Tax Cars By The Mile? Obama Floats New Plan
The White House is quickly backpedaling away from a report obtained by Transportation Weekly that indicates the Feds are considering a plan to tax cars by the miles they are driven.
According to The Hill online, the plan is part of the administration's Transportation Opportunities Act. Transportation Weekly obtained an undated draft of the proposal. White House Spokesperson Jennifer Psaki said wednesday:
“This is not an administration proposal, This is not a bill supported by the administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not taken into account the advice of the president’s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.”--The Hill.
In March, the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, seemed to support an idea for creating an office in the Transportation Department that would tax cars based upon the miles driven. Electronic monitoring devices would be placed upon vehicles, and taxes levied based upon milage. Motorists would make payments electronically at filling stations. The original plan was hatched by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N Dakota). His idea was to tax vehicles by the mile to raise additional Federal highway funds; however Federal gas taxes already cover that. With fuel prices floating at $4 per gallon, the White House is trying to imply this was from the CBO, but observers will be watching closely to see if this plan, or the Transportation Opportunity Act will resurface in the future.