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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

RAND: Publications: Paul Sorenson: Mileage-Based User Fees For Transportation Funding

RAND: Publications: Paul Sorenson: Mileage-Based User Fees For Transportation Funding

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Mileage-based user fees to help fund new roads, might be worth looking at to fund and repair infrastructure in America. The more you drive, you more you pay for roads, bridges and everything else. The more you fly the more you pay for airports. My issue would be that workers who perhaps aren’t poor, but have to drive a lot either on the job or to and from work everyday and perhaps qualify for public assistance, or make just over that, could get stuck with large transportation bills every week. If there would be some relief for low and moderate income drivers and workers, I would be open to that idea.

What I think our infrastructure system needs is a short and long-term financing system for our infrastructure. One, to keep up with current infrastructure investments in America, but also to further invest in this country and build new infrastructure. And we need new funding to accomplish a short and long-term funding system for our infrastructure. Short-term, would be a long-term infrastructure bill passed by Congress and singed by the President. The current gas tax, is simply not adequate enough, especially with autos now running on other energy resources. So you need to look at other potential sources to fund our infrastructure.

A short-term infrastructure bill, could be funded through perhaps user fees and fees for using roads, bridges and everything else. But we could also tax things that people simply don’t need and bring health costs in America to pay for our infrastructure. Things like sugar, salt, tobacco, alcohol, to use as examples. As well as encouraging private companies to invest in our infrastructure, that they would get back by people simply using it. Driving and flying to use as examples. And that is where something like a National Infrastructure Bank would come in.

A National Infrastructure Bank, would be a separate independent non-profit public company, that would be in charge of prioritizing infrastructure in the country. By working with people around the country to figure out what infrastructure projects need to be worked on and built. And then go to the private sector to get the funding to pay for the projects. That they would invest voluntarily and get their money back and then some based on how often people use the infrastructure that they invested in. That would be my long-term solution to fund infrastructure in America and it would create hundreds of thousands of good construction and engineering jobs every year.