IPCC finds taxes, regulations mix most effective for vehicle emissions reductions

A new study by researchers at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy finds that in order to achieve needed reductions in vehicle-based CO2 emissions, a combination of both market-based and regulatory policies must be adopted worldwide. Furthermore, the authors find that no one singular policy, even when implemented to the extreme, can achieve reductions equivalent to several policies combined.

Massachusetts looks towards carbon pricing to reduce GHG emissions

Last month Massachusetts released a study investigating how the commonwealth could implement a revenue-neutral carbon fee or tax to support the state’s GHG reduction goals. Massachusetts’ Department of Energy Resources requested that the researchers develop a system that would incentivize GHG reduction but that would use tax cuts or rebates to return to businesses and individuals an amount of money equivalent to what they pay under any new carbon pricing plan.

Commuter tax benefits: Who wins and loses?

A new report from TransitCenter shines a light on the federal Commuter Tax Benefits program and the impact the program has on mode choice. While the concept of excluding from taxation income spent on transportation to work may sound reasonable, in practice the program is heavily skewed in favor of drivers, provides a disproportionate benefit to the wealthy, costs taxpayers billions of dollars per year in uncollected revenue, and adds over 800,000 car commuters, driving over 4.6 billion additional miles per year to the nation’s road system.

Oregon leads the way in addressing transportation funding challenges

Many states are facing the same challenges as the federal government, with decreasing buying power from gas tax collections and little political support for raising the tax. Oregon has decided to take steps to circumvent the transportation funding cliff by implementing a pay-per-mile program that will launch in July 2015. A new report by ODOT describes Oregon’s evolving pay-per-mile fee.

States push for tolls to fund transportation; public opinion mixed

As states struggle to fill budget gaps left by declining fuel tax revenues, many are turning increasingly to tolls. As reported recently by Stateline, lower rates of driving and weak revenues from new toll-managed highways have pushed many states to consider new tolls on existing facilities, along with other strategies such as mileage-based fees. A recent report from the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago confirms that many new toll roads around the country have struggled or failed entirely. That leaves tolling existing facilities as an increasingly viable option for transportation funding and also an appealing traffic management strategy on already congested routes.