Washington has the MOST regressive tax structure in the entire United States mostly because of its high sales taxes. Now, politicians want to punish poor people even more with a dramatic hike in the sales tax to build climate changing highways.
The simple fact is that highways as the basis of a transportation system are inherently unfair to working people, burdening them with the high costs of car ownership, maintenance, insurance, parking and gas prices.
We think it’s time to look at congestion pricing. In the business world, we deal with supply and demand issues daily, and the market sends us pricing signals to lead us to the most efficient use of resources. In our transportation system, there is clearly more demand for highway lanes than there is supply at the current price — free.
The local Sierra Club is using an “populist, anti-tax” message to attack the Roads and Transit package while at the same time pushing a tolling scheme which will disproportionally affect working people — just for driving to work!
They are pushing for congestion pricing everywhere (“Lexus lanes”!) and have the gall to call freeways discriminatory and the sales tax regressive? Tolls and a higher gas tax (which they also support) are the most regressive forms of taxation out there. With transportation, you don’t have a choice about how much you pay. People have to get to work!
It’s disingenuous at best, and weaselly bullshit at worst. Then again, what can you expect from Kemper’s favorite environmental group?