By Jeffrey N. Ross, May 8, 2014
Driving a fuel-efficient car might be great for the environment and
even better for your wallet, but state and federal projects funded by
gasoline are starting to feel the pinch.
It's a classic conundrum: we expect a safe and well-maintained infrastructure that relies on a system that will continue to draw less revenue as our cars get more efficient.
As agencies try to find a way to pay for repair and maintenance of roadways, CBS News reports that more states are testing pay-as-you-drive taxes to augment or replace those tied to gasoline sales.
A few states will begin pilot programs soon, using devices similar to
those used by some car insurance companies to track the mileage and
driving style of drivers who opt to use the device. Next year, Oregon
will start the largest program to date, using 5,000 volunteers that will
pay a tax of 1.5 cents per mile rather than 30 cents per gallon.
California, Minnesota and Nevada are also looking into similar programs.
While they could raise more money that could be used to upgrade
deteriorating roadways across the U.S., pay-per-mile taxes could also be
seen as punishment toward drivers who choose
vehicles like hybrids or electric vehicles. With a per-mile gas tax,
the incentive would just be to drive fewer miles rather than burn less
Jan SooHoo's comment on Facebook, May 10, 2014: Here's another article about VMT replacing the gas tax. In Oregon, the
plan is for 1.5 cents per mile. The new bill introduced by DeSaulniers
for California pegs the proposed rate at 5 cents per mile. Yes, we have
more road miles to maintain, but we also have more people to pay this
"fee". A threefold difference seems extreme.