Democrat Introduces Vehicle Miles Tax Bill

Earl Blumenauer is fed up with legislative gridlock or something

(Politico) Rep. Earl Blumenauer has had enough.

With some of the top players in next year’s transportation bill stuck in a staring contest over how to raise billions of dollars, the Democrat introduced two simple bills on Wednesday to address what he calls the upcoming “infrastructure cliff.” (snip)

The other bill would let states look into charging drivers by the mile – a so-called vehicle miles traveled fee – by expanding a pilot program started in Blumenauer’s home state of Oregon. The program would be voluntary and allow states to choose how exactly to test the concept of charging for road use.

In short, his idea is the “big and bold” proposal that former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had promised would come from the White House but so far has not materialized.

I’ve written before that I’m not against a vehicle mile tax (VMT). The changing landscape of vehicles, with more and more hybrids (which I like) and smattering of electric cars on the road, along with many pure gas vehicles that get excellent MPG, has reduced the inflow of tax money that supports the transportation infrastructure. But I have noted that it should replace the regular gas tax. Of course, not in Democrat World

One would raise the gas tax to 33.4 cents cents per gallon, nearly double the current rate of 18.4 cents, over the next few years. That bill would also peg the tax rate to inflation so that its purchasing power doesn’t decline over time.

Surprise! Blumenauer, like a good little Democrat, not only wants a dramatic increase in the gas tax, he wants both taxes. Of course, he couches the VMT in a cute way, by “allowing” states to experiment. Those run by Democrats will surely jump at the prospect of double taxation. Without doing away with their own state gas tax.

These bills are obviously going nowhere at this time. Even Obama wouldn’t allow a simple 5 cents increase in the gas tax. But, that was 2009. Dems might be willing to accept the VMT, though. The Republican led House won’t. This is a good view into the mind of a Liberal.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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