A tax based on miles travelled might be needed to fill a growing gap in gas tax revenue as vehicles become more efficient.
Transportation secretary Ray LaHood told the Detroit News earlier this week that “Eventually people in the communities are going to persuade their members of Congress: We’re willing to raise taxes, we’re willing to pay tolls, we’re willing to go to vehicle miles traveled because we want better roads, better bridges.”
This isn’t the first time LaHood floated the idea. In 2009 he suggested that a miles-travelled tax might be worthwhile, only for White House spokesman Robert Gibbs to flatly reject the idea.
The gas tax hasn’t moved since 1993, and the federal Highway Trust Fund is drying up. Congress spent $34 billion to cover shortfalls between 2008 and 2010, and $18.8 billion has been approved to fill the gap from 2013 to 2014.
But LaHood isn’t explicitly backing the idea; instead he’s trying to convince Americans that they should push for such action. Regardless of how he chooses to phrase it, LaHood doesn’t have much more time in the spotlight because Charlotte, N.C. mayor Anthony Foxx will soon assume the position in his place.
[Source: the Detroit News]