Taxing

Gas prices have been creeping up since we got here. But new taxes that went into effect this month really made a difference. There was a small national increase, and Auckland slapped a 15-cent / litre levy to help fund road and other infrastructure improvements.

That’s right about $9 per gallon, for you Imperial measurement folks.

On the one hand, I’ve long advocated higher fuel taxes as good public policy. Less oil, less pollution, less traffic, less sprawl. More people use public transit, so that budget goes up. More people bike or walk, so healthcare costs decrease. And so on.

On the other, I don’t know how a working class suburban family with kids is supposed to do it. There’s already an opportunity and activity gap for poorer kids, and if you can’t afford to drive the little monsters to their music lessons how are they supposed to become useful citizens?

Speaking selfishly I think this level of gas tax is great… but I hope it doesn’t leave too many people stranded by the side of the road.

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