Public dollars for transportation infrastructure seem to be getting ever scarce. This is the result of a wide array of issues, but one of them is the outdated form of collecting revenues to fund our nation’s transportation infrastructure. In some state’s they are beginning to look at transitioning from their traditional gasoline tax to a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax. More from NextCity:
According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, gas taxes finance about a third of highway construction and maintenance. But because of inflation and improved fuel efficiency, the purchasing power of gas taxes — how much actual concrete, steel and labor they buy — has been decreasing, sometimes forcing state and federal officials to forgo infrastructure improvements.
By taxing every car at the same rate, VMT programs ensure that drivers pay an amount proportional to how much they drive. VMT systems, though, don’t have all the same mechanisms as gas taxes: They don’t incentivize people to drive fuel-efficient cars, for instance, nor do they discourage the use of heavy vehicles that cause increased wear on highways.