10-Cent Gas Tax Needed for Dallas-Fort Worth Transit

It would take at least an additional 10-cent tax on gasoline to fund transit and transportation projects in metropolitan Dallas-Fort Worth, according to city officials who want to ask voters to allow the increases.

"The potential nine-county gas tax increase was discussed Wednesday at the Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition, whose members are watching intently as state lawmakers negotiate a local-option-funding measure in the final weeks of the 2009 legislative session. The measure, if approved, would allow voters in metropolitan counties to consider tax and fee increases to pay for better mobility.

The latest proposal calls for an unspecified gas tax increase in Tarrant, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker and Rockwall counties.

Supporters say the amount would fall short of the estimated $457 million a year needed to build the entire road and rail system but would still be workable.

"It doesn't quite get us there, but it gets us going in the right direction," said Dan Kessler, assistant transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments."

Thanks to Reconnecting America

Full Story: D-FW needs 10-cent gas tax increase for transit projects, official says



So close to good policy . . .

What we should be doing is taxing gasoline a lot to pay for things that solve the automobile pollution problem: transit, pedestrian and bike improvements, investment in dense/mixed-use redevelopment, subsidies for plug-in hybrids, etc.

The problem is, the money almost invariably goes, at least partially, to roads. It's so hard to raise a gasoline tax in America that any politician who succeeds in doing so is on pins and needles to use the money to "do something about traffic". Tragically, this usually means widening a highway.

The Dallas/Fort-Worth proposal includes a commuter rail system, or part of one, which is nice, but one is left wondering what the net effect on auto dependency will be given that roads will also be getting more funding.

It'd be nice to be able to take a step forward without simultaneously taking a step back.


Because if you do more to encourage driving than you do to reduce it, what have you accomplished?

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