Federal draft bill would tax drivers by the mile

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

The Obama administration is reportedly eyeing a transportation bill that would require the "study and implementation" of a plan to tax automobile owners based on how many miles they drive.

Although currently only a draft, the White House has taken steps to distance itself from the proposed legislation, saying the bill has yet to be formerly introduced or approved by the Obama Administration.

"This is not an Administration proposal," WH  spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told The Hill.

"This is not a bill supported by the Administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the Administration, does not taken into account the advice of the President’s senior advisors, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the President."

News of the above-mentioned draft comes just months after the publication of a controversial Congressional Budget Office report that endorses the idea of taxing drivers based on miles.

The CBO report also envisions the installation of tracking equipment on each car to determine how many miles are driven, with drivers electronically paying vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax at gas stations.

In addition, the report floats the idea of creating a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office within the Federal Highway Administration to "study a framework [which] defines the functionality of a mileage-based user fee system and other systems."

Obviously, the idea of electronically tracking miles sends up a bright red flag for those who do not want such intense government involvement in their daily lives. Of course, adding yet another tax into the mix poses a particular hardship for those already struggling to make ends meet in today’s tepid economy. 

(Via The Hill)