Will Charge-By-Mile Replace Gas Tax in WA? Yes, But Not In Our Lifetime
So much buzz has been surrounding the pilot plan starting soon in Washington state, where some 2,800 drivers will test out a DOT plan to charge motorists by the mile, instead of charging them a gas tax.
But before you get in too much of an uproar, consider the in depth questions posted by KIRO Radio in Seattle. They took a look at the plan, and found while officials want to do it, it's a LONG way down the road.
In short, while state officials want to implement the charge-by-mile to replace the gas tax, it can't happen overnight. State officials say our debt is part of the reason. We are so 'leveraged' right now and tied to the gas tax that it will take at least a 25-year transition. Officials with the Department of Revenue and Transportation say we have about a "25-year" debt we are dealing with when it comes to roads.
Plus, due to the large amount of older vehicles still on the the road, GPS cannot be used to track their mileage. So while Oregon plans to implement it as soon as possible, they are NOT going to get rid of the gas tax altogether. They are trying to use a mixed plan. Some say the gas tax will never go away, and it will end up being a mix of pay-per-mile and pay at the pump. The reason for wanting to replace the gas tax is, as cars become more efficient and people change driving habits, gas tax revenue drops--less gas sold. Many say the same thing will happen here, a mixed tax.
Some officials say that should be done here. For more specific information click here to read the KIRO article. In fact many of us won't be here by the time this ever fully comes to fruition.