New pay-per-mile scheme would boost taxes 250 percent


     Paul BedardWashington Examiner



But without a tax increase, said the Government Accountability Office study, the government’s highway fund is going to go dry. One reason the fund is going broke: President Obama’s push for fuel efficient cars has resulted in better mileage, and fewer stops at the pump.

The GAO study is just the latest review of federal spending that paints a grim picture of the nation’s infrastructure. Just keeping spending at current levels, the GAO said, would require a near doubling of the gas tax to 32 cents a gallon, and that would jump to as high as 46 cents should the federal government add spending to fix crumbling infrastructure and build new roads.

New pay-per-mile scheme would boost taxes 250 percent

The average driver pays about $96 a year in federal gas taxes, said GAO. Should the administration seek to raise the highway trust fund from $34 billion to the $78 billion needed to fix and maintain roads, that could rise to $248. Translated into a pay-per-mile plan, drivers would face a tax of 2.2 cents per mile compared to the 0.9 cents they pay now. Trucks would pay far more.

“We modeled the average mileage fee rates that would be needed for passenger vehicles and commercial trucks to meet three illustrative Highway Trust Fund revenue targets ranging from about $34 billion to $78.4 billion per year. To meet these targets, a driver of a passenger vehicle with average fuel efficiency would pay from $108 to $248 per year in mileage fees compared to the $96 they currently pay annually in federal gasoline tax,” said GAO.

The administration floated that plan in the first term, but scrapped it when it was met with public outrage. However, several states and some in Congress are now eyeing the plan, keeping it alive as a federal option.

One Response

  1. gary says:

    people will vote with their wallets and stop driving into town to buy extra things, such as go out to dinner, go to the movie, go to the mall, etc. This is a very bad idea.

    People will disconnect their odometers and hackers will find ways to reset the mileage registers in modern cars (for a nominal fee) or sell boot leg software to do the job. Some older folks might recall that the insurance industry floated this idea many years ago and got massive backlash over it.

    Two years ago, I made two trips to town per week. Last year, I dropped it to 1 per week at the first half of the year. Towards the last half it is down to 2 to 3 trips per month. For 2013, I am planning to drop that to one trip every 4 weeks. This is happening by switching over to powder milk and buying eggs from local people down the road. Everything else we can buy and store for at least a month.

    There are endless ways to raise taxes but you get to a point where it becomes so much tax, it has a negative effect.

    Our city raised restaurant taxes to 12.5 % for 2013. I can tell you that, there are only 1/3 the number of people in the restaurants as were there last year. Some of the restaurants are starting mandatory gratuities of 18% if you go with a group of 4 people. That works out to a 30.5% fee on top of your food bill. Sorry, but it is no longer worth it to me for the little bit of convenience to go out to eat, pay $40 for dinner, $8 for fuel to get in to and back from town, and then have Feds slap me with a per mile tax to do that. The losers will be the service industry that sells convenience.

    I’m actually feeling better these days, as I cook everything from raw ingredients. And I plan to be growing my own fruits, vegies, and eggs for next year. Thus further cutting down my need to buy stuff from other people. I’ve already stopped buying convenience foods, prepackaged foods, fast food, GMO’s, and Pesticide grown fruits and vegies. I’ll just keep adding these “Don’ts to the list” as it is getting easier and easier to just keep cutting these conveniences out. It is amazing how much time you have when you turn off cable TV, stop driving around, and focus on getting rid of goods and services.


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