by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
I was reading through the March issue of Car and Driver last weekend, when I came across a letter from a reader, James Corbett of Midlothian, Virginia, weighing in on a discussion of gas taxes. It’s worth quoting at length.
I pay both federal and state taxes on gasoline. I pay a sales tax when I buy a vehicle. I pay for inspection, registration, title, and license taxes. I pay taxes on anything I put on my car from tires to wax, from batteries to oil and filter changes. I even pay a personal property tax every year just because I own it! All those taxes are paid with money that is first taxes as income by both federal and state governments.
He’s right. We pay taxes all the time, more than we realize, often without really even being aware. His list only includes car-related taxes, but similar lists could be compiled for all sorts of other things. And he doesn’t even include the taxes that car companies pay, the cost of which are passed on to him as the consumer. Pretty hard to believe that a system that’s so complicated, with taxpayers hit from all sides, hidden taxes, and double taxation, can possibly be the best option.