Is Taxing by the Mile in Our Future?
It could well be as states look for ways to make up fuel tax shortfall.
According to a story in USA Today, states are having to find new ways of taxing motorists in order to pay for roads and bridges. This has become necessary as declining gasoline sales has led to declining tax revenue. Couple that with the current administrations aggressive policies to improve mileage, and lack of funds has become a real problem.
With the spotlight on the fluctuating cost of gas, nobody wants to be the one to raise the price by adding taxes. So taxing miles driven has become one of the ways considered to make up the shortfall. USA Today reports that Minnesota and Oregon are already testing technology to keep track of mileage. Other states, including Washington and Nevada, are also looking at similar options. Besides the fact that people are just not happy about any more taxes, having a government agency track mileage raises all sorts of privacy issues. However, deteriorating roads and bridges and increased traffic problems can't be ignored. Like all government agencies are finding in this economy, there is only so much you can do with less money. Without raising taxes on gas, transportation departments have to find a way to fund essential projects. This is just one option being considered.
So how do you feel about it? Is this a tax you could get behind or do you feel the privacy issues outweigh the road improvements the money would fund?