Bufordleaf wrote:What I am advocating is a DEDICATED sales tax that would go to specifically fund transportation infrastructure. This would replace any gas tax and EV tax and become the sole method for funding infrastructure. Or if you prefer we can leave the gas tax in for now, it will eventually fade into nothing as EVs replace all ICE cars.
If a new tax is needed (again this part is highly dubious), your sales tax idea makes a lot more sense than relying on gas/EV taxes. And leaving the gas tax in is a good idea because it discourages gasoline consumption, which has many desirable effects. A sales tax is a decent enough proxy for road usage, since nearly all damage to roads is done by trucks, and trucking correlates with commerce. And being applied universally instead of singling out vehicles that use certain types of fuel makes a lot more sense. But I'll reiterate that whether the funds from this tax are dedicated to infrastructure or not makes no functional difference - the only purpose that would serve would be to help its chances of getting approved into law.
However, in general I'd be reticent to recommend any sales tax increase, since sales taxes are regressive, and by increasing the cost of goods and services they stymie our consumer-based economy. When choosing how to tax ourselves we need to concern ourselves first and foremost with the economic incentives/disincentives that result from different types of taxes, and not with how the revenues are allocated. This is easy to do if we free ourselves of the notion that taxation must be somehow tied to usage; we have no problem with this when it comes to other government services like education, so I'm not sure why people get so hung up on the idea with transportation. As your sales tax argument begins to show, transportation infrastructure is something that impacts the entire economy, not just those who drive on the roads. We should look upon our highways as a public asset, and fund them accordingly, using any and all available public funds.