Vehicle miles traveled tax
By: +David Herron; Date: 2021-01-03T23:53:30.233Z
Tags: EV Taxes
Car ownership fees based on how far the car is driven .. the US gasoline tax is effectively a vehicle miles traveled tax.
Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Tax is a policy proposed in the United States of taxing motorists based on how many miles they have traveled. It has been proposed as an infrastructure funding mechanism that would eventually replace the fuel tax. Currently the taxes funding the road system are gathered via a fuel tax under the assumption the more fuel one burns the further one has driven. However hybrid and electric cars negate the assumption because people can drive while using less (or no) fuel. A VMT Tax would charge motorists based on their road consumption by measuring their mileage. The fuel tax is no-longer seen as a sustainable way of financing road infrastructure.
- could be implemented via the use of GPS units inside every vehicle
- charges could be expanded to charge motorists based on vehicle class, when they drive, ...
There are obvious big brother type issues in that the government would become involved with measuring every trip taken in order to calculate the correct tax. Could it be done anonymously? An advantage of the existing fuel tax is it's completely anonymous by being taken at the pump.
One proposal is extending the existing transponder system that collects tolls on bridges and highways in some places. Imagine transponders in every car, and readers strung along the highways.
A 2009 MSNBC article ( LaHood's talk of mileage tax nixed) went over how the Obama Administration (at that time) rejected the possibility of enacting a VMT, but that efforts were underway around the country to test how it could be set up. It might be a situation where the technology is still under development only to be sprung upon us when it's ready.
A report published by the U of Minn Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute studied how to implement a system of distance based road user fees that maintained privacy considerations. It used a gizmo attached to the vehicles CAN-BUS (required in all cars since 1996) to record distance traveled. The gizmo accounted for gasoline taxes paid and reports distance traveled using the cell phone text messaging network.