grandizer52
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Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:41 pm

Bufordleaf wrote:
grandizer52 wrote:
DanCar wrote:I think it is more important to help the polluters to stop polluting by increasing the taxes on polluting.



So as for stepping up to the plate and help with this GOV slush fund that gets borrowed from for other programs...but never gets reimbursed cause the GOV borrows from hand to hand, then says there's no $$$ left in the budget from taxes that is suppose to go into road bridges...etc,
Not sure about Hawaii, but in my home state of Georgia the gas tax goes into the transportation fund and by law can't be raided or borrowed for anything else. Not all states are set up with those protections, but many are and IMO all should be.

we have General Excise Tax GET, everything you pay for, there's a skim for this new rail that hawaii had 3 tries from the federal gov to get fully paid for. now the state with the absolute worst roads in the country, is trying to patch holes while building this rail,,,a month ago, the GET got raided for education...you ever think your state is messed up and corrupt, come to hawaii and see mafia/broken/cronyism...come to the aloha state...
oh, and we have some Electric Car's here
Last edited by grandizer52 on Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fooljoe
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Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:51 am

Bufordleaf wrote:No, gas taxes are not put in the general fund with all other taxes, they go into a special fund for transportation infrastructure. At least in Georgia and in most states they do. In Georgia those funds are now protected against being "raided" to supplement shortfalls in the general budget. That isn't the case in all states (I'm looking at you Kansas). The federal gas tax is also protected, although outlays generally exceed revenues so Congress must occasionally supplement the highway trust fund with money from the general fund.
None of this matters; only total taxation and total expenditures matter. If $1 billion goes into a "special fund" for needed transportation infrastructure, then all that means is $1 billion less must come out of the general fund. But if that $1 billion went straight into the general fund instead the money remaining after paying for transportation would be exactly the same.

Now, if that special fund was for something that wasn't needed I suppose it could mean something, but as you point out in the case of transportation funds outlays almost always exceed revenues. Special funds in general have little to no effect on the expenditures to which they're dedicated.
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Bufordleaf
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Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:07 am

[/quote]None of this matters; only total taxation and total expenditures matter. If $1 billion goes into a "special fund" for needed transportation infrastructure, then all that means is $1 billion less must come out of the general fund. But if that $1 billion went straight into the general fund instead the money remaining after paying for transportation would be exactly the same.

Now, if that special fund was for something that wasn't needed I suppose it could mean something, but as you point out in the case of transportation funds outlays almost always exceed revenues. Special funds in general have little to no effect on the expenditures to which they're dedicated.[/quote]

I respectfully disagree. IMO it matters because the more any gov't uses a "general fund" the more they can tax us and hide the expenditures. Having a dedicated, protected revenue stream and fund for things like transportation infrastructure increases transparency. We do need to make sure the law is setup to protect the fund, and I would be in favor of also making it law that they can't supplement from the general fund. If the method of taxation is not suffiicient anymore (like gas taxes) then create a new method of sending revenue into that fund. But again, dedicated to that purpose so we all know when I pay xyz tax it goes into xyz fund and gets spent on xyz only. I would like to see more of this, and less general fund shenanigans from my state and federal gov't.

Of course I really wish the federal gov't would just get out of transportation funding for anything other than the interstate system and let the states handle the rest. But that's a pipe dream.
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finman100
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Re: CA - AB1591 - $165 flat fee for zero-emission vehicles

Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:48 am

I like the pollution tax idea. Not willing to stop spewing crud out your tailpipe? (i'm really looking at you coal-rollers) then pony up. Want to be part of the solution of clean air? Then reward me. Most all people are motivated by money. Kinda separates us from the animals. Show people there is a painful wallet grab for having ICE cars and most people will want to do the cheaper thing, regardless if they WANT to pollute less, but instead, because it ain't cheap to keep spewing when alternatives are better in all ways.

People continually tell me I'll never re-coupe my money spent on a Prius or my current Leaf, using nothing but cost. Well, I am not thinking about ONLY that. Using less and polluting less is my mantra (sp?) And electric drive is superior in smoothness and quiet compared to ICE cars.

People just want to spend less and THAT is how to motivate change from ICE to EV. buck a gallon of gasoline is not going to do it.
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TimLee
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Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:16 am

Bufordleaf wrote:... I prefer a sales tax that is dedicated to transportation infrastructure. After all, the more stuff you buy the more you are using the roads, and therefore the more you would pay. Seems like a simple and fair way to charge people based on their level of use.
That will not work for electricity because the vehicle use isn't metered separately.

And trying to charge all of it at vehicle purchase isn't fair.

To be fair it needs to be based on miles driven.

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fooljoe
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Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:26 am

Bufordleaf wrote:I respectfully disagree. IMO it matters because the more any gov't uses a "general fund" the more they can tax us and hide the expenditures.
Despite your opinion, the empirical evidence shows that the opposite is true (did you see the paper I linked to?) Special funds in general lead to larger government (i.e. more taxation) and have little effect on the expenditures to which they're dedicated.

Basically the whole reason these artificial constructs exist is as a sales technique to get new taxes passed. Ask Joe Sixpack if he'd like to pay a tax on his gas and he'll of course say "Hell no!" But ask him if he thinks he should pay for roads and he'll say "sure I guess, mumble mumble fair share..." The end result is he ends up paying more taxes while the government goes on paying for roads at exactly the same levels that they would have anyway, accounting gimmicks notwithstanding.

And then when the gas tax revenue inevitably falls short of what's needed to pay for roads, it gives politicians an excuse to come back and complain that they need new taxes. Case in point, AB1591 comes up now in California proposing a new tax on EVs, despite the fact that California is currently running a surplus.
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jpadc
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Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:08 pm

fooljoe wrote: despite the fact that California is currently running a surplus.
I thought you arguing against budget tricks

Edit: Or this one if you think that biased
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fooljoe
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Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:17 pm

jpadc wrote:
fooljoe wrote: despite the fact that California is currently running a surplus.
I thought you arguing against budget tricks

Edit: Or this one if you think that biased
You're making a very common mistake here by confusing debt and deficit - these terms are not the same. Deficit/surplus refer to an individual year's budget, while debt (what your links talk about) is a long term obligation.

There's nothing wrong with carrying a debt so long as a payoff plan is in place and the yearly obligations (i.e. interest) are met in each year's budget (and they are, at least for now). Now, whether California has a good long term plan to address debt is another matter, and completely beside the point here.

What I'm arguing against is unnecessary and poorly thought-out taxation. These are the questions that concern me: 1) Does California need a new tax? And 2) If new taxation is needed, is a flat tax on EV ownership a good choice of taxes to implement?

If you think the answer to (1) is yes, the obvious retort is why do we need a new tax when we have a (current year and near term expected) budget surplus? If you think the answer to (2) is yes, then I'd point out that California is at the same time offering a $2500 incentive to EV purchases - how does it make sense to try to stimulate the EV market with one hand and penalize EV ownership with the other?

I'd also point out that a flat tax is completely unreasonable if it's meant as a "road usage" tax, since actual usage varies greatly among drivers. And if a new road usage tax is to be implemented it should apply to ALL cars, not just EVs. Further, this is yet another regressive tax that will have a disproportionate impact on the bottom end of the EV market - Tesla owners couldn't care less about $165/year, but this could be an absolute deal breaker for a student considering a $7k used Leaf. If new taxation is really needed, something like an income or property tax would make much more sense.
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jpadc
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Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:18 pm

fooljoe wrote:You're making a very common mistake here by confusing debt and deficit - these terms are not the same. Deficit/surplus refer to an individual year's budget, while debt (what your links talk about) is a long term obligation
No, I'm not confusing them at all, Unfunded pension liabilities are not just old debt (but they do increase and become new debt), they are the failure to set aside enough money out of each year's budget to cover legally required future payments. So out of THIS year's budget California is NOT setting aside the amount of money they KNOW they will need to fully fund the new pension obligations for state employees and by not doing so they will create more debt. All that is in this year's budget is the money they need to pay out this year to current retirees, but that is well short of the reality of what they should be setting aside. If the state put the money aside they should THIS year for the new obligations that they are incurring THIS year for current employee pension plans, there would be no surplus. Its an accounting trick which creates more debt.

EDIT: As for your other points, I've already covered all that in earlier posts, but in short review:, CAs funding of EVs is welfare to the rich and privileged at the expense of the poor and underclass and does far less to clean up the environment than actually trying to use HOV lanes to reduce the number of cars on the road and stalled traffic which dramatically increases the pollution created by each car. So its just bad policy all the way around.
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fooljoe
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Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:05 pm

jpadc wrote:out of THIS year's budget California is NOT setting aside the amount of money they KNOW they will need...
Like I said, I don't necessarily agree with California's long term planning, but this is wayyy off topic. CA has extra money in this year's budget. Should we spend it on infrastructure, or set it aside for pensions, or do something else entirely? That's what we elect people to decide. Does any of this mean we need to tax EVs? No.
EDIT: CAs funding of EVs is welfare to the rich and privileged at the expense of the poor and underclass and does far less to clean up the environment than actually trying to use HOV lanes to reduce the number of cars on the road and stalled traffic which dramatically increases the pollution created by each car. So its just bad policy all the way around.
Again, you're getting off topic. Whether you agree with it or not, it's clear that CA wants to incentivize EVs. Whether that's bad policy or not is certainly up for debate - go ahead and find another thread if you want to do that. What is clearly bad policy is creating a new tax that penalizes EVs while trying to incentivize them elsewhere.
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