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Congress Urged to Impose New Mileage-Based Tax to Pay for Road Repairs

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Here’s a conundrum: the government is hell-bent on reducing the average fuel consumption, and thus CO2 emissions, of new vehicles. It’s even offering federal tax incentives to buyers who choose to go “green”, i.e. hybrids or all-electrics.

It follows that, lowering fuel consumption, means lower income from federal gas taxes that have remained the same since 1993. Without new sources of revenue, the Congressional Budget Office estimated last August that the Highway Trust Fund will need at least US$110 million in funding for road repairs.

Ah, but government officials are already taking care of that.

According to The Detroit News, the Government Accountability Office suggests a mileage-based user fee program, which would impose a tax on vehicle miles traveled.

The GAO claims that commercial truck user fees imposed in Germany and New Zealand have resulted in increased tax income and reduced road damage and it urges the Congress to institute a pilot program.

“Without a federal pilot program to evaluate options to more accurately charge commercial trucks and electric vehicles for their road use and the costs and benefits of such systems, Congress lacks critical information to assess whether mileage fees for these vehicles could be a viable an cost-effective tool to help address the nation’s surface transportation funding challenges”, said the GAO.

In order to cover the shortage of funds, the driver of a vehicle with an average fuel efficiency would have to pay from $108 to $248 per year in mileage fees, compared to the US$96 someone pays today in gas taxes.

The GAO has a Plan B, too, in case the mileage-based tax doesn’t get through: increase gas tax from the current 18.4 to 31.6-46.6 cents per gallon.

As the old saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch - not even a "green" one...

By Andrew Tsaousis


PHOTO GALLERY

Volt-Capitol

12 Comments:

Fed Up With Evil in America said... »January 11, 2013

How about we stop the BILLIONS in foreign aid sent overseas to countries who very often commit terroism against us, and the nearly ONE TRILLION in welfare benefits (NOT Social Security, they have paid into the system) given mainly to illegal aliens and other worthless people, instead of another damn tax.........

MarketAndChurch said... »January 11, 2013

This is a total load of bull.

The highway trust fund should not be used to fund public transit, the state should find other ways to sustainably maintain public transit in the long run, but it should not come out of the car-driving public's tax dollars.

The per-passenger mile traveled by every "Road" going passenger yields revenue for the government from all taxes collected by every avenue that our car-driving culture has constructed, from manufacturers, dealers, gas taxes, dmv revenue, OEM' & the supplier network, insurance, and all the individuals and businesses who depend on them for their livelihoods.

That is more then enough revenue not only to maintain the current infrastructure, but to build more (much-needed) roads to service the public. But the taxes that the road-driving public yield for local, state, and federal is diverted to everything from education to agriculture to military spending. It is the greatest scam of our time.

I agree that hybrid owners should pay, as should everyone as everything we do depends on the economic arteries of this economy: our roads & freeways. Our roadways are in desperate need of repair, and major upgrading since they were designed in the 1950's when America's population was around 150 - 180 million. It has since doubled. And our roadways cannot take the stress much longer. But the great lie being pushed is that the highway trust cannot support current roadways, & thus we need to increase the revenue it takes in, and nothing could be farther from the truth. Let the taxes generated by the car-buying public service them, & not leech from it to fund other governmental programs.

Kaveh Ghavim said... »January 11, 2013

Sounds like a horrible idea since most people live at least 30 miles away from there work now.
Think about the people in big cities like Los Angels and New York that have to drive 1 hour each way. They will have to work more to own a car with the same pay rate.

MarketAndChurch said... »January 11, 2013

Social Security recipients today are getting 1.5x the amount they put in. The elderly are taking more then they put in, and the matter will only worsen as the baby boomers hitting retirement takes into full steam.

I haven't seen any case studies that suggest the financial drain brought forth by the presence of illegal immigrants is enough to make much of an issue out of. Illegals will be an even great nuisance if they are made legal residents, all the while failing to merge into basic American institutions, culture, and values, such as forgoing teen pregnancy, pursuing marriage, moving into the middle class, staying in high school longer, entering college in greater numbers etc. We need to both help & socially/verbally promote their participation in these institutions that will make them better citizens, reverse unfavorable trends, and improve their chances at upward mobility into the middle class and beyond. But as it stand, immigrants, especially from mexico, are not that big an issue, at the moment at least. If no effort is made to improve the things I state above, then yes, they will become more then a financial burden.

It comes out to 28 billion in foreign aid, most of which goes to Africa to fight aids. I think it is the moral duties of those who have been blessed with the most, to also give the most. And we do.

The issue is with welfare/safety nets that are not only inefficient, but answer the wrong questions, such as Obama's ACA addressing Coverage, over Cost. We need safety nets, they not only have a role to play but they distinguish us first-world countries from up-and-coming second-world BRICS, and the third world. The problem is when 1.) good intentions turn into a ponzi scheme, 2.) paired with a culture that privileges the present over the future, enjoying the pleasures of modernity while forgoing the basic sacrifices that built our society in the first place. It is the cause of the coming end of Europe, and will be the end of an ignorant America who chooses to blindly follow suit.

MarketAndChurch said... »January 11, 2013

It may not provide any comfort, but to beat anti-congestion legislation in Bogota Colombia, people own two cars, since license plate numbers ending in 1,2,3,&4 are allowed to drive one day, alternating with those who drive cars with license plates ending in 5,6,7,8,&9. I think Beijing, Mexico City, and Athens all have a similar policy. If your car's license plate does not end in a certain number, use fake plates, drive an alternative car, catch a cab or public transit, or walking/biking are your only options.

diesel_vdub said... »January 11, 2013

Exactly who's fault is it if they live more than 30 miles away from where they work? I've never lived more than 20 miles from where I work and currently only live 5.5 miles away. It's American society insisting on the big house and big yard that causes so many to move further and further out.


Roads would be much less of an issue if the obsession with driving were curtailed, but that would require more logic than most 'merican's possess. If people lived within reasonable distances to where they worked there would be higher density urban areas and mass transit would make more financial sense as well as a better overall solution for getting around.


Of course, eliminating the stupidity of long haul trucking and replacing that with trains for cross country shipping and trucks for local (hub and spoke system) would significantly reduce wear and tear on our roads and be better for the environment.

SOLAndy said... »January 12, 2013

Federal budget is around $4.3 trillion and they're short $110 million....lets put that in perspective:

A person with an income of $4,300,000 per year can't afford something that's only $110 so he wants to turn your front door into a toll both.

To put a price on movement is to restrict it...criminal. Where are the limits on these clowns? Who will protect us from them?

James Lyons said... »January 12, 2013

My business would die if this were the case. I'd have to pack up and leave the country.
This mileage-based tax to Pay for road repairs sounds is unfair. When does it stop? Next we will be charged to walk down the street to help fix side walks. http://www.junk-cars-new-york.com/

zeddy said... »January 12, 2013

Ha! Welcome to taxation, UK-style.

zeddy said... »January 12, 2013

Look at London commuters.

The UK has been dumping on its citizens for years like this.

knicksnewyork said... »January 12, 2013

go f-U_C=k yourself racist troll

knicksnewyork said... »January 12, 2013

racist trolls like you will burn in hell!!!!!

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