Tags: driving | tax | highway | gas

Momentum Builds for Driving Tax to Fund Highway System

Image: Momentum Builds for Driving Tax to Fund Highway System

Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 10:50 AM

By Dan Weil

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One day soon you may have to pay a tax on every mile you drive to finance the beleaguered system for maintaining and building highways.

A little black box could be placed next to the dashboard of your car. It would keep count of how far you drive and send that information to the government, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Congress is in discord over how to approach the issue. But some states are looking at how they can implement such programs in the next 10 years or so.

Editor’s Note:
Add Up to $152,046 to Your Social Security Benefits Using Weird Trick

The problem behind this is that Highway Trust Fund is out of money, according to the Times. The Fund receives its money from taxes paid by drivers filling up at gas stations.

But Americans aren't purchasing as much gas as in the past, largely because cars now get better gas mileage.

The 18.4-cents-per-gallon tax hasn't been raised in 20 years, and politicians aren't exactly eager to break that streak, the Times reports.

As for the driving tax, "this really is a must for our nation. It is not a matter of something we might choose to do," Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, tells the paper.

But not everyone is a fan of the black boxes.

"It would force us to surrender our privacy," Mark Perry, an economics professor at University of Michigan, Flint, writes in a column for McClatchy Newspapers.

"Each day more and more of us are required to tell government agencies more and more about ourselves. Do we really want the government collecting data about driving habits?"

Some critics say there is an easy fix: raise the gas taxes and implement a one-time or annual levy for drivers of hybrids and other cars that don't use much gas.

"There is no need for radical surgery when all you need to do is take an aspirin," Randy Rentschler, director of legislation and public affairs at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco Bay Area, tells the Times. "If we do this [implement the black boxes], hundreds of millions of drivers will be concerned about their privacy and a host of other things."

Editor’s Note: Add Up to $152,046 to Your Social Security Benefits Using Weird Trick

Related Stories:

Road Funds on Empty, More States Weigh Gasoline Tax Hikes

US Chamber of Commerce: Raise Gas Tax to Fix Highways

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