Josh at Publicola has written a post that should (but probably won’t) put the old “my gas taxes pay for these roads” argument to sleep. Josh went to SDOT to find out exactly what percentage of road projects and repairs are funded by the gas tax. The answer? A stunning 0.44 percent in 2009:
The SDOT budget office sent me their 2009 arterial and non-arterial paving expenditures. They spent $29,377,725 for arterial and $261,000 for non-arterial for a total of $29,638,725. The arterial revenue sources breakdown as follows:
Bonds: $14,748,947 (50.20 percent)
Bridging the Gap Property Tax: $9,693,410 (33 percent)
Bridging the Gap Commercial Parking Tax: $4,801,062 (16.34 percent)
Gas Tax: $129,981 (.44 percent)
Grants: $4,325 (.01 percent)
Hey cars! I’m sick of you destroying my roads without paying your share to fix the damage you’ve done. I pay for these roads with my property taxes. You break it, you buy it.
I say we raise the gas tax (or we could start by removing the sales tax exemption for gasoline) so that people pay their fair share.