Obama Administration Shoots Down LaHood Mileage Tax Idea

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Shot dead before it was even born ...

Via Techdirt, from Fox: Obama Administration Shoots Down LaHood Mileage Tax Idea

The Mileage tax, proposed in Oregon and some other states, and due to be proposed nationally, had the following debut for the US:

From the article:

"We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled," the former Illinois Republican lawmaker said.

Asked about the claim, transportation department spokeswoman Lori Irving immediately shot it down.

"The policy of taxing motorists based on how many miles they have traveled is not and will not be Obama administration policy," she said.

While I might think it a good idea from the point of view of managing traffic and replacing the gas tax as a source of funding, it will likely be more expensive to administer and politically unpopular, suggesting now is not the right time to pursue such a strategy.

The gas tax should be milked for all it is worth, until enough vehicles have switched away that it ceases to be viable. Scientific experiments on the technology underlying road pricing, and on the behavioral response are all worthy endeavors, but deployment is clearly premature.

1 Comment

I can't imagine more than three or four possible vehicle fuel sources -- gasoline, diesel, electric, and maybe CNG. Three out of the four are already measured and taxed. Nothing's stopping requiring special electricity delivery that's measured and taxed separately too. To be equitable, all forms should be taxed so that they are equivalent with regard to weight-miles.

What we don't need is a mass deployment of transponders. Never mind the privacy issue (I use a toll transponder), just the logistics themselves are insane.

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on February 20, 2009 5:18 PM.

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