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What do you think about usage taxes or fees?

I was watching the news last night and our city council is mulling over an idea to raise city revenue by not raising personal property taxes (a wonderful idea, I might add). They want to increase usage fees, i.e. public transportation fees, city park fees like shelter rentals, motor vehicle licensing and such. I think this is a great idea myself, sort of like toll roads. Why should I pay for it if I never use it? But if I do use it, I can pay more. I just don't know if it will generate enough revenue--any thoughts?

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Asked by threeisenuff at 11:31 AM on Mar. 19, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (16)
  • I think that sounds fair...a kind of "pay to play" concept, except this would be used for good reasons and not political gains! LOL

    Answer by LoriKeet at 11:41 AM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • I think they unfairly burden lower and middle class workers.

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 11:46 AM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • how so?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:49 AM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • I think this is a great way for EVERYONE to do their share at the local level. If people use the facility MORE, in comparison to someone who doesn't use it at all, they should pay more.

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 11:54 AM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • It has it's good points and bad.
    Yes, it does make sense for people who use something to pay for it while those who don't use it, don't pay.
    The poorer people are the ones more likely to use city facilites like buses, parks for parties, etc. so they would have a harder time coming up with the additional money. So use of these things would probably drop, which means revenues would NOT go up with the higher fees and may actually go down.
    Also, many governments - city, state, and federal - see "fees" as an easy way to get money since fees are easier to pass than higher taxes. Tax increases frequently need more votes than just a simple majority and have to be approved by the voters in many locations. Fees don't.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:12 PM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • kaycee14: I agree, would only add: it would also burden those going to and from working, making them have to dish out more just to go to work. and back.

    it sounds good in theory, but not sure it will do all it's intended to do.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 12:25 PM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • Since poor and middle class people use city services more often than richer people, and the percentage of their income will be higher even with similar usage, that's how it unfairly burdens working class people. People that take a bus everyday to work because they don't have a car will now be paying more for their commute to a job that doesn't pay enough for them to get a car!

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 12:39 PM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • Those who rely on public transportation pay pennies on the dollar compared to those of us who have purchased a car, make car payment, pay for gas, and maintenance of said vehicle, tolls, etc. What kind of job do you have that you cannot afford about 10-15 dollars a week to get back and forth? Don't they even have discounted tickets/fares for those who qualify? I bet they have no trouble spending 10+ dollars on a pizza, fast food, gigs, alcohol, and frozen food! Priorities people!

    If you cannot afford a rental fee for a party, then maybe you should be working harder and not partying!

    It's no better than the argument that those who smoke shouldn't be taxed more! Why? because their unhealthy habit costs them more in medical care? Boo hoo! Don't care! Stop smoking, and start dieting an exercising--both of which will save a heck a lot more money than continuing bad habits.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:40 PM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • According to this public transportation calculator, I would save $10.00 per YEAR if I took public transportation instead of my car to work! A "trusty dusty car" is FAR better than having to walk to and from, then wait with up to 50 other people in the heat, cold, rain and snow to get a smelly ride to work.

    I've purchased and paid for the operating expenses (insurance, gas, tune ups, etc.) of my OWN vehicles since I was 17 years old and a junior in high school!


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:54 PM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • My state wanted to raise tolls last year to increase state revenue. The resulting fees associated with commuting to work would have crippled the average worker. The outcry was so high the hike eventually failed and then reappeared in a much smaller figure that is, in fact, causing some big problems for lower-middle class workers.

    In theory it sounds like a great plan. The problem is the people that end up using things like public transportation, park rentals, tolls, etc can't handle the burden of cost on their own. There's a LOT of things local and state governments provide that get used by some but not all. Eventually it balances out. You may not use the metro buses but you do use the library. You maybe don't use the rental facilities at your park...but you do use the park.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:00 PM on Mar. 19, 2009

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