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nashvillwill

How to pay for mass transit.

How to pay for mass transit   24 members have voted

  1. 1. So how should we pay to improve transit?

    • Stick w/gov't subsidy
      1
    • Gas tax
      8
    • Wheel/mileage tax
      1
    • Strictly on fares
      2
    • parking tax
      2
    • increased sales tax
      1
    • new income tax
      0
    • budget it into TDOT
      7
    • other
      2

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22 posts in this topic

So if we want to improve our overall transit, we have to find a way to pay for it. How should we do this?

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I say gas tax, but a parking tax would work too, as it would encourage people to use the train, and not drive to work. I was going to say budget it into TDOT, but they can barely keep up with everything now, so we don't want to put more projects there, unless we provide extra funding.

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Reliance on the federal government is risky at best as the current administration is very anti-transit and has cut transit funding in the USA to almost nothing in this country. The only way to get local transit really moving is to come up with some kind of local tax to help pay for it in part or fully. Fares don't generate enough money to pay the capital costs of building most systems.

Though not listed above, Charlotte/Mecklenburg voted in a 1/2 cent transit sales tax which is going a long way to making light rail available in the area.

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A gas tax for the short term, it will help discourage people from buying inefficient vehicles, and penalize those who have them. It will also help wean us off of our oil dependency.

I'm willing to pay the price I have a 2005 Pathfinder. However, I use my VW Jetta TDI (50+ mpg) for my 70 mile round trip commute.

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A gas tax for the short term, it will help discourage people from buying inefficient vehicles, and penalize those who have them. It will also help wean us off of our oil dependency.

I'm willing to pay the price I have a 2005 Pathfinder. However, I use my VW Jetta TDI (50+ mpg) for my 70 mile round trip commute.

Gas tax is a horrible idea, you are doing nothing but punishing poor people. Unless you can provide mass transit to everyone then you punish people who have no choice but to drive. Also, not everyone can afford a brand new car, myself included.

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Gas tax is a horrible idea, you are doing nothing but punishing poor people. Unless you can provide mass transit to everyone then you punish people who have no choice but to drive. Also, not everyone can afford a brand new car, myself included.

Although a gas tax is regressive and affects lower income people at a higher percentage of their income, it is a flat tax. To claim that 'you are doing nothing but punishing poor people' would be an unfair claim, because we all pay the same, dependent on usage of gas. Fuel efficient cars aren't a new thing, and one doesn't have to buy a brand new car to achieve fuel savings. I just bought my first car, and it was used and I've been getting about 28 in the city. I think a parking tax would be a great option to encourage people to ride Mass Transit into DT. Sadly, no one likes new taxes, and politicians don't want to be known for raising taxes....especially on gas. Many people think that mass transit should be self sufficient immediately, and so that may make it harder than ever to get funding.

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Gas tax is a horrible idea, you are doing nothing but punishing poor people. Unless you can provide mass transit to everyone then you punish people who have no choice but to drive. Also, not everyone can afford a brand new car, myself included.

It would not be punishing poor people. It would do exactly the opposite. It would punish rich people who drive gas guzzling SUVs and Hummers. It would help poor people who would be the first to use the mass transit.

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Gas tax is a horrible idea, you are doing nothing but punishing poor people. Unless you can provide mass transit to everyone then you punish people who have no choice but to drive. Also, not everyone can afford a brand new car, myself included.

People who have no choice but to drive do have a choice as to what they drive. Fuel efficient cars don't have to be new. I used to have a '97 Saturn SL1 that got over 30+ mpg. VW/Mercedes TDIs/CDIs have been available for a long time not to mention various other small cars) I chose to have a fuel efficient car even when gas prices were sub $1.00 because it just seemed wastful to drive 25000+ miles a year and not have a fuel efficient car.

I bought my 2004 Jetta TDI close to when the Civic hybrid came out. I picked the diesel because of it's real world MPG, and performance. I'm curious to see what happens to hybrid resale values when they are high in mileage.

Other taxes to consider would be based on the weight, size, or MPG. Taxing a person based on how much they drive has also been proposed.:shok: It would be done with GPS, the GPS unit could also be used to monitor how you drive for your insurance company.

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I drive a decent milage vehicle (25 or so mpg) but I think anything "forcing" people to use mass transit it stupid. If people wanted to use it, they would, but its completely useless, at least in a town like chattanooga. I've seen so many buses drive by with 1 or 2 people in them, they would be better off to kill CARTA and put the money into more roads. Of course, this could be because almost no one lives in downtown, and hardly no one can afford to anyway when condos go for $300,000+. Also, the tax based on how far you drive has to be the worst idea i've ever heard. Just another excuse to spy on people. Oh and while we're at it, if you drive over 55mph or switch lanes without using your turn signal, you get a ticket in the mail. Also, that idea would force people to use the shortest route possible, just making traffic worse because people would stop using backroads.

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People who have no choice but to drive do have a choice as to what they drive. Fuel efficient cars don't have to be new. I used to have a '97 Saturn SL1 that got over 30+ mpg. VW/Mercedes TDIs/CDIs have been available for a long time not to mention various other small cars) I chose to have a fuel efficient car even when gas prices were sub $1.00 because it just seemed wastful to drive 25000+ miles a year and not have a fuel efficient car.

I bought my 2004 Jetta TDI close to when the Civic hybrid came out. I picked the diesel because of it's real world MPG, and performance. I'm curious to see what happens to hybrid resale values when they are high in mileage.

Other taxes to consider would be based on the weight, size, or MPG. Taxing a person based on how much they drive has also been proposed.:shok: It would be done with GPS, the GPS unit could also be used to monitor how you drive for your insurance company.

You might have a choice what to drive, but how about dude who can't pay $8000 for a car? There are limited options if you can only fork over 2-3K. And they aren't all high-economy cars.

It would not be punishing poor people. It would do exactly the opposite. It would punish rich people who drive gas guzzling SUVs and Hummers. It would help poor people who would be the first to use the mass transit.

Poor people drive gas guzzlers. Not the high enders, but there are low enders too. They're called used cars.

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It would not be punishing poor people. It would do exactly the opposite. It would punish rich people who drive gas guzzling SUVs and Hummers. It would help poor people who would be the first to use the mass transit.

Only problem being that rich people who drive $30,000-40,000 vehicles are the ones who can afford the high gas prices. I know for sure because I have both in my family. My aunts/uncles are wealthy and can afford BMW's and such and never care about the gas prices. However, my grandparents on the other side live off 2 social security checks a month, maybe a whopping $800 a month, probably less than some of you guys make a week. So if they use say 20 gallons a week, thats 7.5% of their monthly income in gas alone for 1 week. Heck, my grandfather can no longer drive his truck because it won't pass emissions and he can't afford to have it fixed. Sorry to break it to you guys, but there are poor people in rural areas that can't afford gas taxes so rich people in big cities can ride the bus instead of walk or take a bicycle.

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A gas tax to support mass transit is no more fair than a t-shirt tax to support mass trransit. Those who want Mass transit should pay for it. If Mass Trasit can't support itself, then there is apprently no need.

I know there are those of you who say it will require a significant front end investment, and that's true. But so did the Alaska pipeline and oil companies, not the government, paid billions for it.

And metro, you point out that the Bush administration has cut funding for transit, and I think that's great! Where does the constitution say the government has the right to take my money at gunpoint and build road infrastructure in, say, Hawaii??? The federal income tax should be a flat tax of 10% at the very highest.

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Where does the constitution say the government has the right to take my money at gunpoint and build road infrastructure in, say, Hawaii??? The federal income tax should be a flat tax of 10% at the very highest.

It doesn't, but Tennessee has really benefited from Federal funding.

I know that if federal funding were kept out of transportation that Tennessee's airports wouldn't be what they are today, as well as our waterways. As a matter of fact many of the roadways in E. TN wouldn't be what they are today with out the Appalachain Regional Commission, not to mention that on any road project there are usually some federal funds. A lot of the recent interstate projects in TN have been funded by the redistribution of ISTEA funds.

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If Tennessee has benefited from federal funding, that must mean some other state has suffered from federal funding. Why does that make it ok? I don't think it's fair that New Yorkers should have to pay for my roads in Tennessee.

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If Tennessee has benefited from federal funding, that must mean some other state has suffered from federal funding. Why does that make it ok? I don't think it's fair that New Yorkers should have to pay for my roads in Tennessee.

Historically Tennessee has been shorted on transportation funding. I think Tennessee got $0.75 back for every $1 sent to the federal government. After the ISTEA update/redistribution in the early 1990's it went up to approximately $0.95 back for every $1. (NY, MA, CA were among the losers they had previously received $1.25+ for every $1 they paid in) At the same time Tennessee redistributed its "state" funding to an equal share across the state. (E. TN had been shortchanged at expense of W. TN) in the late '90s Chattanooga and Knoxville had a small boom in interstate construction because of the "equality" achieved by the balancing of federal and state money.

So, I probably shouldn't have used the word benefited, because TN is still slightly short changed, with respect to transportation funding. I don't know how TVA factors into all of this, because they are federal but are supposed to be self sufficient now, I do know that the federal government is paying for the Chickamagua Lock replacement in Chattanooga. As for the ARC I don't know how it is funded.

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Sadly (I hate taxes!), I voted for a gas tax to fund mass transit. That would increase the cost of gas, providing an incentive for people to use mass transit, and causing a reduction in gasoline useage. Unfortunately, our continued heavy use of gasoline is a tremendous national security risk as much of the money spent on imported oil winds up in terrorists pockets or governments that support terrorism.

It's time to spend a lot less on funding road construction, because this encourages the use of more and more gasoline and diesel fuel. Instead we should use most of this money to fund mass transit, make it more affordable to the consumer and make it easier to access. For many decades our goverment has promoted automobile and truck transit by providing trillions of dollars in highway construction that are free from tolls. By comparison, I know of nowhere in America where one can use mass transit without paying tolls. No wonder we are addicted to gasoline!

To help offset the cost of the adding taxes I would strongly support the stringent enforcement of even tougher mileage requirements on cars and trucks, the development of alternative sources such as ethanol, and hybrid technologies, and the freeing up of drilling for new sources of oil off our coasts and in Anwar. These initiatives should help drive down the cost of crude oil, significantly reduce our reliance on foreign oil, and take billions of dallars out of the terrorists and terrorist sponsoring governments pockets. Our nation would be more secure! It should be national policy to become totally energy independent as soon as is possible, and that can easily be obtained if both serious conservation and production initiatives are addressed at the same time.

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^ IN addition to above points, we can't ignore our environment here, that is a "cost" no one is inserting into the equation that includes the taxes some do not want to pay, rich or poor.

A gas tax to support mass transit is no more fair than a t-shirt tax to support mass trransit. Those who want Mass transit should pay for it. If Mass Trasit can't support itself, then there is apprently no need.

If you want to talk about fairness of taxes, let's talk about the breech of fairness when those who take measures, at some sacrifice to themselves, to not pollute the planet more than they have to, just to have others redouble their efforts at doing the opposite. It may be unwittingly, just to be "fair" here, but one day down the road we will be taxed like hell in a desperate attempt to fix the damage pollution has done, and no one will be able to complain because we will be on the brink of "too late", and there will be no other choice. I'd rather just pay them now, grumble to myself, and chalk it up to thinking strategically, of the future, the long run, something no one wants to do now-a-days it seems.

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i voted for a parking tax downtown. this way, it's not taxing those who aren't commuting downtown. it focuses more on those who could possibly be able to commute but don't (of course this will only be true when all the rail lines and bus lines are up and running, therefore the reason we need the money in the first place). gas tax would hurt the economy overall because a lot of those people using gas are businesses who can't take the train or the buses.

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That's a valid point. Do they want the small business guy running a landscaping business to ride his mower onto the train!?

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I think it should come from multiple sources, with a bedrock funding source. A portion of the gas tax should be used to fund transit services as a consistent funding resource, but funding should also come from the general budget and other means as necessary.

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A strike! Aren't we blessed to have the unions taking care of us! And what get's me is that 'it's not about money, it's about working conditions...' What working conditions!? You drive a bus!?!? Do you need new beaded seat covers?

I would imagine when they say 'work conditions' they mean increases in the cost of health insurance and desire for better retirement benefits. Well guess what, I have to pay for rising health insurance every year, and my company doesn't offer a retirement plan. If I don't like it, I know where the door is. However, I'm smart enough to take responsibility for my own retirement. Ever hear of an IRA?

So let's think about this. Let's say we get trains and busses and EVERYONE uses mass transit. Then we have a strike that cripples our city because no one has a car. This isn't NYC people; You can't walk to work in downtown if you live in brentwood, or even Antioch. I may have maintenece on my car, but if it breaks down, I can rent another car.

Just keep this in mind. Mass Transit is good, but so are other alternatives.

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