Originally Posted by indesertum
I dont really want to get into a nitty gritty argument about word choice and the aptitude of an analogy among other minor things (especially with you cuz you're smarter and more stubborn than me)
But I'm curious what you think about electric vehicles and whether they should be taxed to make up for lost gas taxes seeing that you prefer public infrastructure to be paid for on a usage basis
Haha. I appreciate the compliment, but don't undersell yourself - you're plenty smart and stubborn. Kidding aside, I didn't mean to argue the point; I just wanted to point out my intentional word choice.
I absolutely think electric cars should be paying in via an alternative tax. That said, you have to be careful to make it equitable. For example, we just added a tax in Georgia where electric car owners have to pay every year to compensate for "lost" gas tax revenue. I agree in principle, but the math I saw said the fee was higher than what most people pay in gas tax every year. That's not fair, and it's a poor structure.
I'm actually of the opinion that the gas tax is becoming antiquated and will ultimately be obsolete. Even now, when the vast majority of cars burn gas, better fuel economy means less revenue. The problem is, I'm not sure how you preserve the rough per-mile model we have now, which I think is useful, without becoming incredibly and untenably intrusive.
Originally Posted by brokencycle
My biggest problem with cyclists is I often see them not following the rules of the road. I see them blow right through red lights and four way stops on a regular basis. That being said, I don't really have a problem moving around them when they are biking. Take your eyes off your phone and look at the road more than 15' in front of you.
Yes to all of this.
Originally Posted by otc
The problem with the bike tax argument is that a lot of the taxes on cars are meant to cover wear and tear on the roads. Wear and tear is an exponential function (or maybe cubic, I don't know..) with regards to weight and bikes lead to essentially zero wear and tear. If that bike trip is instead of a car trip, it is actually avoiding wear and tear.
And its not like bikers don't pay taxes. Most of them still own cars and pay all of the relevant car taxes (or they take public transit/uber/taxi and pay the taxes through their fares). They paid sales tax on the bike. They pay local income taxes or property taxes.
And what would you propose as a bike tax? Do 4 year old kids have to pay it? Does it get paid on only new bikes or do we have to start tracking used bike sales? I can't imagine any number that would both be reasonable and actually generate any meaningful amount of revenue. People aren't going to pay $200 a year so they can have a $100 bike in their garage that they ride to the grocery store once a month. But if you only charge them $5 a year, the overhead in the system isn't going to be worth it.
To your first point, taxes aren't fixed. We can charge bikes less than we charge dump trucks, just like we already do with cars. Also, wear and tear isn't solely a function of use; infrastructure ages autonomous of use and has to be replaced. There's also cost associated with adding bike infrastructure, and a fair equity question over whether cyclists should get to use for free a resource everyone else has to pay to use.
And people who drive cars also already pay all of those taxes you list. What you haven't made clear is why they should pay all that and more while cyclists who wish to use the resource should only be expected to pay "all that" while the "more" falls to someone else.
I've already acknowledged that bikes present a unique challenge, and we'd have to account for things like kids on bikes, who shouldn't be expected to pay. As far as how much, this isn't a complicated thing to figure out. We price things all the time, both in the private and public sector. Balancing price, demand, etc isn't a new, unique, or prohibitive problem.
So, yes, this is a new issue that might take a novel approach, but that bit of complication doesn't provide a legitimate out for cyclists who want all of the rights of cars with none of the responsibility.