Monday, August 22, 2011

Taxing Mileage

Several recent news articles have mentioned the possibility of taxing miles driven rather than (or in addition to) taxing gasoline.

On the one hand, this is a fair way of making sure that drivers of electric vehicles share the cost of maintaining roads.

But if it is to be enacted fairly, any such law will have to:
  • avoid placing an unfair burden on rural drivers, who generally must drive further to work and school, and earn less than their urban counterparts; and
  • ensure Americans that the GPS devices that would track mileage are not also used inappropriately by government to track the locations and movements of citizens.
 Maybe any such legislation could be made more fair by correlating the tax rate to zip codes and to vehicle weight.  The latter probably has the greatest impact on road wear, after all, and correlation to zip codes could help keep us from placing yet another burden on farmers, ranchers, and other rural workers.

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