Out of Control Policy Blog

Taking a Toll

U.S. diplomats are refusing to pay an eight pound congestion charge that the city of London imposed two years ago on cars driving into central London, reports the BBC.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/4352520.stm

The diplomats claim that the charge is a tax and the Geneva Convention exempts them from all host-country taxes. The mayor of London maintains that the charge, widely popular among London residents because it has reduced congestion, is really a fee for service.

Revolting against British taxes is part of a long and venerable American tradition, of course. But the root cause of the dispute is not semantic; it is government ownership of roads. If British roads were run by private companies the charge vs. fee question would simply not arise.

So the solution? Privatize your roads, Mr. Mayor.

Posted by Shikhad, Oct. 20, 1 pm

Shikha Dalmia is Senior Analyst


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