Vehicle Mileage Tax Under Consideration
"We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled," LaHood was quoted as saying by Associated Press. However, most transportation experts believe this is a measure intended for the long run and will not help solve today' problems.
The idea caught on, on an official level at least, in several US states. Idaho and Rhode Island are talking about it, while North Carolina went even further and proposed last December the introduction of a quarter cent tax for every mile traveled. Needles to say, motorists are not happy with the idea.
Besides the Vehicle Mileage Tax (VMT), the US Government is looking into ways of funding the transportation system through public-private ventures. LaHood believes the Obama administration is "thinking outside the box on how we fund our infrastructure in America."
The current federal share of highway funding program will expire on September 30. Last year, the gap between the money received through the gas tax revenues and the money needed to fund projects amounted to $8 billion. The discrepancy is expected to rise this year.
This is a direct result of the impact fuel-efficient cars have on today's market.
With more and more models coming out and with the prospect of affordable full electric vehicles on the horizon, VMT could be the only solution to fund infrastructure projects.
If you hate it already, think this way: instead of paying one dollar (arbitrary number) plus tax/gallon, you will pay zero dollars plus tax/mile. We like it, but we can't help to wonder if the VMT will be introduced on top of the gas taxes or will replace them.