Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax

The concept of an additional 'Vehicle Miles Traveled' (VMT) tax on the distances that people drive their automobiles is one that has been strongly criticized from many perspectives for quite a long time. Some call it a regressive tax in that a VMT tax would cost more for rural drivers and other long commuters. Some consider it an invasion of privacy because a VMT tax probably would require GPS-type mileage tracking devices installed in vehicles. And some think that it just costs too much to own and operate a car already.

Federal Gasoline Tax
Many manufactured vehicles are now designed to use less gasoline, or none at all. This trend may at some point achieve a scale that will actually impact the funding for the currently typical infrastructure that these vehicles require to operate -- as well as some mass transportation funding.
(Excerpt) "The increasing inability of the federal gas tax to pay for better roads, rails and bridges, comes from several factors … more fuel-efficient cars, people driving less in the weak economy and because … gas tax proceeds [have been raided] for other projects for years."
Source: The New York Times
Bay Area Transportation Planners: Consider VMT Tax Alternative
(Excerpt) "Transportation planners know they would have a tough time selling such a radical plan but argue the goal of the so-called VMT (vehicle miles traveled) tax is to reduce traffic and pollution while raising revenue needed to fill potholes and bolster public transit service.
'I don't want to say it's pie in the sky. A VMT charge is really an option for the future to be looked at and considered,' said Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the agency leading the effort. He said realistically the plan is so complex it might take a decade to implement if the public buys in.
Under the early proposal, the VMT tax could cost up to a dime per mile, or the cost may peak during rush hour and bottom out, perhaps to less than a penny per mile, when the roads are mostly empty."
Confusing Acronym: VMT
'Vehicle Miles Traveled' tax; or perhaps simply named:
"Vehicle Mileage Tax" (copyright notice 2012)

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