questionshow do you feel about a mileage tax?


In Maryland, we have to get our emissions checked every couple of years and they record the odometer reading each time. The number of miles on each of my cars is already known by Maryland so IMO, it comes down to whether I would be paying more or less tax overall. I'm guessing my cars are about average in terms of gas usage so I wouldn't expect a big change. I don't like taxes but as long as some of the revenue is used to maintain the roads, I don't really mind. I do benefit from better constructed roads.


Florida used to have mandatory annual emissions inspections, during which our mileage was recorded. Not a problem for me at all. I'm inclined to think a tax that in large part comes back to the states as road repair/construction grants and is geared to the actual amount of driving I do is more equitable than an unavoidable tax on gas at the pump.

I'm not overly worried about rumors and suspicions of GPS devices; get back to me when there's a specific proposal on the table.


It's the same thing. If you drive a lot you buy a lot of gas and pay into those taxes. I do most of my driving to and from work everyday and I don't get compensated or have a company car. So now I'll get taxed more for driving to my job to be a productive human being and contribute to society. Brilliant!


I think replacing the gas tax with a mileage tax is a great idea. The gas tax is more punitive to people who drive gas guzzlers (businesses with heavy-duty trucks, soccer moms with SUVs, poorer folks with older cars, etc.) rather than the uber-efficient (and sometimes expensive) cars coming out today, and it's certainly not helping to keep gas affordable. With a mileage tax, assuming the rate isn't tiered based on vehicle type, everyone is on the same playing field regardless of what car you drive.

The mileage is already collected from the existing annual inspections; that could be easily leveraged for purposes of a mileage tax, but knowing how Washington thinks, such a solution won't even be on the table. That kind of thinking led to the government shooting itself in the foot by requiring more efficient vehicles amid the climate change discussion, and now they're wondering why gas tax revenues are declining. Oops.


@smallbigtall: I hope any mileage tax would be tiered on the weight of the vehicles. Heavier vehicles damage roads more than lighter cars. My motorcycle or Mini Cooper are both much nicer to the road than a Suburban and of course an 18 wheeler. As heavier vehicles tend to be less fuel efficient, they are currently paying more of a burden to maintain the roads (albeit, the correlation is not perfect). I don't see any reason why this should cease to be the case.


I'm OK with paying for something I use.

j5 j5

@dcalotta: Well, the reason this issue is up for discussion is that they're getting less revenue due to advances in fuel efficiency and alternative fuel sources. The current gas tax may contribute to road maintenance, but it also encourages the purchase of hybrid, electric, and otherwise fuel-efficient cars that diminish our reliance on fossil fuels. Those types cars aren't being pushed, funded, subsidized, etc. by the government because they do less damage to the roads.

My point was that by replacing it with a mileage-based tax, it forces owners of those cars back into paying a level of taxes that they otherwise might have avoided, thus putting them back in the same playing field as the rest of us. But, to encourage the purchase of more fuel efficient cars they would indeed have to tier the tax rates, but then it'd effectively be the same as the existing gas tax (plus a "just kidding" to those who opted for an electric/hybrid vehicle).


@smallbigtall: I tend to think (hope?) that the mileage rates would be pegged to some expected maintenance cost and indexed annually, as opposed to decided willy nilly. The cash inflows need to increase to meet the maintenance budget, so I doubt that anybody, hybrid drivers or otherwise, would see the same or less cash going towards this tax.


Replace the gas tax. Yeah right. We all know this will be in addition to.


I'd prefer a tin foil hat tax.


The problem is since cars are mandated to have better MPG the government is getting less revenue from the gas tax as they were in the past. I have no issue with the tax going into miles and not by gas. Look at all the electric cars that are not paying any gas tax yet benefit from the tax that is collected by the gas vehicles (road repair).


@stile99: The government will end up doing both. Just because they can.


Well, whatever they decide to do, I hope that it is terribly complex so that the only real way to figure it out is to have to spend money to hire a car tax accountant or buy Turbo Tax Car edition. Because that's exactly what we need from our taxes - more difficulties. Yay.


In our county we have roughly 200,000 cars - if you charge a flat fee on the tag of $20 per, the roadway fund would have an estimated $4,000,000 per year from a sustainable source. Even if the registered vehicles drop, you would see the inverse with public transportation which is currently being subsidized by our local gas tax any ways.

Right now the roadway expansion/construction are funded by impact fee(s) assessed on NEW construction, which as we know is not a sustainable source. This is not to be confused with roadway maintence which comes out of the general fund for public works.


Keep in mind, both the state and the Fed tax gas.
And both dip into highway funds for non-highway purposes.

j5 j5

People who use more gas should pay more. They contribute more to global warming and smog. Most of those soccer moms don't need SUVs. When I grew up soccer moms drove station wagons and I don't think there has been a significant increase in the need for soccer moms to go off-road since then. The poor people who drive older cars had the cash for clunkers program. If they didn't take advantage of it that is their own fault.

The man hours involved in implementing this would cancel out a lot of the benefit. Any company with a fleet of vehicles would probably have to hire a full time employee to manage this stuff. Car rental companies would have to come up with whole new systems to track and charges these new taxes. For some companies this would represent a huge increase in their tax bill. Every UPS truck that runs on natural gas would suddenly have a big tax bill they didn't have before. I don't think the increase in tax revenue is worth the negative impact on the economy.


@mtm2: Absolutely. And, lets be honest, they want a new tax because they are imposing such stringent guidelines on fuel economy. Someone finally put two and two together and thought "Oh noes... better fuel economy means less gallons of gas used and less taxes for us. Better find a way to get that money back!"


What about all the gas tax revenue that would be lost for fuel used for boats, lawn mowers, chainsaws, off-road vehicles, etc? It seems like the rates for mileage-based tax would have to be higher (for on-the-road drivers) to compensate.


@kbsig106: As a highway design engineer, I can tell you that $4M is nothing when it comes to new road construction. An average 2 lane roadway will cost about $325k /mile, bridges, interstates and highways are a lot more expensive.


It's just another f'n Republicatarian scam.
We already pay a mileage tax. Every time I get gas, I pay taxes on the amount of gas I use. Great mpg- less taxes; heavy POS- more taxes.
This already works- just keep them bastids hands out of the pool!
What this will really do is somewhat "equalize" the amount of taxes paid betwixt Hummer folk and a kid with a scooter.
Sounds fair, don't it?

Also check the fine print.
Remember when all those Hummers were on the road? That's because the Red Party had a "heavy equipment" clause in the DMV that the Hummer fit in. The total cost of ownership of a new 5mpg Hummer, over 5 years, was 20% cheaper than my $20k Toyota.
If you rent/ lease a vehicle in a company's name, under this law, you write it all off.
Watch for the 1% getting a new car every year, with a new corp card, that you will have to pay extra form to pay back their exemptions.


Eh mileage, or per gallon, makes no difference to me. They're going to tax us if every way possible, as many times as possible. As far as government GPS? Won't happen, it's too expensive of a program to maintain.


Electric cars will get taxed 2x. Once for the electricity and again for the mileage.
Who is behind this?


@scmtim: This is not about global warming or saving the enviroment it has to do with lost revenue due to cars getting better MPG. Back in the day a car that got 20 MPG was wizardly now that's looked as a bad thing.


Why isn't it about global warming? Just because you don't want it to be about global warming? Why do you think the government is mandating better and better mileage from car manufacturers? You can't just remove an aspect of an issue just because it makes your argument easier to make.


You know how the old saying goes, "I am from the government and I am here to help." The only people who benefit are those raking in the money from these taxes. The american people continue to suffer.


@scmtim: Global thought that myth and hype was done years ago. Currently, GREENHOUSE GASES "eerie music"


@nmchapma: For bonding purposes was my suggestion on the $4,000,000 per year. Our community is about 850 sq miles and we have two gas taxes that pay for most of it.