Study Finds U.S. Motorists Do Not Pay Their Way

<p>A new study by Mark Delucchi, research scientist at the U.C. Davis Institute for Transportation Studies, has found that "motor-vehicle users in the U.S. -- unlike users in most European countries -- do not 'pay their way.'"</p>
September 30, 2007, 11am PDT | naparstek
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In a new study entitled, "Do Motor Vehicle Users in the U.S. Pay Their Way?" Mark Delucchi, the nation's leading taxonomist of motor vehicle-related revenues and costs, finds that current tax and fee payments to the government by motor-vehicle users fall far short of government expenditures related to motor-vehicle use in the U.S..

Published in the journal, Transportation Research A, Delucchi's analysis indicates that US motorists are subsidized at a rate equal to somewhere between 20 to 70 cents per gallon of all motor fuel.

That implied subsidy, which excludes social and environmental costs such as climate damage and uncompensated crash costs, equates to 7 to 25 percent of the current price of gasoline. On a dollar basis, writes Streetsblog contributor and economist Charles Komanoff, U.S. drivers are underpaying local, state and national governments by $40 to $105 billion a year.

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Published on Thursday, September 20, 2007 in Streetsblog
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