NZ Truck & Driver News

 
Foolish Fuel Tax

Foolish Fuel Tax

NZ Truck & Driver News

 May 2018   
THE INTRODUCTION OF LEGISLATION ENABLINGthe imposition of regional fuel taxes is a retrograde step that will hinderrather than help the Government's infrastructure plans, Road TransportForum chief executive Ken Shirley believes.

Regional fuel taxes, he says, are "complete nonsense these days….inefficient, full of loopholes and exclusions. "And therefore the impact on motorists is often inequitable and therevenue gathered underwhelming," says Shirley. "As a means of raising revenue for infrastructure there's far more meritin a realignment of Auckland Council's assets and the establishment of aroad pricing scheme. Road pricing or congestion charging has been shown in other parts ofthe world to be effective and it's also future-proofed against the modernchanges in transport technology."

"By its very definition fuel tax relies on the sale of transport fuels.However, as cars become more efficient and the takeup of EVs grows, fueltaxes become less and less effective...

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THE INTRODUCTION OF LEGISLATION ENABLINGthe imposition of regional fuel taxes is a retrograde step that will hinderrather than help the Government's infrastructure plans, Road TransportForum chief executive Ken Shirley believes.

Regional fuel taxes, he says, are "complete nonsense these days….inefficient, full of loopholes and exclusions. "And therefore the impact on motorists is often inequitable and therevenue gathered underwhelming," says Shirley. "As a means of raising revenue for infrastructure there's far more meritin a realignment of Auckland Council's assets and the establishment of aroad pricing scheme. Road pricing or congestion charging has been shown in other parts ofthe world to be effective and it's also future-proofed against the modernchanges in transport technology."

"By its very definition fuel tax relies on the sale of transport fuels.However, as cars become more efficient and the takeup of EVs grows, fueltaxes become less and less effective. It is backward-looking policy."Shirley insists that the Government and Auckland Council "would befar better off investing time in developing a fair road pricing regime forsome of the city's worst congested routes, rather than mucking around witha blunt and unsophisticated fuel tax."

The National Road Carriers Association is also critical of the proposedregional fuel tax – which it believes will be "nothing more than a stopgapmeasure to start funding Auckland's much needed road infrastructureupgrade."

"It's only going to raise a small part of the funding needed," NRC CEODavid Aitken says – quoting estimates that the proposed tax will onlyprovide $1.5billion of the $10billion needed in the next 10 years.

NRC members, he says, "would be more prepared to pay road tolls orcongestion charging to fund progress," says Aitken.


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