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Your Take: A Driving Tax?

Posted By Jim On 05/06/2011 @ 7:36 am In Your Take | 91 Comments

There are reports [3] of an undated draft of a plan [4] 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 [5]. 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 [6])

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[3] reports: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/159397-obama-floats-plan-to-tax-cars-by-the-mile

[4] undated draft of a plan: http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/flooraction/Jan2011/draftdot.pdf

[5] externality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality

[6] alancleaver: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4121400351/sizes/l/

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