Comment 109726

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted February 25, 2015 at 15:33:44 in reply to Comment 109725

Again, it depends which roads you are talking about.

Apart from the roughly 25% of the municipal road budget coming from federal gas taxes (which are not really supposed to be spent on roads), the municipal road budget comes from property taxes, which are proportional to the value of property owned (or rented). 75% of the spending, even in Hamilton, is proportional to property value, not amount of driving (and Hamilton is a special case).

So, a non-driving person paying $6K in property taxes pays "disproportionately" more (about $500 towards roads) than a non-resident driver or a driver who doesn't own or rent their residence who drives only 4000km per year (which generates a total of only about $40 in excise tax, which must also pay for non-municipal roads). Interestingly, since apartment properties attract a much higher tax rate than non-rental (about 2.7 times), it is actually renters who pay disproportionately for our municipal roads, even though those who live in apartments are less likely to drive.

When we're talking about provincial and federal roads (essentially non-urban highways and freeways), then drivers do directly pay proportionally more than non-drivers, but still far less than the total cost of building and maintaining those roads. We mustn't forget that for goods and services the fuel tax (indeed all the transport cost) eventually gets passed onto the final consumer, who therefore pays for roads whether they drive or not.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2015-02-25 15:55:21

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