As the owner of an electric vehicle, I was at first outraged when I read the Iowa Department of Transportation proposed charging a fee to electric car owners to make up for a loss in gas-tax money used to maintain Iowa’s highways. However, when I gave it more thought, I decided it actually made sense. People ought to pay their fair share for maintenance of infrastructure.
Consistent with that line of thinking, climate change has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $350 billion over the past decade, according to a report from a nonpartisan federal agency, the Government Accountability Office. According to the GAO, costs include cleanup and disaster assistance from flooding and storms, which are set to increase under rising temperatures.
Given that data, I think Iowa’s gas tax money ought to be sent to FEMA to help cover some of those costs. That would mean those who continue to use fossil fuels would be paying their fair share of the tax burden to clean up the messes.
So how would we pay for Iowa’s roads? The state ought to make any intercity road a toll road. That way only people who actually use the road would be paying for the cost of maintenance.
That also would encourage more use of mass transit to travel from one city to another.