Russia » Economics
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Luzhkov Suggests Tax on Studded Tires

The Moscow mayor wants a tax to be collected from drivers using studded tires
Yesterday, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov suggested unusual initiative at a session of the Moscow Government dedicated to road managing. He said that drivers must pay for use of studded tires. The Moscow mayor was extremely surprised why head of the Moscow department for housing, communal economy and improvement of the city Nikolay Pavlov had not yet proposed the measure. Yury Luzhkov gave a rather simple explanation to the necessity of the measure: "I think it is logical to make drivers pay for usage of studded tires. Indeed, Moscow roads are deeply rutted which is mostly caused with studded tires."

The initiative probably sounds logical from Luzhkov's point of view. However, it looks rather problematic from the general logic point of view. Studded tires are not the basic factor that damages roads, what is more they can damage only highways of poor quality. Asphalt laying under unfavorable conditions (at high temperatures and in the rain) is the main reason why pavements get damaged in winter. Poor repairing of roads and chemicals used for melting the snow in winter are said to be other reasons of poor quality of Moscow highways. So, studded tires go tenth or fifteenth in the detrimental factors list. Indeed, the mayor will hardly agree to fine the city structures overseeing road repairing. That is why the Moscow authorities want to compensate damages from the pockets of ordinary drivers. This money would actually come in handy because the highway-user tax has been abolished.

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