OBJECTIVES AND CONCEPTS OF HIGHWAY-USER TAXATION

SOME OF THE FUNDAMENTAL PREMISES ARE EXAMINED AND RESTATED OF THE CURRENT THEORY OF HIGHWAY FINANCE. A FIRM FOUNDATION FOR USER TAXATION CAN BE ESTABLISHED IN ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL THEORY WHICH IS CONSONANT WITH CURRENT THOUGHT ON GENERAL TAXATION. A USER TAX IS DEFINED ECONOMICALLY AS ONE PAID INCIDENT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND OPERATION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE WHICH HAS NO SIGNIFICANT COUNTERPART AMONG TAXES THAT APPLY TO OTHER TRANSPORTATION AGENCIES OR TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. FUNDAMENTALLY, THE GROUND FOR USER TAXATION IS THE PUBLIC DECISION THAT HIGHWAY FINANCE SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY PRINCIPLES THAT APPLY IN THE PRIVATE SECTION OF THE ECONOMY. USER CHARGES AS PRICES BEARING A RELATIONSHIP IN THE COST INCURRED BY GOVERNMENT IN SUPPLYING HIGHWAY SERVICES ARE BELIEVED TO BE AN ACCEPTABLE MEANS OF FINANCING THE SERVICE WHICH PUBLIC POLICY DICTATES SHOULD NOT BE FINANCED THROUGH THE GENERAL TAX STRUCTURE. WITHIN THE LIMITS OF PRACTICABILITY, FORCES OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND ARE PERMITTED TO OPERATE. USER CHARGES ENCOURAGE THE ECONOMIC ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES AS BETWEEN HIGHWAYS AND OTHER PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UNDERTAKINGS. THEY TEND TO PROMOTE THE ECONOMIC ALLOCATION OF TRAFFIC AMONG COMPETING TRANSPORTATION AGENCIES BY ELIMINATING MAJOR ELEMENTS OF SUBSIDY.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00200967
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 7 1994 12:00AM