Thursday, April 11, 2013


In a Vermont Digger comment today on their article on opposition by trucking interests to the size of the diesel tax increase now being considered by the Vermont Legislature, the following response to a comment supporting the tax because of the damage to roads from heavy trucks--which I agree with--below, was posted.  Note that since 1990 car travel growth slowed and probably flat lined during the last decade while truck traffic, particularly larger and heavier truck traffic, increased at a far higher rate nationally and presumably in Vermont as well.  Trucking interests in Vermont remain big winners, assuming these trends occurred with middle class drivers increasingly paying a larger and larger subsidy to the heavy truckers.   You have to give the Vermont trucking industry credit, they have stonewalled and prevented any cost allocation study which would very likely increase their fuel taxes while lowering relatively for those who travel on four wheels.

Here is the response posted today on the Vermont Digger article:

"Peter correctly points out the damage trucks do--a loaded truck does a 1000 times the damage of a car to pavements, a major cost of maintaining highways.

However, he touches a nerve--the Governor and the two Transportation Committees continue--on purpose--to be like the three blind mice.  The last cost responsibility study showing what each type of vehicle ["cost"in terms of maintenance and new highway facilities]  (cars, dump trucks and the ubiquitous tractor trailer) was in 1989--it needs to be done now and with software now available can be easily updated [every year or so] in house by AOT.  That 1989 study showed a trend towards under taxing heavy vehicles.  So the three blind mice go merrily on totally ignorant (and politically intentiionally ignorant) of how much to charge trucks.  Would it not be a surprise to find out they are severely undertaxeed?  Note also the AOT study which showed about a thrid of all tractor trailers entering Vermont from Canada never stop in Vermont--can you guess if these folks are paying their damage to the interstate highwys?

Oh well, as they say, ignorance is bliss."

Tony Redington   Blog:

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