Don't Fear the VMT Fee
"Taxing miles instead of gasoline is a more reliable way to pay for America's highways. Gas taxes – at both the federal and state levels – must inevitably go the way of the gas guzzler.
A bipartisan blue-ribbon panel this week unanimously recommends replacing the federal gas tax with a tax on "vehicle miles traveled" (VMT) by 2020 – and indexing it for inflation.
Financing for transport infrastructure can no longer depend on indirect fees hidden in the overall cost of a gallon of gas (i.e. the gas tax) but must rely more on direct user fees, such as tolling and congestion pricing.
In Europe, the Netherlands will transition to a VMT by 2014 and Denmark by 2016.
Changing behavior is the key to 21st century transport that must unclog crowded highways and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Taxing miles alerts drivers to the real cost of using roads and can better motivate them to drive less.
A VMT (fee) is the more reliable and efficient way to pay for transport. Its time has come."
Thanks to Leonard Conly