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

10 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

 
 
 

17 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
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told toda ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was brok ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat to ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Sel ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

8 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 milli ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

8 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Baza ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyw ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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

WTO fails to reach trade facilitation agreement
Geneva, Aug 2 (IANS) Negotiations at the World Trade Organisation(WTO) has failed to agree on the implementation of the trade facilitation agreement as the deadline of July 31 passed.
 
 
Liberia reports new Ebola cases
Lagos, Aug 1 (IANS) The Liberian government has reported new Ebola cases as of July 28.
 
 
Japanese men's life expectancy over 80 years for first time
Tokyo, Aug 1 (IANS/EFE) The life expectancy of Japanese men stood at 80.21 years in 2013, the first time that men have gone past the 80-year mark in the Asian country, according to the country's ministry of health, labour and welfare.
 
 
Methane created mysterious Siberian crater: Study
London, Aug 1 (IANS) The mysterious crater spotted in the frozen Yamal peninsula in Siberia earlier this month was probably caused by methane released as permafrost thawed, Russian researchers say.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Tom Cruise surprises at derby event
London, Aug 2 (IANS) Hollywood star Tom Cruise, who is filming the fifth instalment of the "Mission: Impossible" franchise here, surprised revellers at a horse racing event here. He showed up at the event at the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Sahana finishes eighth in women's high jump
Glasgow, Aug 2 (IANS) Indian athlete Sahana Nagaraj came out with a disappointing performance to finish eighth in the women's high jump final at the Commonwealth Games here Friday. The gold went to Australia's Eleanor...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Boxers Sarita, Devendro enter final, Pinki wins bronze (Third Lead)
Glasgow, Aug 2 (IANS) Former world champion L. Sarita Devi and her state-mate L. Devendro Singh came out with stupendous performances in their respective bouts to enter the Commonwealth Games boxing finals after Pinki...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Discus thrower Seema wins silver, Krishna fifth
Glasgow, Aug 2 (IANS) Indian discus thrower Seema Punia won the silver medal with her season's best performance while her compatriot and defending champion Krishna Poonia finished a disappointing fifth at the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
India qualify for women's 4X400m relay finals
Glasgow, Aug 2 (IANS) Defending champions India qualified for the women's 4X400 metres relay finals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games here Friday. The team of Debashree Majumdar, Tintu Luka, Ashwini Akkunji and Poovamma...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Joe Manganiello works hard for unique physique
Los Angeles, Aug 2 (IANS) Actor-filmmaker Joe Manganiello says a rigorous fitness regime has helped him shape up his incredible physique. The 37-year-old actor says that unlike many other famous faces in Hollywood, he...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Cheryl happiest than ever, believes Simon Cowell
Los Angeles, Aug 2 (IANS) Music mogul Simon Cowell says his "X Factor" co-judge and singer Cheryl Fernandez-Versini aka Cheryl is the "happiest he has ever seen her". It's the effect of marrying French restaurateur...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Hamas's denies kidnapping Israeli soldier in Gaza
Gaza, Aug 2 (IANS) The armed wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, Qassam Brigades, denied Saturday kidnapping of an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip. "Until now, we have no idea about the disappearance of the Israeli...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Johnny Depp performs with Aerosmith
Los Angeles, Aug 2 (IANS) Actor Johnny Depp joined his close friend Steven Tyler and his Aerosmith bandmates Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford here where they played "Big Ten Inch Record" together...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nine Palestinians killed in Gaza airstrikes
Gaza, Aug 2 (IANS) Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks killed at least nine Palestinians Friday in southern Gaza Strip, medical sources said. Six people from a same family were killed and five others injured in...
Read more on Politics Balla