Georgia drivers as cash cows

In responding to one of my earlier posts      (https://gajim.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/marta-vs-roads-and-privately-operated-transit/  ) a commenter has pointed out that according to the Georgia Department of Transportation budget the DOT will only receive $688 million dollars from the motor fuel tax and that would only be 26% of the total DOT budget.

The commenter’s numbers were taken from this document published by the Georgia DOT: http://bit.ly/b3GBKh   I did not rely on that document for my numbers so the explanation below should clear up this understandable confusion.

The numbers used in my post came directly from the state of Georgia’s published 2010 budget numbers available online here: http://bit.ly/cIkk8c 

The state projects on page 5 of the budget that motor fuel tax revenues will be $894,250,037. The state also projects motor vehicle tax revenues of $298,968,200. These vehicle user fees combine for more than 1.2 billion dollars. It is true that the DOT only receives $688 million of the vehicle user taxes but that is because the state spends the rest elsewhere.

The Georgia DOT has a total budget of 2.6 billion dollars because they administer 1.9 billion dollars for the federal government as shown on page 2 of the GDOT document noted above. Ostensibly the federal dollars come from the money collected by the federal government every time a Georgia driver puts gas in their car and are then returned to the state.

To summarize, the state of Georgia budget document clearly shows that the state takes in 1.2 billion dollars from motor vehicle users and only spends $688 million dollars of state revenue on the entire  department of transportation. I hope this clears up any confusion.

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