California motorists that spend a lot of time on the road could be in for a shock. The state’s legislature is considering a bill that would explore a tax based on vehicle miles traveled or VMT for short.
The folks in Sacramento are looking for alternative sources of revenue in order to avoid hiking the gas tax. The Golden State already has one of the highest fuel duties in the country. Fees collected from this source help pay for infrastructure projects.
Implementing a VMT tax could be considered something of a hedge against hybrids and other efficient vehicles. Motorists that drive fuel-sipping models aren’t paying as much to maintain roads, bridges and highways as, say, a person that commutes to work in a Ram 3500. This could be a way of leveling the playing driving field.
However, critics point out that a tax of this sort unfairly punishes people that live in rural areas and have to travel greater distances. They also mention that shortfalls caused by fuel-efficient vehicles are blown way out of proportion.
As it stands the proposed legislation only deals with a voluntary pilot program. Conspicuously absent are specific figures. Still, even talk of things like this has got to be a major concern for motorists in California.
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