Natalie Gochnour: Time to raise Utah's motor fuel tax

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  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 4:44 p.m.

    This discussion so far has completely missed the obvious. Highway wear and tear is a function of miles traveled and vehicle weight, not fuel consumption. All the fuel tax does is provide a convenient way to collect the tax (by paying incrementally at the pump), but it does not target the road damage culprits well. It's a blunt, albeit simple, instrument to fund road repair. The precise (and equitable) policy is to charge those causing the most road damage higher costs. You do this by taxing miles traveled instead of gallons of fuel consumed. This is easy enough to do administratively. Just have vehicle owners report odometer readings annually with their registration (it's already on the safety/emissions form). Assess a fee per mile based on the vehicle weight and number of axles. Whether you drive a vehicle that gets 200 mpg or 5 mpg, you are paying for actual wear. The only downside is that the tax comes as a big lump sum instead of little bits at the pump, but that could be handled with scheduled payments or similar.

  • clearthink Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 4:43 p.m.

    It's long past time to raise the gas tax. It's the most effective and quickest way to address air quality. Even better would be a variable gas tax that increases during the winter, but that's probably impractical.
    Any legislator who supports this tax increase should be encouraged and re-elected. Any who oppose it should be voted out of office.

  • Rawhide Kid Sevier County, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    What a way to slow down the economy. With added fuel tax, increased utility rates, etc. you keep taking away the funds so more families can go to on assistances.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    Springville, UT

    @LDS Liberal

    I will hand it to you, your comments are consistent. They advocate a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the government, and in which all economic and social activity is controlled by the government.

    As such, it's no surprise that you support the government profiting through taxation and have no tolerance for an individual or business making a profit.

    I had an uncle who had the same beliefs. He was a member of the communist party.
    4:08 p.m. Feb. 8, 2014


    Why Thank You!

    I believe in the Law of Consecration, United Order,
    and as a Military Veteran and returned LDS Mission -- have lived some of purest forms of "Socialism" on the Earth today.

    FYI -- This idealology I subscribe I truly believes comes from God, and He himself has instituted it numerous times through history.

    Adam and Eve,
    the 1st Century Christians and Nephites,
    America's Pilgrims,
    Mormon Settlers,

    I'm in Good company.

    FYI -- Being consistent is a sign of Integrity.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:48 a.m.

    Gildas, that's completely incorrect. The Utah gas tax collects around $300 million. UDOT road expenditures are over a billion dollars annually. The Legislature is raiding other funds to pay for roads- not only the $450 million earmark mentioned in the article but earmarking a third of all future increases in sales tax revenue.

    To suggest the opposite and claim the legislature is raiding the comparatively tiny gas tax revenues to pay for everything else is absurd enough that I have to wonder whether you really didn't read the article and didn't know what was going on in the state or whether you were spreading disinformation to try to muddy the waters.

    The gas tax must be substantially raised and indexed to inflation.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 11:52 p.m.

    Perhaps while gas prices have gone down some compared to where they've been in the past year or two, this might be a good time. I'd rather spend money on building new and better roads than on interest.

    That said, it has long been interesting to me that overall, government and quasi-governmental entities have almost always increase rates as inflation has driven them up. But while they've increased their share of the take from the total "pie", others, in particular individuals whose wages don't increase, and small businesses have actually seen significant actual, not to mention cost-of-living adjusted wages. My point is, no single entity, including any level of government, should receive greater increases than the size of the total economic pie increases. Otherwise, someone else has to take either an immediate hit, or go into debt.

    Apparently, Utah has gone into debt, which is not good. Education always gets increases, because so many people are in education (teachers, administrators, other employees), and they get a lot of non-employed sympathizers. Truth is though, we get, overall, far less bang for our education buck than increases should have given us!

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 4:08 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal

    I will hand it to you, your comments are consistent. They advocate a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the government, and in which all economic and social activity is controlled by the government.

    As such, it's no surprise that you support the government profiting through taxation and have no tolerance for an individual or business making a profit.

    I had an uncle who had the same beliefs. He was a member of the communist party.

  • Utah Soldier Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    Businesses do not raise gas prices a few Dollars for profit. Oil and Gas companies make about a 3% profit. Compare this to 8% for Fast Food establishments.

    Gas is an interesting commodity that is traded on markets. Not only that, but Middle eastern countries have nationalize their oil/gas companies such that the higher oil is, the better of these countries are.

    Your fingers are pointed in the wrong direction.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    I don't know how fair the gas tax in Utah is. I read it was 24.5 c per gallon; this might be out of date or not. I noticed it was neither the lowest or highest in the nation but was well above the lowest. I also noticed that "other taxes" are levied almost everywhere including in Utah; you need to check the figures if you are interested.

    I do recall, though, that in Olene Walker's day a law was proposed in Utah (and I think passed) that enabled Utah government to raid the gas taxes for other purposes. This has stuck in my mind since it suggested that our "user tax" may be used for other things than road repair, and that the tax was more than enough to repair the roads. Information please.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:13 p.m.

    Conservative thinking thus --

    When local Government [for the people, by the people] proposes raising gasoline a few pennies a gallon for local infrastructure it's ROBBERY, Tyranny!

    When Business raises gasoline a few DOLLARS a gallon for profit [for the wealthy, by the wealthy] it's called good business practice!

    How's that?

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    I agree. A modest increase is necessary. Those who oppose paying for things generally get what they pay for. Funds shouldn't be taken from the general fund which shorts everything, but public education which is funded primarily from the state income tax. In my opinion no money should be taken from the general fund, and if there is no increase in the fuel tax, cut road construction and repair until they can be paid for. In addition there should be no funding for mass transit or bike paths from the money from the fuel tax, until there is a surplus to pay for these.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    I've been working on my logic and debate skills. Let me try this out:

    According to Ronald Reagan, and the economist Arthur Laffer, if we *decrease* the tax on gasoline, it will stimulate the economy in other ways... in fact, it may increase economic prosperity so much that people will become rich, and they'll be traveling more by helicopter, thereby lessening the wear and tear on the roadways.

    A gasoline tax *decrease* is what we need.

    (How did I do? Do you think I would get a standing ovation at a convention of conservatives?)

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:19 p.m.

    Natalie, don you think you should tell us if there's a deficit or surplus in the state highway fund before taking the position that gas taxes should be increased?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:11 p.m.

    "Raise taxes on gas, then it will be on food, then your property, does the greed of government never stop!! "

    I agree... how dare they ask us to pay for things like roads, public safety, and transportation infrastructure. It should all be free.... right? And those increases in social security that are added in every year... how ridicules is that! They should freeze the level of those checks for 18 years too.... with no possibility of increase too.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    To me, I find it outrageous to propose hire taxes at a time of profound economic malaise and already high prices on heavily taxed gasoline. If you're attempting to shut down motor vehicle usage, then your proposal makes sense. Utahns have a prevalent history of accepting tax hike proposals. So go ahead and throw it out there. Chances are it will stick. You'll be certain to gain the backing of the local media.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    Real conservatives who understand the economy, like Greg Mankiw (Romney's main economic adviser and chair of Harvard econ department), support large increases in the gas tax. We shouldn't have a single cent of transportation spending coming from any other source.

    Asking for a low gas tax isn't a free-market move, it's asking the government to subsidize your road use. If there are public roads they should be paid for by their users, and the gas tax is a much better way than tolls- easier to collect, more convenient for users, and it automatically takes into account costs like the wear and tear heavier vehicles cause.

    The distorted incentives caused by subsidizing road use are crippling our transportation system with congestion, crippling our air quality, and crippling our state's financial future as the billions spent by UDOT has to come from somewhere.

    The gas tax should be substantially raised and then tied to inflation.

    (Proposals to make the gas tax a constant fraction of the price of gas are much worse than inflation indexing, as they amplify the bad effects of volatility in gas prices.)

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    Raise taxes on gas, then it will be on food, then your property, does the greed of government never stop!! What about those on limited income like social security, which the government is now taxing, money that you paid a tax on already! Seems like those who are elected should look very close at what happened to George H W Bush when he said no new taxes and then raised taxes.

    How much longer do you want to stay in power? The Cheese has moved time to start looking and thinking out of the box!!

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 3:36 p.m.

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

    income taxes are based on net income not gross income. You as an employee are not being taxed for the full cost of employing you. If the company pays for your continuing and updating education, (income to you) you are not paying taxes on that. If the company provides you parking while you are at work (income to you) you are not paying taxes on that. there are a lot of items paid for your benefit of having a job you are not taxed on. The total income package after deductions comes down to what you report on your w2. A business man only pays tax on net income just as you do.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    So maybe the better tax would be to tax annual mileage the car travels. This way electric vehicles will be taxed as well as the vegi diesel, and the stadard gas vehicle.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    The gas tax increase would hammer rural Utah, where gas is already far more expensive, and people get paid less. But usually have to drive farther. I live in rural Utah, and my fuel prices are already ten to twenty cents a gallon more than what you can get in Provo. Slapping on another tax on top of that? When just going to the store is a 15 mile round trip? And the average income here is hovering close to minimum wage? Why do you liberals who advocate raising gas taxes hate rural people so much?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    Vegatables do not cause cancer, they cure it.

    Air Emissions and Health Risks from Vegetable Oil Burning

    The American Lung Association in Massachusetts views biomass burning as a significant source of air pollution For vulnerable populations, such as people with asthma, chronic respiratory disease, and those with cardiovascular disease, biomass and diesel emissions are particularly harmful. Even short exposures can prove deadly. these small particles end up deep in the lungs where they remain for months, causing structural damage and chemical changes. In some cases the particle can move through the lungs and penetrate the bloodstream.

    A study commissioned the US Department of Agriculture which has been submitted for peer-review suggests that emissions of carcinogenic and mutagenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are three times higher in the case of straight vegetable oil burning compared to biodiesel or mineral diesel burning. …a previous trial shows increased formaldehyde emissions. Formaldehyde is one of the PAH emitted from burning vegetable oil, others are acetaldehyde and benzopyrene

    Burning fossil fuels or biomass (including vegetable oil) emits small particulates, including PM 10 and PM 2.5.

    they may be even worse as far as nitrous oxide and carcinogenic and mutagenic PAH emissions are concerned.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    @The Real Maverick,

    It's interesting to try to follow your thought process. You certainly assume a lot about people that you don't seem to know very well. You accused Mike Richards of "coveting". That would be a strange accusation if you knew Mike Richards. Some of us have had dealings with him. Several people, including me, use his computer networks in our businesses, without charge. He lets us remotely log in to his system with VNC, just like I'm doing right now, so that we can run our businesses from anywhere - at his expense. He has given thousands of hours freely to help small businessmen. He seems to have little use for money. He seems to march to a different tune than most of us. His income is not "poor", but the amount that he keeps would probably put him very close to the poverty level. He doesn't measure worth in dollars and cents.

    He let's us call him any time, day or night and he helps us solve some very technical problems, usually without charge. Until you know him personally, you may want to reserve judgement.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:40 p.m.

    Nobody wants to drive those unsafe petite fuel efficient cars. Raising the gas tax only means more debt for the average consumer and thus you are taking money away from piano lessons, sports participation etc. Add to that the fact that now companies have to pay more for transportation and the burden on the consumer is elevated.

    I would love to see Salt Lake and Provo open up bicycle freeways. There is no reason to be driving a car on those beautiful spring, summer and fall days in Utah. This will also cut down on pollution and obesity. There will also be less wear and tear on the transportation infrastructures that way.

    The legislature should give tax incentives for people to work at home. The people who would work at home are the ones with families and thus large gas using vehicles.

  • Jared NotInMiami, FL
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:30 p.m.

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

    While I believe that the government should decrease its reach, scope, and size, your statement isn't quite accurate. The article pointed out reasons why it's not necessarily about unreasonable, unsustainable growth - more fuel efficient vehicles result in less tax money coming in (people buy fewer gallons of gas). This is offset by population growth but population growth also puts more wear and tear on roads. Cars are lighter now on average than they were in the late 60s and early 70s but are heavier than they were in the 80s (i.e., cars are getting heavier). Plus, there are many more trucks (personal and commercial) than there were in the past. This places a larger burden on the roads.

    Increase gas efficiency, subtract off inflation and you are left with less money to take care of roads - all without the government having any growth. Maybe the government news to cut back spending but declining revenue doesn't mean spending is increasing.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    Some of these posts are entertaining. One poster tells us that he thinks raising the gas tax is a wonderful idea, then we find out that he avoids paying taxes for fuel, then he accuses someone of cheating on taxes when he wrote: "I know you take Federal and State taxdeductions (six). Therefore, you are not paying taxes."

    Huh? What, exactly is his logic?

    Do those who use motor vehicles on the roads add to the wear of the roads? Isn't the fuel tax the method that Utah and the Federal Government use to charge those who use the roads a "use tax"? Is there a "use" line on the State Income Tax form (TC-40)? Would that apply to those who like Open Minded Mormon/LDS Liberal who have converted a vehicle to use vegetable oil to get around paying fuel taxes?

    Of course this is facetious, and maybe even a little irritating, but when someone is enthused about others paying a higher tax and we discover that he doesn't pay fuel tax, shouldn't he expect to be "ribbed" a little?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    @. 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.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    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.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:36 p.m.


    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???

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    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 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    "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?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    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...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    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).

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    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.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    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.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    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.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:25 a.m.


    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.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    @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
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    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?

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    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.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 6:24 a.m.


    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.