Never mind that Washington state government has not shown any real ability to spend within its means. With automotive technology improving gas mileage, the state is actually losing millions of dollars with the gas tax. Throw in a small, but growing, number of electric cars and hybrids and that revenue goes down even farther.

What is being proposed? A pay as you go tax that would charge you by the mile you drive, or perhaps assign tolls to various roads around the state. Either way, what was once a far-fetched idea is closer to reality because a state committee studying the issue now says it is "feasible." Less than a year ago, the state had a very different assessment of this type of tax.

Washington Transportation Secretary Paul Hammond now says the question is if this idea is acceptable for the state. If yes, in what form?

The real question should be will Washington drivers accept such a tax and how could it be abused or misused by the state to gather revenue. How would it affect businesses?  Washington already has one of the top ten gas taxes in the U.S.

Oregon voters could be affected as well. The Oregon Legislature is expected to consider a bill this year that says drivers with vehicles getting at least 55 miles per gallon be required to pay a per-mile tax starting in 2015.

Should such taxes be passed in Washington and Oregon, it will no doubt have a significant impact on drivers who invested in hybrid or electric vehicles (who hope to recoup their investment in a few years through lower fuel bills. What do you think? Take our poll.

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