Today’s Headlines

  • Harvard economist Ed Glaeser takes a look at the sprawl-inducing home buyer’s tax credit, a policy only "a real estate agent could love" (NYT Blog)
  • Confirmation of what you heard here last month: The No. 2 Senate Democrat thinks a gas tax needs to be on the table to fund a transportation bill next year (Dow Jones)
  • An in-depth look at the serious challenges facing American high-speed rail (Wilson Quarterly)
  • Aw, Senate environment committee chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and senior Republican Jim Inhofe (OK) are really close friends … (Politico)
  • Federal transit regulators give final approval to new transit lines in Denver (Denver Biz Jrnl)
  • Seattle NIMBYs take aim at high-speed rail plan (News-Trib)

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The Gas Tax Versus a VMT Tax: Is ‘All of the Above’ an Option?

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(Chart: Oregon DOT) The prospect of an eventual move away from the gas tax and towards a fee on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) has sparked consternation from some well-known bloggers this week, with Matt Yglesias asserting that "a VMT [tax] has no advantages whatsoever over higher gasoline taxes" and Andrew Samwick suggesting that declining fuel […]

The Gas Tax: A Trip Back in Legislative Time …

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As Tax Day prompts a rush of political rallies and media coverage, it’s worth looking back at the history of the federal levy that helps pay for transportation projects: the gas tax. The late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) in 1982, when he battled his own party’s attempts to raise the gas tax. (Photo: TIME) Most […]

Quebec Approves Carbon Tax on Fuels to Cut Greenhouse Gases

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Quebec will become the first Canadian province to impose a carbon tax on energy producers. Bloomberg reports: The provincial cabinet approved the tax in Quebec City yesterday, according to a statement on the Natural Resources Ministry Web site. Refiners including Valero Energy Corp.’s Ultramar unit and Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Canadian unit will start paying […]

New Report Examines the Media’s Role in the Gas Tax Debate

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(Chart: University of Vermont Transportation Research Center) The success of state-level plans to increase gas taxes is tied to the media’s portrayal of the proposals in question, with narratives tied to "crumbling infrastructure" and "economic progress" showing more success than those emphasizing long-term transportation budget gaps, according to a new report released by the University […]

Charles Komanoff’s “Fuel Tax Magic”

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New York City economist and activist Charles Komanoff has been focused lately on developing and promoting the idea of a "carbon tax." Carbon taxes are still still very much considered fringe economic theory and politically unviable, though, as you read Komanoff’s latest essay in Grist, you have to wonder how long that will last. The […]