James Kennedy runs the blog Transport Providence.

11 responses to “Creating opportunity regarding the car tax”

  1. Barry Schiller

    No doubt people who drive don’t like paying car taxes, or tolls, or gas taxes, or parking fees, they want someone else to pay, even though motorists want roads paved, lighted, cleared of snow, plenty of parking, safety measures, signage etc. Since the large majority drive, there is no stopping politicians from pandering to this, especially on the East Side where progressive legislators face constituents with expensive cars and high tax rates. Repeal of the car tax is a huge windfall for those housholds with many and/or expensive cars, the folks who do the most to add to pollution and congestion, at the expense of those who do the least.
    When someone doesn’t like a tax they call it “regressive” as Mattiello does on the car tax. Actually, it is not, it is a rare tax on wealth, especially as in Providence it seems the first $2000 of value is exempt from the tax, this not burdening anyone with an old car.
    I’ve been thru this before when Tony Pires pushed thru a phase-out in hopes of riding it to be Governor. He lost a primary for Governor, and the phaseout failed too when it ran into fiscal reality. I suspect we’ll go thru the same cycle again.

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  2. cailin rua

    You can’t have Nordic style amenities w/out Nordic style taxation. There should be no changes in the way any kind of infrastructure is financed until the tax burden is far more equitably applied. Does Alan Hassenfeld walk, ride the bus or drive? Does it matter if he takes the bus and contributes his paltry fare to the needs of our deteriorating infrastructure when he’s here, up from Florida where he has stashed his fortune to avoid estate taxes? That is who you seek to protect by advocating the policies you do. I expect to have this comment summarily deleted, as have so many of mine have by the author of this post. . . . C’est la vie.

    Then there are the property taxes beyond the car taxes people pay in Providence, when people can just ride in on a bus from North Providence w/out paying for the things they enjoy here at our expense. I know, not only should we be eating cake but we should be eating it at the Capitol Grille, shouldn’t we? It doesn’t seem right to me but all those developers need all the help the people of Providence can provide feeding those parking meters I suppose, and whatever neoliberal schemes they come up with next.

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  3. mschrisri

    Prioritizing high ridership routes over broad geographic coverage would help RIPTA increase its passenger revenue. This could then be used to reduce the amount of taxes needed to support it, and/or to help pay for selective geographic re-expansion.

    One thing I’d like to see discussed (and apologies if you’ve already done so elsewhere) is the possible financial impact of using smaller buses for off-peak trips and for routes that always have relatively low ridership. A bus route that’s full during morning and evening rush hours may be nearly empty on all trips in between. Cutting back the number of trips per day makes the bus system less useful; driving large empty buses for several hours a day makes it more wasteful.

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