Bufordleaf wrote:Interesting paper but it doesn't really apply to what I was suggesting.
No, it applies to the reality of how these sorts of taxes/funds are actually administrated.
What I support is dedicated funds that are setup so they cannot be raided
"Raiding" of the funds is not a concern in practice, as transportation spending nearly always outstrips the revenues tied to these funds (as you point out). Besides, why shouldn't government be able to use these funds in the unlikely event that they're not needed? Would you rather pay for "bridges to nowhere" because legislators are legally mandated to spend money on unneeded projects? Maybe it makes more sense to actually use the money where it's needed.
what we have now in Georgia thanks to last year's legislation that also added the $200 EV fee
Yes, Georgia is really a shining example of policy achievement, as evidenced by your 90% drop in EV sales.
And I also support a highway program that is ONLY funded with dedicated revenue from the gas tax and annual EV fee
Do you want crumbling infrastructure? Because that's how you get it. Spending needs aren't so neatly predictable as you suggest. If there's an infrastructure emergency I suppose you think the fund should have to borrow money, even if there are general funds that could be allocated? So take on debt with money in the bank...
And if you keep ratcheting up taxes on gas and EVs people will naturally use less gas and buy less EVs - you can't rely on this funding source no matter what complex indexing schemes you come up with. Maybe you'll suggest there should also be a tax on the NG cars or hydrogen cars or public transportation or bikes or whatever will fill in the gaps; so now we have 20 different new taxes perpetually going up. Which brings me to this:
A dedicated source of revenue is more transparent and makes it more difficult for gov't to play games and covertly grow
What gives you this idea? So you think a complex hodgepodge of new taxes squirreled away in an infrastructure fund - probably managed by some unelected "czar" - is somehow going to be more transparent than simply paying for things through the general budget - probably the most heavily scrutinized thing any government does?
If you really think dedicated funds are a recipe for more transparency, answer me this simple question: How much total tax do you pay? Think about it - you've got federal income tax, state income tax, property tax, sales tax, vehicle registration tax, gas tax, electric utility tax, NG utility tax, water/sewer/refuse utility tax, and now a shiny new EV tax (and I'm sure plenty of others I can't think of). It would probably take an accountant a week to figure out your total tax bill, if it were even possible at all since I'm sure you don't keep every single receipt showing your sales tax. Every new kind of tax adds that much more obfuscation to government (and if you think that new taxes will be accompanied with tax cuts elsewhere I've got a bridge to sell you); in the same way every new special fund makes government spending that much harder to track. If you want transparency, keep it simple.