360° Coverage : Hit A Pothole? It's Gonna Cost You - One Way Or Another

2 Updates
Hit A Pothole? It's Gonna Cost You - One Way Or Another
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Hit A Pothole? It's Gonna Cost You - One Way Or Another

Mar 29 2014, 8:40pm CDT | by

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, a pothole is “a bowl-shaped depression in the pavement surface.” Those aren’t exactly the words that drivers where...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

24 weeks ago

Hit A Pothole? It's Gonna Cost You - One Way Or Another

Mar 29 2014, 8:40pm CDT | by

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, a pothole is “a bowl-shaped depression in the pavement surface.”

Those aren’t exactly the words that drivers where I live are using to describe them. Those words, I can’t post.

After one of the snowiest, coldest winters on record in parts of the country, it’s a relief to see the snow melt. But all of that melting and changes in temperature have left us with another headache: potholes. Lots of them.

Angel Taveras, the mayor of Providence, has lamented, “[t]he potholes that have resulted from this year’s severe winter weather are the worst that I can recall in many years.” He’s not alone.

Americans have been complaining about potholes from coast to coast. As the complaints pile up, the fix isn’t always as fast as anticipated. In some places, residents are so unhappy about the state of the roads that they’re fixing the potholes themselves. One resident took it to heart in Ann Arbor, Michigan, prompting the city to release a statement asking others not to follow suit:

Ann Arbor residents love their city so much that when they see a problem, they want to get out and do something about it. It is admirable that someone took the time and effort to fill a pothole, but we strongly recommend against doing it.

If volunteers aren’t filling potholes, then roads crews are… and that costs money. As road crews patch, fill and sometimes even fall into a record number of potholes, government leaders are scrambling for ways to pay them.

In Colorado Springs, Mayor Steve Bach is asking for $2 million in emergency money to fill potholes.

In Minnesota, lawmakers are seeking an additional $15 million ($10 million for state highways and $5 million for city and county roads) to resolve damage from potholes.

And after declaring last week, “Pothole Week,” Stamford Mayor David Martin announced that he would seek an additional $2 million to pave roads.

Additional funds are also being sought in New York State, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

But money doesn’t grow on trees. Or in sinkholes. Where are politicians going to find those extra funds? Across the country, the answer appears to be tax increases.

Of course, there is no “one size fits all (potholes)” answer. One Minnesota proposal calls for new sales taxes on wholesale fuels while in Olean, New York, property taxes may be on the rise. Los Angeles is considering a “half-cent sales tax hike… to pay for repairs of the worst streets and sidewalks.” Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mayor George Heartwell is hoping that voters will support a city income tax for streets on the ballot this spring. And in Montgomery County, Maryland, a “pothole tax” has even become an election issue.

Some, however, wonder if the burden should fall to local governments to patch up our roads – or if maybe it should be the federal government’s problem to fix. Three funding proposals have garnered interest among taxpayers although how they would raise revenue are very different:

  • In December of 2013, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) announced a proposal, H.R. 3636, also called The Update, Promote, and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act, that would phase in a 15 cent/gallon tax increase over the next three years on gasoline and diesel. With the proposal, the federal tax would increase to 33.4 cents per gallon on gas and to 42.8 cents per gallon on diesel. That bill currently sits in the House Committee on Ways and Means.
  • Getting a bit more chatter is the tax reform package put forth by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI). Under Camp’s proposal, $126.5 billion would be set aside to fund federal transportation projects, an amount which would “fully fund highway and infrastructure investment through the [Highway Trust Fund] for eight years.”
  • Camp’s proposal is a much slimmer version of President Obama’s budget proposal. President Obama’s plan would, through a combination of corporate tax reform and a tax on offshore corporate profits, raise $150 billion in revenue to be used on roads and infrastructure improvements (you may recall that infrastructure improvements were also a key message in President Obama’s State of the Union address earlier this year).

It’s clear that, no matter which road we go down, the nation’s potholes are going to need a fix. The real question is where the money will come from to fill those holes.

Want more taxgirl goodness? Pick your poison: receive posts by email, follow me on twitter (@taxgirl), hang out with me on Facebook or check out my YouTube channel. If you want to keep an eye on documents I’ve posted, check out my profile on Scribd. And finally, you can subscribe to my podcast on the site or via iTunes (it’s free).

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

2 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new compa ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

2 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the dou ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

World's first water-based nuclear battery developed
New York, Sep 17 (IANS) Researchers at the University of Missouri have created a long-lasting and more efficient nuclear battery that could be used as a source of reliable energy in automobiles and space flight.
 
 
Meteorite that killed dinosaurs helped forests bloom
Washington, Sep 17 (IANS) A giant meteorite that wiped out dinosaurs along with evergreen flowering plants 66 million years ago gave rise to deciduous plants - plants that lose their leaves at some point during the year, a significant study reveals.
 
 
NASA selects Boeing, SpaceX to ferry US astronauts to ISS
Washington, Sep 17 (IANS) With a goal to end the US' sole reliance on the Russian Space Shuttle in 2017, NASA selected two American firms to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
 
 
Almost 10 mn people in US live on less than $2 a day
United Nations, Sep 17 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wishes Prime Mininster Narendra Modi would attend the Climate Change Summit next week at the UN in New York.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Mild earthquake hits New Zealand
Wellington, Sep 17 (IANS) An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale jolted New Zealand's Wanganui region Wednesday, a media report said. The tremor hit the region at 7.28 am, New Zealand Herald reported citing...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Beyoncé and Jay Z had 'commitment ceremony'
Beyoncé and Jay Z had a ''special commitment ceremony'' on her birthday. The couple - whose marriage has been dogged by speculation it is on the rocks in recent months - reportedly decided to ''wipe the slate clean''...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Vatican car carrying drugs intercepted
Paris, Sep 17 (IANS/EFE) French police have confiscated cocaine and marijuana from a car with Vatican plates, after it entered the country from Spain, RTL radio reported. It said Tuesday police officers stopped the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Is Samsung ready with its first selfie phone?
London, Sep 17 (IANS) At a time when the world is going crazy over the selfie phenomena, Samsung is rumoured to have developed its first selfie-centric smartphone. The Galaxy Grand Prime reportedly has a 5MP front-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Shooting for next James Bond film starts in December
Los Angeles, Sep 17 (IANS/EFE) Shooting of the next James Bond film, the 24th instalment of the popular spy series, will begin Dec 6 at Pinewood Studios near London, Variety reported. Sam Mendes is back to direct...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Meteorite that killed dinosaurs helped forests bloom
Washington, Sep 17 (IANS) A giant meteorite that wiped out dinosaurs along with evergreen flowering plants 66 million years ago gave rise to deciduous plants - plants that lose their leaves at some point during the...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling welcome a baby girl
Los Angeles, Sep 17 (IANS/EFE) Actors Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling became first-time parents last week when the Latina gave birth to a baby girl, the US Weekly has reported. Mendes, 40, and Gosling, 33, have had a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Spain may prosecute citizens who join jihadi groups
Madrid, Sep 17 (IANS/EFE) The Spanish government is thinking about amending the criminal code to allow Spaniards who take part in foreign conflicts, especially those in which radical Islamic groups are involved, to be...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Obama calls for gun control on anniversary of Navy Yard shooting
Washington, Sep 17 (IANS/EFE) US President Barack Obama renewed his call for "common-sense" gun control measures, one year after a shootout in a US Navy facility in Washington left 12 people dead. "One year ago,...
Read more on Politics Balla