Comments about ‘Natalie Gochnour: Time to raise Utah's motor fuel tax’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 7 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00


And if you want to pay less taxes,
simply drive a more fuel efficient vehicle.


You would THINK Conservatives would be all over this one, but alas.

Provo, UT

If our population continues to grow then there is an automatic increase in funds with that growth. More people does not necessarily signal a drain on the economy. They add to it. There is no need to raise fuel taxes. Or, if taxes are to be raised show us first how you will eliminate waste in some areas, such as the top heavy administration of education.

Orem, UT

One main reason that cars get better fuel economy today than they did 15 years ago, is because they are lighter. This means that they are causing less "wear and tear" on our roads. A heavy truck will damage a road more than 10 light cars. No need to raise the taxes to make up for "lost revenue".

Just another excuse to raise taxes. My after-tax income hasn't gone up for nearly 10 years thanks to the tax man. Who do I see about that?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

All right, let's raise the fuel tax, but why stop there? If it's a "user fee" and not a tax, then using Natalie Gochnour's logic, we're going to have to make other changes that are way past due. TRAX and Frontrunner ticket prices are going to have to more than double. Every rider on every trip is subsidized at least $5.00 and possibly $10.00, depending on where he goes and which service he uses. Why not make him pay the full price.

How about Hoogle Zoo? Why are people who can't afford to visit the zoo being forced to pay the "user fees" for those who do? And the symphony? Surely those who can afford to buy clothes to wear to the symphony can afford all of the "user fees" associated with the symphony.

Raising any "user fee" is detrimental. If people, like Open Minded Mormon, have a government job at the DOD that pays enough for them to buy a fuel efficient car, good for them. Some of us drive clunkers because that's all we can afford. Gasoline prices hit the poor the hardest.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

@Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

I work for 50% of civilian pay for the DOD.
That's WHY I drive fuel efficient cars.
Because that's what I can afford.

FYI --
I'm a pretty good mechanic, top-notch engineer, and a Tree-Hugger --
so my newest car is 1997,
and my oldest is 1976.

It's called waste not, want not.
Frugle living,
Being a Good Steward of the Earth.

BTW -- I don't lecture others on why they don't need to change and improve.
I live by example.

One of my cars is diesel, has over 600,000 miles on it,
and I run it on FREE straight vegatable oil being thrown out from local resturants.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah


Your "50%" of civilian pay is 100% more pay than I receive. How about living by example and sending me half of what you make, so that we can have equal opportunity?

Now a comment from CarsDirect about diesel vehicles:

"Environmental concerns. This is the primary reason why many people choose to use a diesel car, and in this debate it certainly has benefits in both using less fuel per mile, and also making less CO2, or carbon dioxide. But the diesel fuel is not completely pollution free, and in fact has been shown to produce carcinogens, soot and NOx, which can be just as harmful to the environment. It is a good idea, then, for designers to create filters and catalytic converters for diesel engines which help to reduce even this risk of pollution, making environmental concerns a good reason to purchase diesel."

Do you have a bicycle?

All vehicles cause pollution and all vehicles need roads. A tax is a tax, no matter what it costs. It hits those the most who can afford it the least.

Tooele, UT

Re: "Bottom line: You have to periodically raise the motor fuel tax . . . ."

Standard liberal line. Government can never live within any limits. It's got to continue unreasonable, unsustainable growth.

One way to avoid gas tax increases -- defund UTA. It doesn't work. I wasn't even designed to. It's primary function is to create a shiny, but unworkable, unpopular, unusable, unaffordable trinket, that liberal bureaucrats can dangle before the eyes of their buddies in Washington, to assure them that Utahns are doing our "progressive" duty.

Well that, and providing corporate welfare to crony-capitalist mass-transit equipment suppliers [which UTA did by buying double the number of traincars it needed], and paying ridiculous salaries to liberal bureaucrats.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah


You didn't read --

1. I never claimed to be 100% pollution free.

2. I do not use Diesel fuel, I said I use vegatable oil [ie.e, NOT fossil fuel, NOT petroleum based] -- so your entire post is moot and irrelevent. Vegatables do not cause cancer, they cure it.

Also -- I get over 45 mpg, with a compression ratio of 18:1 vs 9:1 over gasoline.

Diesels are 100% more energy efficient over gasoline.
Why do you think any companies trying to make $ in today's economy relies on diesels?
Trains, Trucks, Ships, Buses, Airplanes, etc -- all Diesels.
Government didn't force them -- economics in order to compete - their bottom dollar - did.

I'm not 100% pollution perfect,
But I'm doing my best to be closer than you are.

BTW --
"A tax is a tax, no matter what it costs. It hits those the most who can afford it the least."

Loved that Line,
especially coming from someone against a tax increase for Milllionaires and Billionaires.

Thinkin\' Man
Rexburg, ID

Personal vehicles do almost NO damage or wear on the roads! Heavy trucks and weather do nearly all of it; therefore, most of the tax should be on big trucks when they fuel up.

Taxing diesel isn't the answer, either, because more and more small and fuel-efficient cars use diesel, and they don't wear out the roads.

Fuel tax hits the poor disproportionately. It has no effect on the well-off. It's a bad idea.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00,

Even those of you who drive vehicles that BURN the waste left over from cooking are contributing to pollution, and because YOU use non-taxed waste, YOU are not contributing your fair share to maintaining and building roads. Those of us who buy our fuels from State licensed outlets pay our fair share. Those who circumvent the process, even when that process uses oils that would be thrown into the garbage, don't pay the forty-plus cents per gallon that the Federal and the State add to each gallon of fuel.

You said that you have over 600,000 miles on that vehicle and that you get 45 mpg, so you've used about 13,000 gallons of non-taxed fuel. Are you going to write out a check for over $7,500 to pay your share or are you going to continue using the roads that the rest of us pay for without contributing your part?

Utah does its best to do its duty to build and maintain roads. Everyone who uses those roads needs to be taxed at the rate determined by the state - per gallon of fuel used.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Open Minded,
I'm Conservative... and I'm for it.

Not so easy to stereotype as you thought... are we??


I think a gas tax is the right way to fund road construction. The people who use the roads most... SHOULD pay to maintain them the most. And a gas tax is a good way to handle that.

An adjustment may be needed, since road maintenance costs go up over time, and cars are more efficient so UDOT has less $$ to maintain the same roads. So I'm OK with an increase, as long as it's used for the roads.

The last 5-cent/gallon gas tax increase I remember was committed to buying the pumps to pump the Great Salt Lake into the west desert (so I-80 would not flood). Well those pumps are paid for and gone now (at least not in operation). And the 5-cent tax increase never went away. So I hope that added tax is funding roads now (and not other pet projects).

But I have no problem with this tax increase. It's probably needed (IF we want good roads).

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Europe, Asia and parts of the U.S. have Toll Ways.
This is the ONLY 100% user Fee - and taxless - system.

In fact, some throughways are privately built, owned and operated.

Something I know Conservatives keep telling us --
Private business can do it faster, better, and cheaper than Government can do.

and with Electronics and RFID scanners,
there are no lines, and there is no stopping.

Not saying it is THE way to go,
Just saying it is A way to go.

For what it's worth,
Just saying,
Food for thought...

Keeping an Open Mind...

Far East USA, SC

"Every rider on every trip is subsidized at least $5.00 and possibly $10.00, depending on where he goes and which service he uses. Why not make him pay the full price."

Mr Richards,

Does your same logic apply to school funding also?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Open Minded,
Mike Richards has a good point. Don't you think you owe the State a check? I mean you used the roads and contributed to their wear and tear just as much as I did. Don't you think you should contribute to the maintenance of those roads (by paying your taxes)?

I mean from a tax lovin guy... I would think you would be happy to write out that check.

I'd be interested to hear your response. On why some should not pay to maintain our roads.

Salt Lake City, UT

Equitably increasing the fuel tax to pay for inevitable road construction and maintenance is reasonable. When getting a raise most understand a cost of living adjustment and gas tax is little different. It may influence more people to use public transportation or buy fuel efficient cars. New low emission diesel vehicles using low sulfur fuel should be promoted with a lower tax on diesel. Using vegetable oil from restaurants is a cute idea, but hardly a viable public policy to meet the demand for everyone. Unfortunately, legislatures have a habit of diverting the fuel tax to the general fund and leaving transportation neglected.

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT


Where did you get this theory that "Personal vehicles do almost NO damage or wear on the roads"?

Every tire that goes down the road wears away a little of the surface. Heavy vehicles take a bigger toll, but every vehicle contributes to the wear and tear. Otherwise roads and lanes that don't allow heavy vehicles would never need maintenance. And Legacy Highway, and lanes where large vehicles are prohibited do need maintenance and resurfacing.

Bogus theory.


Heavy vehicles wear more, and should pay more. But they do pay more. How many miles/gallon does a heavy semi get? (hint.... less than a small car). So they pay more tax per mile traveled.

If we could calculate exactly how much each vehicle contributed to the wear and tear... that would be great. But that doesn't exist. So a tax based on fuel usage (meaning big trucks,and frequent drivers, pay more) is probably the next best thing.


Re "Fuel tax hits the poor disproportionately. It has no effect on the well-off"

Not true. This tax is income agnostic. And should be. Should we have a different tax brackets at the pump based on income???

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Mike --

With all do respect,
I am not breaking any laws.

Now - to address who does and doesn't pay taxes,

as a private business owner,
I know you take Federal and State taxdeductions.
Therefore, you are not paying taxes.

I didn't make it issue before,
because it's not breaking laws,
since you brought it up - I had to call you on it.

Yes -- I own multiple bicycles.
I ride them regularly.

And you?


2 bits
I'd be interested to hear your response.

OK, How was it Mitt Romney put it about HIS taxes...
"I have broken no laws."
"I will not apologize for my success" Romney said regarding his taxes.

Why no outrage toward Mitt Romney finds tax loopholes of $Millions,
but you attack mine of a whole $71.11 ?

BTW - I'm not tax-free, I still pay annual vehicle taxes.
again, NO laws broken.
Tax loopholes.

Show some integrity and be so outraged at anyone who takes them 2Bits,
that includes Mitt and Mike.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

How many miles/gallon does a heavy semi get? (hint.... less than a small car). So they pay more tax per mile traveled.


Answer: Beginning 2014 (this year) all U.S. Semi-Trucks will be required to get minimum 7.2 mpg.
Yet they carry 100,000+ pounds of goods and supplies from point A to point B.

I know Moms driving kids to soccer practice and getting a gallon milk in SUVs that don't get much better than that.

Sad, this willful and sensless waste.

One of a Few
Layton, UT

The irony, the writer references a quip. don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree, to support a tax that is a tax on the fellow behind the tree. Whether you use the roads or not you benefit from, use and rely on the transportation infrastructure. The gas tax or mileage tax should be set at rate that covers the marginal cost of adding your car to the road, with balance taken from the general fund - which in the case of heavy trucks, would a lot or in the case of a small care, minimal.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

@. Mike Richards

"Your "50%" of civilian pay is 100% more pay than I receive. How about living by example and sending me half of what you make?"

First of all, stop coveting. Be satisfied with what you earn and live within your means.

Secondly, stop blaming others for your poor income. Stop coveting from others that which you do not have. Mike, if you don't like your income, stop complaining, pull yourself by your own bootstraps, and make yourself more valuable. If your company isn't paying you what you feel you are worth, then become more productive. Actually produce something. Producing results may just increase your salary. Go back to school. Gain new qualifications and skills. No one forced you to work for such a bad income.

Lastly, we need fewer complainers and more doers. People like mike seem to expect, they feel entitled, to their salaries rather than earning them. I went back to school to increase my income. I suggest mike and others like him do the same.

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