It is a well known fact, US gasoline tax is ridiculously low compared to many countries in the European Union and other nations. The table on the left brings data from the OECD on this.
US drivers pay less than 10 euro cents per liter of tax when their German, British, Italian, French or Turkish counterparts pay as much as 60 to 70 cents per liter. Even Australia does better with more than 20 cents per liter.
Could the US tax more gasoline ? This a good question as the raised money could finance their high speed rail projects, electric cars research and the renovation of their infrastructure.
Such a tax increase would also enable our American friends to be less addicted to foreign oil. I remember that Thomas Friedman advocated in Hot, Flat and Crowded a small tax of 50 cents per gallon.
This would double the tax currently paid on gasoline. ( a gallon is less than 4 liters, so each liter would see its tax increase by 12 cents approximately)
Since America consume approximately around 375 million gallons per day, the tax would raise 187 million dollars per day. That would make $ 68 billion dollars per year (48 billion euros). No doubt that with all this money could do the trick.
Another benefit of this would be that Americans would drive less their cars – even less if the money finances mass transit solutions. They would also turn themselves to much smaller car, which would be a nice idea as well.
Last but not least, this would also help America cuts its greenhouse gases emissions.
[Graph via TreeHugger]
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