Today is May 26, the anniversary of the Quill v. North Dakota decision of 1992, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld “the continuing validity” of restricting state sales tax powers only to businesses with property or...
- Local roads are overused because they're 'free&...
Local roads are overused because they're 'free'
Letter to the editor published in the Washington Examiner
Re: "Va., Md. punt on billions needed for roads," April 30
As a Virginia native, I have had intimate experiences with the horrid traffic in the D.C. metro area. However, contrary to popular opinion, traffic is not a symptom of a limited supply of roads. Rather, the roads we have are overused because they are not priced.
In a free market, prices steer resources to their most valued uses. Our current road funding system is broken because it does not take cues from the market. We just clumsily tax everyone and then provide roads free of charge.
A much better way to provide roads would be to use tolls wherever possible. That way, drivers would bear the cost of driving, traffic would decrease, and the funding of roads would be aligned with the number of people that actually drive on them.
the Tax Foundation
Join the Tax Foundation's fight for sound tax policy Go
Tax Policy Blog
The official weblog of the Tax Foundation.
Tax By State
For information on your state, select it from the drop-down menu.
Ask a Tax Expert
Contact information for Tax Foundation policy staff Ask