Classic Government Shortsightedness
The pay-per-mile idea is gaining momentum like a big rig at the top of the Grapevine… Why this would even be a consideration as opposed to raising the federal gas tax is further proof of how our Federal government is lousy at making any kind of reasonable infrastructure proposal.
First, it has been our governments pushing vehicle manufacturers to become more fuel efficient. Didn’t they consider that if you push the vehicles to go from and average of 15MPG to 30MPG you’re going lose half of your gas tax revenue??? Did that not cross anyone’s mind? It’s simple math!
Second, and most importantly, a pay-per-mile tax is a bad idea because it taxes those who drive vehicles that put less wear and tear on our roads (e.g. small vehicles) at the same rate as vehicles that put more wear and tear on our roads (e.g. large vehicles). Unless the government plans on taxing large vehicles differently than small vehicles. Gas tax doesn’t have this problem. Larger vehicles are inherently lower MPG than smaller vehicles.
Third, certain roads require more maintenance than other roads. Weather conditions really dictate how long a road is going to last. So, some poor sap living in a mild climate region is going to be subsidizing someone living in a inclement region.
Raise gas taxes! Or better yet, make roads toll roads… Or even better! Issue Highway bonds (and make the purchase of them 100% income tax deductible)! For those traveling the open road, I’m sure they’ll be more than willing to plop down some money on highway bonds. It’s a good investment!