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Is the Vehicle Mileage Tax Back on the Table?

The mileage tax, which we discussed earlier, is apparently not dead in the water, as some suspected. Representative James Oberstar, Chairman of...


The mileage tax, which we discussed earlier, is apparently not dead in the water, as some suspected. Representative James Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, thinks the technology exists to implement this new tax in the next few years (previous advocates guessed it would take a decade or more). A brief history: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood originally introduced the idea of a Vehicle Mileage Tax that would, through some sort of GPS tracking system, tax drivers for the distances they were driving (and the roads they were driving on) rather than the gasoline they were buying.I have an abiding interest in taxing things we want less of, not more of. This proposed legislation makes sense to me in that context-we want fewer miles driven, so taxing drivers on a per-distance basis should help accomplish this goal. But not all cars are created equal, and a real solution to this problem would involve taxing vehicles based on their weight (heavier vehicles generally requiring more gas, and doing more damage to road surfaces). There's still the Orwellian aspect of the GPS tracking devices installed in every car, but maybe just decide we don't care about what roads people drive on, only the distances they drive. If that's true, we already have a device installed in every car: the odometer.Via Infrastructurist. Photo (cc) by Flickr user ChiaLynn.
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