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Your Take: A Driving Tax?

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TaxesThere are reports of an undated draft of a plan to tax car drivers based on how many miles they drive. The White House was quick to say that it wasn’t an Administration proposal, just an idea that’s been floating around but never formally circulated. In other words, it’s just an idea. While pundits on both sides will try to spin this issue one way or another, the question of whether we should be taxing drivers based on mileage is a good one. I don’t know if the draft is worth reading since it doesn’t go into many details, just creates a group that would study the feasibility of a “user fee” like this.

I personally think it’s a good idea but the wrong time to bring it up, since so many families are already in such a financially precarious position (then again, there is never a good time to bring up a new fee or tax!). I think that a user fee would better represent the costs of driving since so much of the cost is an externality. It would also be an incentive for people to use mass transportation and that, hopefully, would spur the construction of a more robust system.

What do you think of a driving tax?

(Photo: alancleaver)

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91 Responses to “Your Take: A Driving Tax?”

  1. Holly says:

    I like the idea of taxing based on mileage driven, but until there is a better public transportation system put in place, I don’t think it is fair. I live in California, and unless you are in the bay area where there is BART, we don’t have very much for public transportation, our state is very spread out.

    Another thing is that in certain states, like California, we do get taxed on miles driven by the taxes added into the fuel price.

  2. Bey says:

    I wanted to kick in one final thought before I give up on this thread, something no one else has pointed out. We’ve been discussing ways drivers have to pay for road construction and maintenance through taxes and tolls — but what about people who don’t drive? Everyone benefits from well-maintained roads. School buses, fire trucks, police cars, utility trucks, and mail delivery vehicles bring essential services to citizens regardless of vehicle ownership. Sticking drivers with the bill seems pretty lopsided.

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      It would be rolled into the cost on customers and consumer products, just like any other fee or tax on businesses.

  3. Vic says:

    Before we start hiking up the gas tax or introducing new taxes, maybe we should end the big oil tax subsidies first.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/business/04bptax.html

    On an interview with ABC News, House Speaker John Boehner is enlightened for a moment and says we ‘certainly something we should be looking at’.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obama-urges-congress-eliminate-oil-company-subsidies/story?id=13462559

    Obama pleased to hear this, sends a proposal back to Congress stating they should “take immediate action to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry and use the dollars to invest in clean energy.”

    But of course, it gets shot down when big oil reminds them who they work for.

    “Boehner’s spokesman said the plan was insufficient because it would “only raise taxes and increase prices at the pump.” “

  4. Harry says:

    Why should be be tax again for the driver when we are being taxes on the gas in the first place?
    TAX ON TOP OF TAX

  5. U Avalos says:

    This tax is stupid on so many levels. Only someone with an eco-agenda would seriously consider it.

    1. We are in a freakin’ recession. Great way to help people out.

    2. Govts have shown time and again that the only thing they know how to do with your money is misspend it.

    “hopefully, would spur the construction of a more robust system”.

    I’m laughing right now. Really hard.

    3. Existing public transportation is incapable of handling a greater number of commuters. I should know. I live in one of the major suburban areas of NYC. It has virtually no public transportation. If you want to get somewhere by bus, good luck. You just added an hour to your trip. Most people that don’t drive take taxis.

    4. Existing public transportation is already expensive. Again, I should know. It costs me $300+ a month to commute to NYC by train. And you know what? It sucks…

    The bottom line is if you want to motivate “green” transportation, there are better ways to do it—ex: create bike lanes

  6. J. Munoz says:

    I also think it shouldn’t be federally mandated or anything. If a state wants higher gas tax or a county-then let them. I personally live in a county in FL that does have one of the higher rates and our roads are nice, so I appreciate nice roads. But dont let the federal government decide that-let it be done on a local and state level, they will know best. The big govenment needs to stick to bigger issues and let the states govern themselves!!!

  7. Jill says:

    I have a few problems with this idea. First, as a family of 5 who lives in New England in a “small town” yet physically large in miles, we do not choose to drive a 4whl drive vehicle, but need to. I would never make it up and down my driveway without it. Banks and grocery stores are non-existant in my town and I need to drive to next town over to find one, which can be up to 15 miles each way. The school is 8 miles away. So not only am I paying more already in the gas tax, but now I may pay additional taxes just to get to the bank or school.
    Second, we are a self employed family in the construction field. We have 3 employees so we help provide jobs in this suffering economy. In order to transport the equipment needed for our work (generators, power tools, ladders, large boxes of equipment, etc), we need to drive trucks, and again, being in New England, they are 4whl drive. We provide service work thru out most of New England, therefore my husband can drive anywhere between 50-250 miles a day, and thats just one of the company vehicles. So again, we are paying our fair share of the gas tax as we consume more gas than the average person. Small Businesses are already being taxed everytime they turn around, no wonder most cannot survive.

  8. Pamela says:

    I tried to start this comment 4 times, I am overwhelm with the thought that the people we put into offices are doing nothing but think of ways to take more money from the hard working people. Is that all there is to life, what happen with the gas tax? Where is that going, not to the roads! When dose life get better? Sorry I am so tired of working and not getting anywhere.


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