On this vacation, we've avoided the toll roads, and that's probably saved us roughly $20 in five days and cost maybe an extra $2-3 in gas and not much in time. What amazes me is how readily some people are to believe that the new road is a great convenience. Sure the road cuts through part of the city and is convenient if you disregard the toll.
In the states, our roads are supposed to be paid for by gas taxes. We've seen the government ignore that and pilfer the taxes for other projects. But I started thinking about this way of paying for roads.
What happens when we move to electric vehicles? In a perfect world, we would create our own electricity using solar panels on our homes. Without a fuel source to tax, how will we pay for our roads?
Does it make more sense to charge higher vehicle registration fees? This is probably what a lot of commuters would want.
Or, does it make more sense to have toll roads? This seems more fair because it charges those who are using the roads on a regular basis.
I admit that most of my aversion to toll roads is the unfairness at being taxed essentially twice. I also believe that society needs to work for the common good, which means access to roads for everyone. Toll roads would charge bicyclists, for example.
So perhaps the best way would be some combination of higher registration fees and tolls on certain roads. Because goods travel via road, you could justify some sales taxes being used for roads, especially at the local level.
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