One of the biggest complaints of drivers has always been gas prices, but rumors of a tax on driving may put the high gas price complaint in the back seat.
According to rumors circulating the web lawmakers in Washington are considering charging motorists per the mile in taxes, or vehicle miles traveled tax (VMT). The money accumulated would be put towards fixing up road conditions, but isn’t this what tolls are for?
Currently, there is an 18.4 cent federal gas tax collected in all states in addition to whatever the fee is for the state or local tax. It has yet to be determined whether the new tax would be added on top of the current gas tax or replace it.
Why Officials Are Considering It
There has yet to be an actual motion to create such a tax, but many politicians believe a driving tax would make much more sense than a gas tax. As cars become more fuel-efficient and American’s move towards alternative travel options, it is becoming harder to find funding for highway maintenance and repair.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) gas taxes are used for federal spending to fix up the nation’s highways, but the federal government only covers 25% ow what is needed for the highways. The rest of the highway funding comes from state and local governments. Regardless of where the funding comes from there is one thing that is clear: there isn’t enough of it.
The CBO argues that, “Any given driver’s highway use also imposes costs on other users, on nearby nonusers, on the environment, and on the economy in the form of congestion, risk on accidents, noise, emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants that affect local air quality, and dependence on foreign oil.”
The CBO report was mainly used to present facts to politicians, therefore it could not say whether or not to keep a gas tax, or which type of VMT tax to implement. Their figures did show that taxing by the mile would be a more accurate representation of driver usage on highway roads.
Many people in rural parts of the country see this tax as an unfair burden on them, considering they have higher travel distances and pay more for gas because of their larger cars.
There is also the question of privacy considering cars will have to be tracked in order to figure out how many miles the cars actually travel, although the CBO guarantees there is GPS technology that can track mileage and not travel location.
We want to know what you think, is the VMT tax a good idea or are you just upset at the prospect of more taxes?