Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fuel tax pays less and less of roads' cost

The next time someone tries to tell you that bicyclists don't pay for the paths and streets we use, throw this nugget back at 'em: Just 51 percent of the $193 billion a year spent to build and maintain highways in 2007 came from fuel taxes and other user fees. According to studies of federal subsidies in the U.S. economy,
"Forty years ago, user fees amounted to 71 percent of revenues spent on roads. Today, user fee revenue as a share of total highway-related funds is at an all-time low since the Interstate Highway System was created in 1957. A complete data set of highway revenue by source is available for download. In 2007, non-user revenues contributed $70 billion to the highway system. By comparison, this contribution totaled $26 billion in 1967 (in 2007 dollars)."
You can read more at Subsidyscope.com , a project supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Of course, since most bicyclists also drive, there never was a lot of validity in the assertion that we were freeriders on the roads.

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