posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 12:11 PM
I was reading my local newspaper yesterday, and wanted to post some interesting finds here. Its from the stamford advocate. I will try my best here, i
tried to find the article on their website, but thier was nothing, so here goes...
At leat one Connecticut legislator would like to put the brakes on an idea by the federal transportation secretary tot ax motorists based on how
many miles they drive rather than how much gasoline they burn. Gasoline taxes, which for nearly half a century have paid for the federal share of
highway and bridge contruction, can no longer be counted on to raise enough money to keep the nation's transportation system moving.Transportation
secretary RAY LaHood told the Associated Press.
"We shoould look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled,"LaHood said.The idea
is gaining ground in several states.
Governors in Idaho and Rhode Island are talking abuot such programs, and a North Carolina panel suggested in December that state start charging
motorists a quarter-cent for every mile as a substitute for the gas tax. No plan is in the works in Connecticut yet, but at least one regional agency
is enthsiastic about the idea of a VMT tax. "We think this is a great idea, and it's not likely to go away anytime soon," said Ryan Lynch, senior
planner and Connecticut coorrdinator for th Tri-state Transportation Campaign. The Tri-state Transportation Campaign is a nonprofit organization
dedicated to reducing car dependency in NY, NJ and CT.Lynch said the idea of taxing mileage is an inspired way to help fund the region's
transposrtation ssytem-particularly in CT, where the roads and bridges are amongst the country's worst.
However, state REP.Antonio Guerrera, D_Rocky Hill, co-chairman of the legislative Transportation Committee, said he has strong reservations abuot
such a tx.Though he said he's open to learning more about the plan, he said,"it would have to make sense." For instance, Guerrera said, if uch a
tax were implemented, he'd like to do away with the gasoline tax as a compensation."If were going to end up taxing people for mileage, thier should
be a benefit,". Also, he said he was concerned about how a mileage-based tax would affect those living in remote areas of CT who don't have
accessto a railraod line or other public transportation."We would kind of be penalizing these people who dont have the choice to use mass transit,".
A tentative plan in Massachusette to use GPS chips in vehicles to charge motorists by the mile has drawn complaints from drivers who say its an
Orwellian intrusion by governemnt into the lives of citizens.Other motorists say it eliminates an incentive to drive m ore fuel-efficiant cars because
guzzlers would be taxed at the same rate as fuel sippers. Lynch siad neither issue worries him much. He called concerns about government intrusion,
"a red herring," and pointed out that legions ofAmericansown cell phones, whcih can be used to track people's movements."No one seems to be up in
arms about that," he said.
A blue ribbon national tranportation commission is expected to release a report next week recommending a VMT.The system would require all cars and
trucks be equpiied with global satellite positioning technology, a transponder,a clock and other equipment to record how many miles a vehicle was
driven, wether it was driven on highways or secondary roads,a nd even whether it wa driven during peak traffic periods or off-peak hours.
The device would tally how much tax motorists owed depending upon thier road use.Motorists would pay the amount owed when it was downloaded,
probably at gas stations at first, but an alternative eventually would be needed.