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WA State to Test Pay-By-Mile Fee Instead of Gas Tax

WSDOT to test pay by mile driving program (Getty Images)
WSDOT to test pay by mile driving program (Getty Images)

The public first began to hear about this idea last year. Now, the department of transportation is getting ready to test it.

Opportunity Washington (OW) reports very soon the WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) is going to begin testing a pay-by-mile fee, by having drivers ‘pay’ $2.4 cents for every mile they drive. The test will not use real money, says OW, but will allow the state to monitor driving habits, and drivers to provide input as to whether they believe it will work.

According to various sources, OW reports fuel efficient vehicles, more conservative driving habits and (on the West side) electric or hybrid vehicles are significantly cutting down on the amount of fuel purchased by Washington state drivers.

This in turn, they say, is causing less and less revenue to be generated by the gas tax. Despite politicians raising it virtually every legislative session, including big pushes by Gov. Inslee, the amount of money is dropping.

So, the state is considering a pay-by-mile system. It would charge you for every mile you drive, every day of the year. OW wants to know your opinion on this, you can click here to take their survey on the subject.

Supposedly the test is going to begin early in 2018. Supporters say it’s the only way to offset falling gas tax revenue. Critics say it will only cause more drivers to cut back on miles, and it penalizes drivers who’s jobs require a lot of miles.

Here’s a novel idea: How about the state government spending less and wasting less money on projects, such as the economic sinkhole known as the Bertha Tunnel project by Seattle?

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