This paper discusses the implications of autonomous-connected-electric-shared vehicles (ACES) for public finance, which have so far been widely ignored in the literature. In OECD countries, 5–12% of federal and up to 30% of local tax revenues are currently collected from fuel and vehicle taxation. The diffusion of ACES will significantly reduce these important sources of government revenues and affect transport-related government expenditures, unless additional policies are introduced to align the new technological context with the tax revenue requirements. We argue that the realization of socioeconomic benefits of ACES depends on the implementation of tailored public finance policies, which can take advantage of the increase in data availability from the further digitalization of transportation systems. In particular, the introduction of road tolls in line with ‘user pays’ and ‘polluter pays’ principles will become more feasible for policy. Moreover, innovation in taxation schemes to fit the changing technological circumstances may alter the relative importance of levels of governance in transport policy making, likely shifting power towards local, in particular urban, governmental levels. We finally argue that, given the risk of path-dependencies and lock-in to sub-optimal public finance regimes if policies are implemented late, further research and near-term policy actions taken during the diffusion process of ACES are required.
|Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
|Published - 2019
Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)
- 502017 Logistics
- 502024 Public economy
- 507026 Economic geography