Gasoline tax has its positive benefits

first_imgThe writer is correct that those with lower income feel more of the pain of the gas tax. This is more an issue of income inequality to be dealt with in that context via tax rebates for lower-income drivers, for example.The writer is also correct that in the short run, drivers often can’t change their driving habits in response to the tax. In the longer run, however, drivers buy more fuel-efficient cars, live closer to work and make fewer one-store trips.In short, no one likes to pay taxes, but sometimes they are necessary. The trick isn’t to get rid of the tax, but to make it work the way it’s supposed to.Lester HadsellTroyThe writer is a professor of economics at RPI.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionGasoline tax has its positive benefitsRe May 27 Viewpoint, “Slash state gas tax,” author Steve Keller argues that the tax on gasoline should be abolished. He contends that economists view higher gas taxes negatively and instead advocates to lower them. The consensus among economists is, in fact, that higher gasoline taxes are warranted — as much as three times the current level.The economic rationale for gasoline taxes is based on the concept of negative externalities: the harm to the environment and human health done by burning gasoline. A gasoline tax discourages use of gasoline, just as intended. The result of the tax is less consumption, less pollution, better health, less congestion and fewer accidents.The tax is more effective than alternatives; one study shows that gasoline taxes are multiple times less expensive than fuel economy standards at achieving increased environmental quality.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, Oct. 22

first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionProblems with Nisky Democrats’ robocallsOver the past few weeks I have received several robocalls from the Niskayuna Democratic Committee, asking for my vote.There are four problems. 1. I live in Glenville. 2. The caller ID says, ‘Lake Placid.’ 3. I sent an email some time ago, requesting that these mistakes be fixed, especially because hundreds if not thousands of calls to residents outside Niskayuna might be going out. Nothing was done and I received no response. 4. I tried to use the NDC’s website to contact them today. The email didn’t work.Dave DuncanGlenvilleGo after scofflaws to recover moneyIt would seem that the governor’s plan to raise $70 million from us New Yorkers has slowed down. The complete story is still to be written, I guess.I have been looking at the news and wondering if my license, that is due in April 2020, was going to cost me another $70 to replace my “perfect” plates.I was in Central Park recently and I walked up and down a row of cars. I observed that the greatest number of plates were perfect for another 10 years, except on one car that I noticed was wrecked more than the plate and should be replaced — the car, I mean.The main reason for this letter is that if the governor wants to raise some big bucks, for whatever purpose he has, he should have someone look into the scoffers that owe the state more than $70 million in fines that they have not paid on their violations of vehicle misuse. These scofflaws in New York state and Schenectady also should pay up or have their licenses taken away. Let’s collect from these law breakers and maybe reduced taxes.James A. WilsonSchenectadyDo test scores really indicate proficiency?The recent Scotia-Glenville school district newsy bits mailing included the overall assessment of student performance on the state standardized tests: 48 percent of students achieved level 3 or 4 (proficient) scores on the ELA (readin’ and writin’) test; 54 percent achieved proficient scores on the math (‘rithmetic) test.The first score was on par with last year. The second was six points better than last year.The numbers are consistent with a multiple-year check based on the district’s website report.The Scotia-Glenville school district, on its website, likes to buff its nails on this topic. And indeed, the scores are better than the Education Department’s (rather modest) expectations.On the other hand, if on average, student proficiency is about 50 percent across the board, that means that half the students are not proficient. Ooopsie.The story gets better. These students go on to high school, and most, around 95 percent, as I recall from the website report, seem to get the Regent’s Diploma.That is to say, youngsters who have notable problems with readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic miraculously (what else could it be?) manage in grades 9 through 12 to, um, remediate themselves.I find this all very puzzling.Donald JennerScotialast_img read more

Market rallies, but property disappoints

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Gordon the gaffer

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Tender-hearted

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Bristol surveyors agglomerate in Clifton

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Never underestimate the sleeping Japanese giant

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ECE looks for new bidders

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Talk of the towns

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Green for stop

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