The phenomenal rise of the automobile has brought with it a host of economic and social problems. Not the least of these is the question as to who shall carry the burden of maintaining and expanding our rapidly growing highway systems. It has been suggested that the general tax paying public as a whole should bear the entire burden, the argument being that the state should furnish a transportation system for all just as it supplies educational facilities. A second possibility, on the other hand, would be to exact from the users of the highways an amount sufficient to carry the entire cost thereof. Each of these proposals is founded upon considerations which are theoretical rather than practical, and a more desirable solution should be sought somewhere between these two extremes. The users of the highway should, it seems, first, pay for the administrative expenses incident to the regulation of motor traffic, secondly, provide a sum sufficient to maintain and reconstruct existing highways which are damaged by them, and thirdly, contribute a fund for the normal expansion of the highway system. It does not seem, however, that they should be required to carry the burden of extraordinary expansion, such as the wholesale construction of scenic highways. Nor should they be compelled to assume the tremendous cost of widening arterial highways leading into cities. Developments of this nature cast their benefits over the public so generally that a specific tax upon the motoring public would be unwarranted.

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