HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - This idea rides on the false presumption that people have a choice about how much they drive. Most driving is not discretionary. The typical taxpayer does most driving when commuting. How long your commute is, depends on how far you live from work. And how far you live from work, in most cases, is affected by how much home you can afford.
Don’t like the road use tax? Just sell your $320,000 home in Makaha and buy an $850,000 home in Kalihi! I mean, come on! Most people who live far from town can’t afford to live close in. But the gas tax at least gives you the discretion to buy a more fuel efficient car. We shouldn’t penalize people for doing that.
The same situation obtains on the mainland. In D.C. where I used to live, it’s more expensive to live inside the Beltway, and cheaper in far-out suburbs. Of course, in place of far-out suburbs we have ocean. But if the state needs more revenue it should avoid anything that hurts taxpayers on tight budgets.