Obama wants to tax miles driven

Winningreen Issue Alert               A050511

Big Brother Barack wants to tax miles driven

By Gretchen Randall

Date: May 5, 2011

Following an earlier report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the administration has floated a plan that would tax drivers for every mile driven to raise more money for transportation projects.  The “Transportation Opportunities Act” is the name of the plan being considered that would track and tax vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by every car. This would be done by installing electronic equipment in each car to track miles driven and calculate and collect the tax when filling up at a gas station.

The CBO did allow that the rate of taxation might differ depending on whether miles driven are in-city or on a highway, the size of the vehicle as well as whether you are driving during rush hour versus less crowded times.  Beyond the cost of installing such electronic equipment in cars, is the amount of personal information that would be gathered.  With this electronic equipment, the federal government would be able to track people’s driving habits, speed, and destinations — all privacy issues that have never before been tracked by our government.

This VMT tax would be in addition to the fuel tax now collected at the gas pump.  The administration claims more revenue is needed for road projects.  However, the administration acknowledged “user acceptance” would be critical in getting this program approved.

Comment: The government will be able to know it you go to a political meeting, a church service, a tea party rally, or your bank once they require GPS type equipment in our cars.  Beyond the privacy issue, taxing miles driven is unfair for those in rural areas where great distances between towns already force drivers to pay much more for gasoline than city drivers.

Comment: “On a per mile basis, Obama is favoring heavy battery electric cars at the expense of owners of high fuel efficiency, lightweight (least road damage) vehicles. Effectively, a hidden  agenda if only miles used per vehicle are taxed,”  according to Bob Brooks, automotive writer.

Background and links:   Find out more about the plan here: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/151765-cbo-says-taxing-drivers-based-on-miles-driven-a-real-option-for-raising-revenues  
or    http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/159397-obama-floats-plan-to-tax-cars-by-the-mile

Contact: Gretchen Randall
Winningreen LLC
Chicago, IL
Phone: 773-857-5086
e-mail: grandall@winningreen.com