which have fulfilled their purpose, yet are left on the books, as the local government sees them as a way to fill their coffers. In Seattle, a Hotel tax was passed to help pay for a new stadium. The stadium is now paid for, but the tax is still being collected from folks that stay at the downtown hotels. The thought is, they aren't our constituents, so where's the foul ?

Well, now most major cities have followed suit. To me it is PLAIN crazy to not link the tax with use of its revenues. But, that would require responsibility. An attribute most politicians are not long on.

If the stadium can't produce the revenue, IMO I don't think it should exist. By the way, there was a referendum on whether this stadium should be built in part with public money. It was turned down, but politicians decided to do it anyway.

Getting back to my reason for posting.... Some politicians do want to reduce taxes, so that corporations will want to stay in our country and keep the jobs here; or, even possible attract some new companies.

I'm sure this offends some people's politics. No offense is intended. I'm merely saying, there are some politicians that don't love more taxes. Seek them out if you feel the same way.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:02 PM   #17
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I dislike extortion. Do it my way or I will stop funding your purpose!
The states were given unlimited powers and the federal govt was given limited powers for a reason. That has changed 180 degrees and I don't think it's good for the country.
More taxes, history has proven, doesn't solve the problem.

Representation needs to be returned back to the local cities, counties, and states otherwise the additional taxes will be misappropriated.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:12 PM   #18
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I'd even be willing to spend a small portion of the federal gas tax on improving public transportation . . . the more people you get off the road, the better!
This is already happening as well as funding things like bike paths. I have been in all of the lower 48 states and seen thousands of nearly empty buses all over. We note it because we have a very expensive county bus system in my home county that runs nearly empty. I questioned a county commissioner about it and she said it wasn't a problem as it was all federal money. Duh, I pay federal taxes also. They charge a dollar (50 cents for seniors) and run all over the county. These buses hold 36 people and average about 4. They run on a 45 minute schedule. They are also smaller buses that will take folks to the doctor for free. Mass transit works only in vertically built cities. Horizontally built cities or suburbs like most of America just can not be setup for mass transit.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:29 PM   #19
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Mass transit works only in vertically built cities. Horizontally built cities or suburbs like most of America just can not be setup for mass transit.
Same here. We have a bus system that used to be run by the local power company as they were given special tax deals and so on years ago in return. When they could, they turned it back over to the city who has lost money ever since. There have been several attempts to increase the local sales tax to help cover the cost, as well as a special tax on auto's. Our intown sales tax is already about 9% and they want to add more to pay for buses that run 90% empty.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:38 PM   #20
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What I don't understand is why they keep buying these huge $325,000 buses when a couple of Smart Cars would do.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:49 PM   #21
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Here in Cincinnati, our buses run the same routes the trolley cars did 90 years ago. I live on the east side, I used to teach on the north side. To use the bus, I had to ride downtown then transfer to another one going north. It was over an hour and a half for a ride I did in 25 minutes or less. Not one bus route goes around our circle freeway, stopping at exits where buses could then go up and down the roads to business and shopping. Now we're getting a street car system, it will go about 20 blocks. With stops and traffic lights, it will average way less than 20 mph. A jogger will beat it!

I'm all for public transit, I grew up using trains, trolleys, buses and subways in Philadelphia, but routes need to be improved to go where people want to go.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:03 AM   #22
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This is already happening as well as funding things like bike paths. I have been in all of the lower 48 states and seen thousands of nearly empty buses all over. We note it because we have a very expensive county bus system in my home county that runs nearly empty. I questioned a county commissioner about it and she said it wasn't a problem as it was all federal money. Duh, I pay federal taxes also. They charge a dollar (50 cents for seniors) and run all over the county. These buses hold 36 people and average about 4. They run on a 45 minute schedule. They are also smaller buses that will take folks to the doctor for free. Mass transit works only in vertically built cities. Horizontally built cities or suburbs like most of America just can not be setup for mass transit.


Hey Lindsay,
My wife drives one of those "little buses" in Lake County. You are correct that the big buses run around with very few passengers, but the only people who ride free on the door to door buses (the little ones) must be approved by the county, all others pay $2 to ride. I agree that most are a waste of our tax money and under utilized.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:23 PM   #23
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Sorry for starting this and disappearing . . . I wrote it while on vacation when I had some free (thinking) time and my first couple days back home have been busy.

I apologize if my pulled quote caused controversy, the full story on tv did explain both Eisenhower & FDR's roles in the building of the highway system.

There have been a bunch of good comments so far. I guess what I'd like to add is that I'm a little sorry some people see it as an opportunity to complain about "big government" taking our money . . . who else has the ability to build and maintain an interstate highway system?

I completely agree that any taxes from fuel sales should be used ONLY for transportation. As I said earlier, I personally would be open to a small portion being used for well designed public transportation. As to the comment about sound barriers, I really don't know much about the effectiveness of them. I guess I'd be more open to providing them along NEW construction where a highway encroaches on someone's previously quiet zone as opposed to improving an area along a long standing roadway (i.e. you knew the highway was here before you moved in so why do you now complain about the noise?)

My thoughts about public transportation . . . they should NOT use the roads whenever possible. I'd like to see either a light rail/monorail system or automated vehicles on dedicated paths with small "cars" (similar to the system at DFW that goes between terminals) where commuters could get between outlying communities and the "city" quickly and efficiently.

Several years ago, my son went to school in the western suburb of the "city" and we live in the eastern suburb. I could drive him in there about 20 - 30 minutes in average morning traffic and then spend another 20 - 30 minutes getting back home. While this was preferable to him, it took an hour or so out of my day and cost me 3 or 4 dollars in gas. Most mornings I had him take the city bus where he had to go into the city, transfer to a different bus to complete his journey. Cost $1 and took about an hour. My point, a "smart" system on a dedicated path with small cars that don't stop at midpoints where no one wants to enter or depart OR the car is too full to take on new passengers could probably make that trip in half the time. I would have gladly paid $2 each way for an improved ride. I think more commuters would give up their car if it was cheaper and still convenient. That would benefit everyone and in the long run, pay for itself.

My biggest concern is that our highway system is in bad shape and underfunded, I really think most people would be willing to pay more IF the money truely went into the roads. As to the Leaf, I don't see it as a problem yet because of it's limited range. Maybe the Tesla Model S with it's 300 mile range but it's price would deter most. For now, I'm willing to give the all-electrics a pass because we need more hands on experience with them.

I am happy with the non-flaming, honest exchange of ideas here. Thanks for your thoughts, please keep them coming!
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:59 PM   #24
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One day, a long , long time ago - in the land of S&M (smoke and mirrors) and well before P/B (political bureaucracy) fuel taxes actually went toward highway upkeep, BUT - as I said that was a looong, looong time ago.

The chance of it happening again are 2 -

1- slim

2- none

OH YES - you WILL pay more for fuel - but little will be done to improve the
Federal, State, County - or in Canada - Provincial road system.

Some patching will be done - here and there to replace the REALLY bad stuff, but NOTHING MAJOR will be done, until bridges start collapsing or a major earthquake occurs that dissrupts the traffic flow.

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Old 06-13-2012, 12:38 AM   #25
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Raising the tax on road does nothing. It increases driving, creates traffic jams and does nothing for unemployment. Now that I got your attention, the gov't needs to learn to spend their tax money wisely. Road tax is for roads, not for feeding the troops in Bangladesh, or save our rattlesnakes from biting people. We need that tax for roads and no one is getting this idea spread.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:16 AM   #26
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Our government will never ever be satisfied with the amount of money you give them. Any government project or job can easily be accomplished by the private sector much cheaper and easier. The problem with that logic, the politician is unable to line his re-election pockets with that kind of thinking. Just curious, most everyone reading this started at the bottom of the working world with a low wage. When you started making more money did you find a place to spend it? Of course you did and saved some also I would hope. Our political system is no different other than saving. If you give it to them, they will find a way to spend it. So many times in large corporations I have heard "they have to get this money spent because if they don't they will lose in the next budget". All of our government officials view this the in the same way. They have got to spend it. I work all over the world and I can tell you that we have one of the best road systems anywhere. I agree the public transportation leaves a lot to be desired but all the cities provide it because they have to be competitive to keep people there whether they use it or not. You have to be politically correct anymore. I am overseas in a city of 15M and the public transportation is nonexistent in the city. It has hundreds of vans that bring the local villagers in for them to buy supplies but the rest of the city is a mass of mopeds, bicycles, huge trucks, donkey carts, cars....you get the idea. I hear my home state is bawling that these new electric cars do not contribute to the gas tax coffers anymore so they are going to hammer the electric car owners with a much higher registration tax to offset the loss in gas tax revenue. You just cannot ever give our politicians enough money. If you give it, they will spend it. I don't get to be on here much or get a lot of news from home so don't expect to hear from me a lot. To sum up, we need less government, much less and more private sector. Go Governor Walker. It isn't perfect but headed in the right direction. We just can't hire everyone to work for Uncle Sam. Some of us have to work to get money to pay the taxes to support them all. the bigger the tivk the more blood it takes from the rest of us.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:05 AM   #27
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Typical case of Federal extortion was years ago in Arizona.
The Feds wanted to make Martin Luther King's birthday a holiday in every
state, AZ refused to do that. So the Feds said we will cut off your Highway
Funding if you don't, so AZ reluctantly made it a holiday.
They bullied the state into a holiday they didn't want....

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Old 06-13-2012, 06:49 AM   #28
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the gov't needs to learn to spend their tax money wisely.
Now that was funny.
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