A week after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood floated the idea of taxing drivers by-the-mile-driven rather than by-the-gallon-of-gas-purchased and the White House’s near-immediate denial that such a tax was under consideration, a federal commission has recommended just such as tax.
In a report released today, the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission recommended that,
A federal funding system based on more direct forms of “user pay” charges, in the form of a charge for each mile driven (commonly referred to as a vehicle miles traveled or VMT fee system),
has emerged as the consensus choice for the future…
Commence the transition to a new, more direct user charge system as soon as possible and commit to deploying a comprehensive system by 2020…
Ensure that, once implemented, mileage-based fees and any other charges are set to meet the
designated federal share of national surface transportation investment needs, and index these rates to inflation.
Initiate an extensive public outreach effort to create a broad understanding of the current funding
problem, the proposed solution, the intended method of implementation, and the anticipated
impact on individual system users.
So the government plans on monitoring how much you drive and taxing you on that basis. Note that fuel efficient vehicles won’t save you from the tax.
The Commission’s report is available here.