Wednesday, November 02, 2016


One thing that drives me nuts about the politics of gas taxes is that they're still small enough that any increases would get buried within perfectly standard gas price fluctuations and no one would notice if the press didn't report them as ZOMG THEY RAISED YOUR TAXES. I'm not faulting the press for reporting it or advocating for ignorance. These things should be reported! And gas taxes are regressive, so while there are good reasons for taxing gas, it still isn't my favorite tax, but this is over the top.

Ms. Long, a graduate student who has been holding down three jobs trying to cover her expenses, was out to beat a deadline that haunted drivers in and around New Jersey on Halloween: At midnight, the state’s gasoline tax would jump by 23 cents per gallon, to 37.5 cents.

“I’m going to need a new car because of this, maybe a Prius,” said Ms. Long, 24, who lives in Suffern, N.Y., as she handed the attendant three $1 bills — the cost of 1.485 gallons of regular. “I’d like to keep the ’Stang, but I can’t be cool forever.”

Recent Mustangs get 15mpg+. So that's an extra 46 cents per day if you have a 30 mile round trip commute. Do that 20 days per month/ 240 days per year and that's $9.20/month or $110.40/year. That's not nothing, and any additional expenses for people on living on the margin matter. Again, regressive taxes are regressive! But the cost of gas looms much larger in the consciousness than the cost of most other things.