Author Topic: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax  (Read 16674 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« on: March 27, 2014, 03:00:02 AM »
Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax



Jacksonville City Councilman Stephen Joost explains to the Metro Jacksonville community why he opposes extending the gas tax.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-mar-councilman-joost-why-i-oppose-extending-the-gas-tax

mtraininjax

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 07:32:42 AM »
Hey Councilman Joost,

Thanks for the editorial, but telling us about the problem does not solve the problem. Next editorial you compose, why not offer the READER, ME, some alternatives. What alternative to the gas tax do you propose? A sales tax that everyone pays for roads or some sort of property tax, sure to make property owners happy they have to subsidize the roads? The gas tax works because 99% of the gasoline or fuel purchased at the pump goes onto the roadway systems. Otherwise, you are left with a convenience store tax or toll road. Anyone want the Tolls again?

Come up with solutions and prove to us you are a leader for the coming years in Jacksonville. We already have enough problems!
mtraininjax
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Badfinger

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 08:05:10 AM »
Rumor is that if Brown is re-elected Joost will replace Chris Hand as Chief of Staff.  Most downtown are viewing this editorial as him just carrying the message for the Mayor.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 08:10:49 AM »
What mtraininjax said. Granted, the per-gallon gas tax is unsustainable over the long term ... but What. Is. Your. Alternative. For. Today?!  Stop the current funding source, under the simplistic No Tax mantra, and let our infrastructure go to Hell?  Oh, wait, that was in the Mayor's budget - or not in the budget - to do routine roadway maintenance, the City Council had to increase the Mayor's $0 budget to $4 million.

fieldafm

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 08:31:15 AM »
Rumor is that if Brown is re-elected Joost will replace Chris Hand as Chief of Staff.  Most downtown are viewing this editorial as him just carrying the message for the Mayor.

I really don't see that happening, at all.

fieldafm

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 08:48:51 AM »
To MTrain's point, haven't seen many Council persons offer an actual solution yet.

There is evidence that the gas tax isn't properly indexed against construction cost growth, and that by indexing the gas tax to inflation.. you can conceivably cover a very large portion of the funding short falls.

I recently heard an ex-City Council member talking about the need for our property tax revenues needing to be more predictable and that an indexing scheme would provide that predictability... which certainly has merit.

Oregon charges per vehicle miles traveled. However, that requires some type of tracking system in your vehicle... which is certainly a major privacy concern.

Whatever the solution is, it should be some type of user fee-based scheme... and perhaps we need to have a variety of different funding sources (the same reason why a business wouldn't want to rely only on a single product). There is clear evidence that we don't pay anywhere near enough of our own driving costs now and attaching funding to some sort of sales tax or property tax scheme doesn't properly pass the cost on to actual users.

Would certainly be interested in participating in an actual discussion on the issue.  Maybe Joost can take the lead and convene a more official public conversation on the topic.

finehoe

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 09:00:40 AM »
Virginia did away with its statewide 17.5 cents-per-gallon tax at the gas pump entirely, in favor of a new wholesale tax of 3.5 percent on gasoline and 6 percent on diesel, along with an increase in the state’s general sales tax. In the heavily populated Washington suburbs and Tidewater area, motorists pay an extra 2.1 percent sales tax on gas purchases. Drivers of electric vehicles pay a $64 annual fee.

http://www.rollcall.com/news/congress_eyes_virginias_model_for_funding_transportation_projects-228557-1.html?pg=1

PeeJayEss

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 09:19:42 AM »
Rumor is that if Brown is re-elected Joost will replace Chris Hand as Chief of Staff.  Most downtown are viewing this editorial as him just carrying the message for the Mayor.

I really don't see that happening, at all.

Pretty big "if" too.

The gas tax was poorly conceived when it was made (or well-conceived by the auto lobby). A set dollar amount per gallon on a commodity that fluctuates so wildly. Today, it is comically small to the point that it doesn't have the slightest effect on demand. It could be indexed to inflation (starting at a higher % than it is at now) without causing significant hardship while encouraging a positive change in driving habits, and it should.

Or let's just toll all roads and let people see how cheap their roads really are compared to those silly, expensive mass transit projects.

Whatever it is, it should be a use fee. A gas tax is just the easiest and cheapest to implement. Tolling could easily work without adding toll booths and changing the flow of traffic, but it would cost much more to implement and maintain. The gas tax isn't perfect, but it is certainly an efficient vehicle for taxing use. It's main drawback is that it doesn't differentiate enough between uses (a filled dump truck causes more wear in a day than most of our cars do in a year). The other drawback, that it overtaxes gas-guzzlers, well that's not really a drawback is it?

But it's nice to see Joost trying to kill a tax without offering any alternative whatsoever to fill the gap. Gotta kill those taxes, because taxes are bad. Services? Infrastructure? Eh, we'll worry about that after we get re-elected.

urbanlibertarian

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 09:29:04 AM »
Jax politicians that want to get re-elected would rather not propose a new tax or tax increase themselves.  They will want someone else propose it and then grudgingly go along with it.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos cutodes (Who watches the watchmen?)

Tacachale

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 09:33:50 AM »
He makes very good points, but without alternatives, what can we realistically do? Whatever we do, some type of usage fee like the gas tax needs to be in place so we can get revenue out of the people who use the infrastructure, especially considering that so many of them live outside the county and aren't paying into in other ways.

Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Charles Hunter

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 09:53:38 AM »
To field's point about a miles travelled fee requiring a tracking device, and the privacy issues from that; not necessarily.  You could report your odometer reading when you renew your vehicle registration.  The DMV would calculate miles driven and assess the fee. There would need to be significant fines for tampering or misreporting, including "broken odometers".  Tying it to registration could also allow different Per Mile fees based on vehicle type, to address the dump truck vs Smart Car wear and tear on roads. 
What GPS based gives you is the ability to not tax a Florida resident for the miles driven when they drive to California, not using Florida roads.

fieldafm

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 10:34:23 AM »
Quote
Virginia did away with its statewide 17.5 cents-per-gallon tax at the gas pump entirely, in favor of a new wholesale tax of 3.5 percent on gasoline and 6 percent on diesel, along with an increase in the state’s general sales tax. In the heavily populated Washington suburbs and Tidewater area, motorists pay an extra 2.1 percent sales tax on gas purchases. Drivers of electric vehicles pay a $64 annual fee.

http://www.rollcall.com/news/congress_eyes_virginias_model_for_funding_transportation_projects-228557-1.html?pg=1


Just my opinion, but I think VA's sales tax and Prius tax will ultimately prove to be mistakes. VA did the right thing in regards to having a variety of funding sources... I just question some of those sources.


Quote
You could report your odometer reading when you renew your vehicle registration.  The DMV would calculate miles driven and assess the fee.


I just think that's a scheme ripe for fraud. Odometer manipulation is fairly easy, and a lot more commonplace than you think.
Vehicle mileage tracking devices are probably closer to reality than I am personally comfortable with, or than we all realize. The insurance industry is trying to make these devices much more widespread.. and with OBD-II cars, its fairly simple technology to extract from your car's ECU now.

Quote
It's main drawback is that it doesn't differentiate enough between uses (a filled dump truck causes more wear in a day than most of our cars do in a year).


Vehicle tonnage taxes have also been talked about elsewhere. That's probably a tough sell politically considering the sway transportation companies have on lawmakers.

southsider1015

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2014, 10:39:44 AM »
The roadway construction industry is very aware of the situation. Recently, during NE Florida Engineering Week, a presentation was given regarding this issue of the future of the gas tax and roadway construction and maintenance funding:
http://dartagnan.co/pdf/florida_eweek_2014.pdf

I understand and agree with Boost in principle.  But the fact that he hasn't offered any solutions or ideas is ridiculous and irritating.  I strongly disagree with his approach.  Just because we havent determined alternative funding sources does not mean that we stop the funding altogether.  This is a clear example of a lack of leadership.  Its a similar issue to the Keystone Pipeline.  The idea is to directly curb all efforts in order to change society's bad habits.  In my opinion, this is the worst approach to change.  Cold turkey creates political divide, doesn't allow time for the market and society to adjust adequately, and in general, doesnt provide the intended consequences.  Please also refer to the Affordable Care Act.

The VMT is the future.  FDOT will likely be leading the charge for the state.  Meanwhile, COJ must continue to fund public infrastructure for the benefit of the City.  Why not put a shorter time period for the gas tax?  Why not connect it to a specific index?  Raise hotel taxes to offset? Sales tax? Something, Joost, something.

finehoe

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2014, 11:36:57 AM »
Just my opinion, but I think VA's sales tax and Prius tax will ultimately prove to be mistakes.

Apparently they agree with you on the hybrid tax; it's been repealed:

Quote
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has added his signature to legislation to repeal the state's $64 annual fee on hybrid vehicles.
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Va-governor-signs-repeal-of-hybrid-vehicle-tax-247274451.html

bencrix

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Re: Councilman Joost: Why I Oppose Extending the Gas Tax
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2014, 12:17:45 PM »
Field: How is the VMT tax administered in OR? How was the privacy issue dealt with?