Washington State Edges Closer to Taxing Drivers by the Mile

Lawmakers claim tax-per-mile needed due to prevalence of fuel-efficient cars.Lawmakers in Washington state are edging closer to implementing a new system that would monitor and tax drivers based on miles driven, under a new highway funding proposal. Lawmakers claim tax-per-mile needed due to prevalence of fuel-efficient cars. Lawmakers claim tax-per-mile needed due to prevalence of fuel-efficient cars. / Image: Flickr The Washington State Transportation Commission says the motor fuel tax, which currently pays for 76% of transportation investments, is unsustainable “over the long term.” In a dizzying twist of logic, the Transportation Commission blames the prevalence of fuel-efficient cars as the reason the state now needs a per-mile tax, arguing that “the move to cleaner, smarter vehicles must be accompanied by a change in the way we pay for our roads.”
“According to the study, drivers could be charged three ways; either with a flat-fee, by having odometers checked, or with an electronic device installed in cars to measure how many miles are driven,” a King 5 News report states. Last week, a committee set up by the Transportation Commission, after conducting a $1.4 million study, reported the fee could generate upwards of $3 billion. By 2015, Washington lawmakers hope to roll out a pilot program in order to gauge the amount of public resistance to the new tax. More
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