New York Republican Rep. Tom Reed, co-chair of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, said there are “legitimate conversations” now taking place among members of Congress about implementing a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) system that would charge drivers for the number of miles they travel as a way to fund a large-scale infrastructure bill.
Joe Biden’s incoming Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg floated the idea of a VMT system recently as the administration prepares infrastructure legislation valued at about $1 trillion.
“In the long term, we need to bear in mind also that as vehicles become more efficient and as we pursue electrification, sooner or later, there will be questions about whether the gas tax can be effective at all,” Buttigieg said.
Sounds like the Republican Reed is interested.
“There’s an appetite on the left for the fair-share argument and raising revenue, so I think that’s going to be part of the conversation,” Reed said during a discussion organized by the Economic Club of Washington. “The gas tax, I still don’t see a gas tax increase on the horizon, maybe an inflationary raise there, that could be something that maybe gets folks together, but there’s other revenue increases that are out there.”
I’m sure you know the term revenue increases means tax increases.
As recently as 2019 this idea was pursued in Wisconsin…by Republicans.
Take a look.
To repeat, the GOP-supported budget included a provision surrounding a state study of mileage-based fees. The language would have required the Department of Transportation to submit a recommendation to the state’s 16-member budget committee, which could then be approved or revised by the panel, rather than the full Legislature. Lawmakers ultimately decided to amend the language to ensure approval by the full Legislature would be needed to create new fees based on how many miles vehicles traveled.
But Gov. Evers rejected the language in its entirety.
I know. Stunning. But true.