WASHINGTON – A House committee chairman said Tuesday that he wants Congress to enact a mileage-based tax on cars and trucks to pay for highway programs now rather than wait years to test the idea.
Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., said he believes the technology exists to implement a mileage tax. He said he sees no point in waiting years for the results of pilot programs since such a tax system is inevitable as federal gasoline tax revenues decline.
"Why do we need a pilot program? Why don't we just phase it in?" said Oberstar, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman. Oberstar is drafting a six-year transportation bill to fund highway and transit programs that is expected to total around a half trillion dollars.
A congressionally mandated commission on transportation financing alternatives recommended switching to a vehicle-miles traveled tax, but estimated it would take a decade to put a national system in place.
"I think it can be done in far less than that, maybe two years," Oberstar said at a House hearing. He was responding to testimony by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who recommended that the transportation bill include pilot programs in every state to test the viability of a mileage-based tax.
Blumenauer said public acceptance, not technology, is the main obstacle to a mileage-based tax.
Pilot programs "would be able to increase public awareness and comfort and it would hasten the day we could make the transition," Blumenauer said.
Oberstar shrugged off that concern.
"I'm at a point of impatience with more studies," Oberstar said. He suggested that Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the highways and transit subcommittee, set up a meeting of transportation experts and members of Congress to figure out how it could be done.
The tax would entail equipping vehicles with GPS technology to determine how many miles a car has been driven and whether on interstate highways or secondary roads. The devices would also calculate the amount of tax owed.
Top lawmaker wants mileage-based tax on vehicles... NOW
Posted 28 April 2009 - 03:19 PM
Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:47 PM
Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:53 PM
F*ck this guy and this stupid ass idea. Democrats are retards.
Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:56 PM
Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:04 PM
This is a god damned joke!
Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:11 PM
Posted 28 April 2009 - 08:44 PM
If the gas tax is lowered to help compensate, then the people who use the roads the most pay the most. Not only does that sound quite Republican, it also adds another reason to consider bundling trips out to save more money, in addition to using less fuel.
Unless of course you are a whiny Republican pissed that he has to drive all over the place in a huge truck - then it is not a "fair share" tax but a "tax and spend Democrat plan".
There are a lot of problems with implementing a plan like this, but something will have to be done in the future to keep our roads in repair.
What other things could we do?
Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:07 PM
What other things could we do?
Legalize pot and tax it.
Personally, I would prefer toll roads to mileage tax.
Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:56 PM
Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:08 PM
Mileage tax is more regressive where a toll, oddly enough in this case,would be progressive.
You can't allow the Big Three to build vehicles that get modest MPG and then turn around and take the person when they buy the vehicle, tax them property tax then the gall to try and tax how FAR they drive. Insidious.
Modernize each states funding method. Byzantine is a word I heard today to describe it.
Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:16 PM