Theoretical framework for building optimal transport taxation system

Yulia V. Leontyeva, Igor A. Mayburov


The purpose of this article is to analyze the theoretical and methodological basis of building an optimal transport taxation system. That includes establishing classification criteria, functions and principles of building the system. The article systematizes economic views on the nature of transport taxes and outlines the genesis of transport taxation. The article substantiates that the genesis of studies on transport taxation involved the development of economic measures of the size of compensation which followed the special-to-general model, that is, from compensation for the use of particular road network facilities to compensation for the entirety of negative externalities and the use of the whole road network. The article systemizes functions of transport taxation and analyses its two main functions: fiscal and regulatory ones. The article rationalizes that the regulatory function in transport taxation is equally significant. The article analyzes negative external effects resulting from accelerated growth in car ownership. In addition, it substantiates that pure public benefits relating to motor vehicle use tend to transform into mixed benefits in the course of mass car ownership, which, in turn, remain non-excludable, but become rivalrous in consumption. The work presents an original classification of transport taxes based on the main classification criteria. Transport taxes are classified based on types and designation of transport payments, stages of the life cycle of a motor vehicle, the way the tax is levied, the influence it has on the intensity of car use and the purpose of revenue spending. The work offers a system of principles of optimal transport taxation consisting of well-known and new ones. The article further develops the benefit principle in transport taxation as well as the social optimum principle. In addition, it provides definitions for original principles identified by the author: the principle of comprehensiveness, the principle of differentiation, the principle of payment collection at time of service, and the principle of designation.


transport taxation; taxes; fees; classification; function; principles of optimal taxation

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