kidney disease busy road exhaust fumes gas tax

Gas Tax Alternative Drive Takes Wrong Turn

Kidney Problems Linked to Traffic Fumes

More bad news about smog but some good news in that a major paper pushes justice. These two 2013 excerpts are from (1) BBC, May 14, on disease from smog, and (2) USA Today, May 12, on taxing gasoline.

by the BBC and by USA Today Editorial Board

Living close to a busy road may increase your risk of developing kidney problems. Traffic pollution could harm the arteries that supply the kidneys.

Experts already know that long-term exposure to exhaust fumes increases the risk of vascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke.

Many people are unaware of the close link between heart and kidney disease, but problems with one often lead to problems with the other”.

To read more

New sales and hotel taxes force many people who don't drive on Virginia roads to subsidize those who do.

Oregon has engineered a complex bureaucratic system that accomplishes little that a gasoline tax doesn't.

The people who pay the most gas tax are those who drive the most and use the most gas. Makes sense to us.

As of the beginning this year, state gas taxes ranged from a high of 50.6 cents a gallon in New York to a low of 8 cents in Alaska. Most states have plenty of room to bump up their taxes without resorting to more intrusive alternatives.

Ultimately, the sheer math of a growing population, and the impossibility of building or expanding roads in major urban areas, might force a new system. Meanwhile, the simplest, fairest and least invasive way to respond to lower gas tax revenue is with higher gas taxes.

To read more

JJS: Your health is but one of the serious concerns impacted by millions of drivers burning billions of gallons of gasoline, polluting the air we all must breathe. Presently, the gas tax we pay at the pump does not cover the cost of disease that we impose on others (and ourselves). But if the gas tax was high enough to cover our medical bills for pollution-induced disease, it’d be so high that many people would choose not to pay and instead buy electric vehicles or hire a car only when necessary or take a taxi or ride buses or pedal bikes or walk or some combination of the above. Using such alternatives, those people would save money on both transportation and medical care.

Those are options for individuals. But there’s an even bigger solution -- a policy solution -- that lies largely untapped. That is, reduce the distance between Point A and Point B. The way to shorten trip distances is to better integrate land uses, and the way to do that is to in-fill cities.

Presently, many owners keep their lots vacant, speculating, awaiting higher future prices. But those owners would put their land to best use if they had to pay land dues or a land tax, as the experiences of towns that have shifted their property tax off buildings, onto land, have shown. Yet now those speculating owners are actually causing excess traffic and indirectly killing people. However most of them are decent people who would likely prefer to pay land dues rather than all the taxes one must pay now. They just need to hear of this effective reform first. So help spread the word!


Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .

Also see:

State Of The Air 2012 -- ALA Report

Forbes Blogger Defends Green Taxes As ...

Tax Breaks For, and Taxes Upon, Polluters

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