Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why Toll Booths Should Be Eliminated

Toll booths are a good example of government foolishness. The argument for them is that they enable the tax to be a user fee. The users pay the tax, like when a fee is charged to visit a park.

But that argument is dwarfed by the counterarguments. Indeed, if I were deliberately trying to create a foolish way to tax, I couldn't think of a worse way than toll booths: They
  • steal people's time.
  • increase air pollution
  • waste gas
  • are regressive: the poor pay the most painful amount of tax.
If government decides it needs to tax drivers more (It doesn't, in my view,) let it add a highway-toll tax to the vehicle registration fees in counties that currently have toll booths, with more expensive and lower-gas-mileage vehicles paying higher fees.

Of course, that means that drivers living in toll-free counties that drive across toll bridges and tunnels get a free ride. But that imperfection in taxation is far smaller than the imperfections cited above.


Dave said...

EZ-Pass toll lanes on I-95 are often 45 mph or higher. Unfortunately, most EZ-Pass lanes are only good for 5 mph.

How about replacing tolls with a federal road tax? Drivers can buy 6 or 12 months of road tax.

Anonymous said...

I was actually just thinking of this a couple of days ago (as approaching a toll booth). It amazes me that we spend so much time promoting general public awareness about the risks of talking on the phone while driving (as well as many other things people do), yet we don't stop to think of the detriment caused by people searching for toll money and getting so aggravated by the traffic at toll booths that they become enraged/aggressive drivers...

I enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up. Thanks.


blogger templates | Make Money Online