TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 1914. TAXING MOTORS FOR ROAD MAINTENANCE.
The question of taxing motor-cars for maintenance of roads is ono that pro bably interests Banks Peninsula loca 1 bodies as much as any part of Canterbury, and the reply received from the Minister of Internal Affairs by the Akaroft County Council on [Saturday indicates that some such taxation is to be embodied in an amendment to the i present; Bill that wi" cotne before too House next session. The maintenance of the Main road beween Chrisfcchurch and Akaroa is now mainly for the use of motor and motor cycle traffic, and from experi-. ence it is found that motor traffic has a far greater deteriorating affect upon the roads than wheel traffic. The question of bow the tax is to be imposed, and to whom it is going to be paid is, however, a very knotty pro-
blem. The question was fully gone into by the Counties' Association last
year, but no very definite proposals were forthcoming that could be em bodied in an Act of Parliament. The motor covers such a wide radius that it seems almost impossible to levy a tax that would be equitably divided up among the different kcal bodies to compensate them for the amount of motor traffic that passed over the roads under their jurisdiction. To do this would be almost impossible, unless per medium of toll gates,'but this method would be both cumber j some and costly to keep going. The only way out of the difficulty seems to us to be to make a road maintenance tax on each motor, and split this up in such a way as to pay for the maintenance of roads which are used by motors. The main road between Akaroa and Christchurcb is now traversed by thousands of motors yearly, and as the popular run to Akaroa becomes better known, there will be very much increased motor traffic on the road, Both Akaroa and Wairewa Counties are finding that the maintenance of this road is bacoming increasingly heavy, and as the traffic passing over those roads practically does not bring them in any revenue at all, both Councils consider a tax of some description should be imposed to help towards the heavily increasing cost of maintenance. The question will, no doubt, be fully gone into by the Minister in charge, and an Act passed that will be as equitable to motorists and local bodies as it can be made to be. The tax' for maintenance would no doubt give local bodies an incentive to improve the roads for motor traffic, so that in being taxed for road maintenance motorists would reap the benefit in improved road surfaces. We agree with the opinion expressed at the Counties' Association that a tax.collected from car owners should certainly be spent entirely for the improving and maintenance of roads used by motors.