Skip to comments.Democrat Congressman: Tax Drivers for Every Mile They Drive
Posted on 07/12/2014 12:35:05 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
While the House and the Senate this week issued measures intended to temporarily replenish the Highway Trust Fund before it runs out of money next month, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) ended the week by proposing to hike - then abolish - the federal fuel tax and replace it with a per-mile fee.
The policy development that Im most excited about and that will reinforce the right practices for the future: After we raise the gas tax, we should abolish it, Blumenauer said on Friday at the liberal Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. The time is right to replace the gas tax, because its no longer an accurate reflection of road use and benefit because of these wildly changing fuel consumption patterns, and replace it with a vehicle mile travel fee regardless of the choice of vehicle fuel.
That technology is available, said Blumenauer, whose home state of Oregon has already had pilot vehicle mile travel fee programs in place for a decade.
And although Blumenauer did not take questions at the event, he attempted to deflect criticism about the vehicle mile travel fee being disadvantageous to rural Americans who not only dont have access to public transportation but also need cars or trucks to operate their businesses.
Thats exactly the reverse of reality, Blumenauer said. Our continued reliance on single-occupant vehicles in too much of America and on gallons of fuel consumed to pay for it places rural and small town Americans at a significant disadvantage, because today too many of them have no alternatives to driving.
Blumenauer said gas-sipping people who drive hybrid or electric cars tend to be urban-dwelling and more affluent, while rural Americans tend to drive less fuel-efficient cars.
They are caught at the opposite end of this transportation spending spiral paying more and more while the rest pay less and less, Blumenauer said.
The debate in Congress about how to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent has been going on for decades, and the current federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon has not been increased since 1993, according to the Department of Transportation.
Many proposals have been made over the years, including by Blumenauer, who last year held a press conference to announce his plan for increasing the federal fuel tax to 33.4 cents a gallon for gas and 42.8 cents a gallon for diesel, according to a Dec. 4, 2013 Washington Post report.
Every credible independent report indicates that we are not meeting the demands of our stressed and decaying infrastructure system roads, bridges and transit, Blumenauer said in the Washington Post article. Congress hasnt dealt seriously with the funding issue for 20 years.
With inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit, Blumenauer said.
Also in December 2013, Blumenauer introduced H.R. 3638, the Road Usage Fee Pilot Program Act of 2013, to enact a mileage-based federal gas tax. The bill was referred to committee.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the House put forth measures to replenish funding for the Highway Trust Funds road, bridge and mass transit projects by transferring $10.8 billion in transportation funds using financing mechanisms unrelated to transportation. That bill would extend funding through May 2015.
The Senate voted Thursday to use similar funding strategies but also included language to improve compliance with existing laws not related to transportation such as collecting delinquent Medicare payments from health care providers and tightening rules for mortgage-interest deductions, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Blumenauer said at CAP that higher taxes are needed to improve the U.S. infrastructure.
America is literally falling apart, while were fast losing what used to be a competitive edge with superior infrastructure, Blumenauer said.
Tax members of Congress for every word they say.
Just tie into their cell phones into a simple word counting voice recognition software and build an interface of payroll deductions into the payroll system.
Way to help the poor!
You could keep the highway fund solvent by spending the money only on the highway, and not on pet projects.
Blumenauer needs to be fitted with an electronic tether.
I got a better idea. Tax Democrats for every word they spew.
Better idea: Get rid of ALL Democrats running for Congress this November. We wouldn’t need so many taxes then.
Tax Congresscritters for every stupid idea they try to drive done out throats
It’s a gimmick-driven concept. You’d have to have some gear tied into the vehicle and counting. Of course, there’s only one or two companies selling such a gimmick and this guy is probably getting some campaign funds from one of them.
I will note this too....it wouldn’t take much work to disconnect such a device.....pay $5 a year for fake mileage, just to get out of the $400 that I pay currently for state/federal gas taxes built into the cost of filling up. So I could see a reason to go this way, and cut billions out of the federal grip. Course, they’d wake up a year later and realize the public had gotten around their scheme, and they were seriously hurting from a lack of tax revenue.
And I should note this...I’m from Alabama where five-percent of the state ‘roads’ are still unpaved. Would you be tracking my mileage on dirt roads and making me pay for dirt road transit?
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
No you would not need a gear on the car
It would work like an auto toll tag and only require a RFID tag on the windshield. The charge would be debited from a bank account though an auto pay system like a toll road.
I have been saying this was coming to the electric car crowd for a long time. A lot of the cost of gasoline is actually road tax. Tesla and Leaf drivers don’t pay that tax. Hybrid drivers pay much less than their fair share.
The issue is not the revenue it would raise but that it effectively tracks your movements. The other issue is that it would be you account that that is debited even if you loaned the car to someone.
Of course this would also kill off electric cars because if the drivers have to pay the road tax the extra cost of the car would not be justifiable. So I guess there is a silver lining to everything
How is this suppose to work? As it is now EVERYBODY that drives a car pays gas tax when they fill up. Under this VMT you pay gas tax when you file your taxes. What about the half of America that doesn’t file taxes? Does that mean the rest of us as usual have to foot the bill for everyone?
Okay, IF he adds a rider for those that fly back and forth to their home states from DC - personally pay an air-miles tax directly on their income tax returns.
Let’s adjust user fares for urban mass transit to the true cost of providing the service and make the gas tax money siphoned off for mass transit available for highway projects. The good progressives using mass transit should pay its full cost and the people using highways should pay for the roads via the gas tax or tolls. What could be more fair?
Another option would be to abolish the federal gas tax and turn over highway financing and maintenance to the states and private toll roads. Doing so would eliminate the billions spent on the federal highway bureaucracy.
The Democratic goal has always been to move everybody (except them) into tiny city centers where we can all walk to work or ride the bus.
There are several “sustainable” (I choke on that word) “communities” (there’s another) in the Florida panhandle. The houses are on zero lot lines. They were incredibly expensive as they’re the housing equivalent of a Prius. At night they look like giant parking lots. Everybody is supposed to park in a garage behind the house, but the houses are small and the garages have been turned to other uses. These are the slums of tomorrow today. Anybody who bought into them will lose out in the long run. But, for a while, they got that leg-tingling feeling of being “sustainable.”
When are we going to tax private airplanes, such as those owned by Pelosi and Gore?
We’d fix the debt problem in six months.
This falls directly under unreasonable search and seizure.
They want to know every mile you drive, where you went and when you do it. (It’s only fair ya’ know).
And on top of this they will still insist on a gasoline tax.
At this rate we’ll all need to wear pedometers so they can tax every step we make because it effects ‘something’ somewhere.
Is this the dickhead with the bicycle on his lapel??
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