15. Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax

A tax should be charged on all vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, etc.) for every miles (or kilometer) traveled. These vehicles, which almost exclusively benefit from and use these road, can be reasonably required to pay for their construction and upkeep. A variance should be allowed in the rate of this tax so that heavier vehicles, like trucks, pay proportionally more than lighter ones due to the greater damage they inflict on roadways under normal operations. Motorcycles should pay among the lowest tax per mile.

The ultimate level of this tax would be set so that it is sufficient to cover all costs associated with roadway infrastructures.

Related Taxes?

Additional types of vehicle use taxes could be constructed to address other concerns, although additional software and infrastructures would be necessary. For example, congestion pricing could impose a tax on driving during times of high congestion so as to encourage people to drive at off-peak hours. Road pricing could impose a tax on vehicles using certain roadways, such as express lanes, or even commonly congested routes to encourage people to use alternative routes.

Bicycles

Perhaps bicycles should be exempt from these taxes because they are so light, they do not necessarily require the infrastructural investments of heavy roadways for their operation, because they would require the installation of odometers and because it would require a system of annual (or periodic) registration to enable an effective enforcement. All of this is doable, and perhaps should be done, especially if bicycle ridership increases to become a major mode of transportation. If bicycles are imposed this tax, they should obviously be the lowest of any other vehicles because of their minimal demands of infrastructure.


Leave a Reply