Monday, September 27, 2010

On Rental Cars

I like rental cars.

The cool think about rentals is that the renting industry allows people to match the amount of car to one's needs. If one has multiple passengers, they could rent a big car. Traveling alone, one could rent a compact.

In the ideal market, people could rent electric or alternative fuel cars when they need a car for local trips.

The car rental industry does a good job taking care of cars and manages to use the resources we put into the automobile to its maximum return.

Unfortunately, the rental car industry suffers one big problem. The cars tend to be rented by travellers who do not have effective local representation. As such, states reams it to the rental industry with extremely heavy taxes.

Arizona Free Enterprise Club is reporting on an effort to increase taxes on car rentals to fund a minor league ballpark. Governments jack up taxes on rental cars and hotels because the people who use these services are from out of town and can't vote. TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.

The justification for taxing car rentals is that the people renting a car might want to watch a ball game.

This is a funny justification as people passing through town might be ball fans, but they are likely to be fans of different teams.

The Minor League team in Mesa is a franchise of the Chicago Cubs. Many of the people renting cars in the Phoenix area are fans of the Diamondbacks.

Not only are people taxed without representation, our corrupt political system taxes people and gives the cash to the other team.

Personally, I think there's too many cars in this world. The car rental industry does a good job optimizing the resources put in transportation. I find it sad that we hobble this industry with excessive taxes.

1 comment:

Scott Hinrichs said...

This is exactly the same line of thinking that went into the hotel and entertainment taxes that were implemented to fund the soccer stadium in SLC. "We can jack up these rates because they will be paid by out-of-towners."

The people purveying this view saw no moral problems with representation free taxation because members of the target group can choose whether to engage in the activities that generate the taxes or not. I hardly think that purifies the morality of the matter.

The car rental industry also does a good job of providing the market with fairly high quality used cars. I've owned several formal rental cars, and I've been quite satisfied with the result.