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Plug-in vehicles and the future of road infrastructure funding in the United States
"In the United States, road infrastructure funding is declining due to an increase in fuel efficiency and the non-adjustment of fuel taxes to inflation. Legislation to tax plug-in vehicles has been proposed or implemented in several states. This paper assesses (1) the magnitude of the decline in federal fuel tax revenue caused by plug-in vehicles and (2) quantifies the revenue that could be generated from a federal plug in vehicle registration fee.
This paper shows that an increase in the federal fuel tax rate would generate significantly more revenue than the tax on plug-in vehicles.
As price elasticity decreases, fewer buyers are dissuaded from a higher price for plug-in vehicles. A higher discount rate has a similar effect because buyers discount the future more heavily which lowers the additional cost of the plug-in vehicles at the beginning.
Plug-in vehicles do not contribute much to the funding shortfall and that levying a tax or registration fee will not generate significant additional revenue is relatively stable across the scenarios.
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