House bill calls for federal tax on mileage
A bill up for consideration in the U.S. House seeks to change the way highway users are taxed to fund transportation.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, introduced a bill that would establish a federal pilot program to study vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, as a possible supplement to or possible replacement for the current per-gallon fuel tax. The bill, HR3311, does not specify what would happen to the fuel tax if a VMT program were established.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believes that although a VMT tax has captured the imagination of some, it remains unproven, even as states like Blumenauer’s home state of Oregon continue to study it.
“The current system of levying federal taxes on trucks is as discriminatory as it can be to small business, and harmful, but there are lots of unanswered questions with a VMT. And those questions need to be resolved before we start launching down that path,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer told Land Line.
Blumenauer is calling for the establishment of working groups to study technology – possibly a GPS system – and other factors that would go along with a federal VMT program.
– By David Tanner, staff writer