According to an economist at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal government should examine the question of taxing drivers by the mile as a means of raising higher revenue for highway programs.
According to the Washington Examiner, “Chad Shirley, CBO’s deputy assistant director for microeconomic studies, gave a presentation that says federal gas tax revenues are falling short of federal spending on highway programs. But to resolve that problem, Shirley didn’t propose less federal spending, and instead offered three suggestions.”
1) Charge drivers more through the implementation of a “vehicle-miles traveled charges.”
2) Charging them more when traffic is bad. Shirley calls that “congestion pricing.”
3) Charging tolls on “additional existing interstates.”
The idea of a “vehicle miles traveled tax,” or a “VMT” tax, was considered in 2011 in a bill that never came to fruition. That plan “foresaw the installation of equipment on people’s cars and trucks that would measure how far they drive, and the collection of taxes electronically through a reading of those devices at gas stations.”
Whether or not these new suggestions will be considered again remains to be seen. The CBO says that its three suggestions are not higher taxes or fees, but as an attempt to “make federal highway spending more productive for the economy.”
Such proposals are invasive of people’s privacy, and represent another ridiculous attempt at trying to regulate the behaviors of people.