I found an article claiming that In the 1970s and 1980s, Dallas emerged as a model of the kind of economic success government-subsidized suburban sprawl could generate

Is that true? Did people get subsidies when buying a house in a suburb? Or they got subsidies for car fuel? Or tax cuts for the cars?

I am asking because car centric cities generate more polution

  • I see the sustainability connection, but I think this question might be a better fit on Skeptics.SE.
    – LShaver
    Aug 28, 2020 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


There is an indirect subsidy that most people ignore.

In contrast to where I live (Finland), where gas taxes are high, higher than the cost to construct roads, in USA gas taxes are almost nothing. The total amount of gas taxes collected in USA is not enough to fund the total amount of roads that are constructed and maintained in USA.

Thus, some part of road construction is funded by all taxpayers equally in the form of other taxes. Those who drive the most, and pay the most gas tax, do not pay their fair share of the road usage.

In situations like this, there is an indirect subsidy for living in an area that requires lots of car usage. The net payers are those who live in a city, and the net receives of the subsidy are those who live far away from the city.

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