Motor vehicle taxation as pricing for highway services: some theoretical notes
Keywords:Taxes, motor vehicles, fuel tax, low income countries, highway tolls
The article proposes that taxes on motor vehicles may, within certain limits, be regarded as charges for the use of roads. The author tentatively groups the taxes in question into four categories according to the degree to which they conform to his definition, and then concentrates mainly on the first two taxes which seem to offer an easier means of devising a charge for the use of roads: the fuel tax and the vehicle licensing duty. This study leads to the conclusion that the arguments in favour of the fuel tax are more important in the case of low income countries than in those where the average income is high. After dealing briefly with the other taxes on motor vehicles, the author on the one hand defends the extension of tolls for the use of highways, on the other regards the conception of the universal budget as out of date and argues in favour of creating special funds based on motor vehicle taxes and earmarked for road works.