There's More Than One Way to Pave a Road

September 26, 2012 2:30PM

NASHVILLE – As gas prices remain stagnantly high, many families have felt the burdens of filling their gas tanks. One common proposal to fund Tennessee’s transportation needs is a gas tax hike, which would increase the already substantial cost confronting Tennesseans at the pump. The Beacon Center of Tennessee today released a new policy report analyzing various solutions to meet the growing need for transportation funding that do not involve a gas tax increase. The report, There’s More than One Way to Pave a Road, reviews numerous alternatives being considered by states across the country as means to construct and maintain transportation infrastructure. The report studies the benefits and disadvantages of nine alternative funding mechanisms, including:

  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Vehicle Miles Traveled Taxes
  • Tax Increment Financing
  • Toll Roads
  • Vehicle Weight-Mile Taxes
  • State Infrastructure Banks
  • Emissions Taxes
  • Mass Transit
  • Debt Financing

“Some of the funding options we reviewed lead in the right direction by placing transportation costs more directly on drivers themselves and reducing the overall tax burden on residents, while others move away from this free market principle,” said the report’s lead author and Beacon Senior Fellow Paul Stumb, Ph.D. “It’s important for Tennessee policymakers to scrutinize all the alternatives and choose a path that will lead to sustainable transportation funding without unduly burdening existing and future taxpayers.” The report will be provided to all 132 state lawmakers and key members of Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration. It can be found online at The Beacon Center of Tennessee is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan research organization dedicated to providing concerned citizens and public leaders with expert empirical research and timely free market solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee. The Center’s mission is to change lives through public policy by advancing the principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government.