Ross: How the gas tax could start paying you
Sep 25, 2023, 8:07 AM | Updated: 8:55 am
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
I see that state representative April Connors of Kennewick has a bill for the next legislative session that would rebate some of the revenue from the state’s carbon credit auctions to drivers, probably as a kind of apology for the effect of the carbon fees on gas prices.
Her argument is that since those carbon fees are raising way more money than expected, why not refund some of that money to the people most affected?
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The bill would award every owner of a registered vehicle in Washington a $100 annual rebate, at a maximum of $200 per family.
We’d get the check when we renew our tabs, which means most of the money would go right back to the state, but it would be a nice gesture. And what I like best about it is that it could be the start of something I’ve wanted the state to do for a long time.
Instead of always punishing people for bad behavior, reward them for good behavior.
That’s not the purpose of this bill, I’m just thinking that if this rebate idea becomes popular – maybe it could be extended.
If people like the idea of being reimbursed by the state for the high price of gas, why not also reward people who obey the speed limit when the freeways are wide open?
Speed cameras are a fact of life now. Suppose that once a month, a Department of Transportation computer chooses at random a vehicle that obeys the speed limit (outside of rush hour) and cuts that person a check for a thousand bucks.
A little highway Lotto. You could channel our competitive spirit in a way that makes driving safer and saves gas!
You could then take the next step, add a little artificial intelligence into the network, and reward drivers who zipper merge, who slow down in construction zones, who signal before changing lanes.
As those thousand-dollar checks for good behavior start appearing in your Good-2-Go account, I forsee an epidemic of civilized driving behavior that would more than pay for itself in fewer accidents, fewer delays, less gas consumption, lower insurance rates, and maybe even lower gas prices.
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