Senate Infrastructure Bill Gives Feds Go-Ahead to Test Taxing Every Mile Americans Drive

Buried in the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” in the U.S. Senate is approval for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to test a new federal tax on every mile driven by individual Americans.

The bill directs Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to establish a pilot program to demonstrate a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee designed “to restore and maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.”

The objectives of the pilot program include:

To test the design, acceptance, implementation, and financial sustainability of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.

To address the need for additional revenue for surface transportation infrastructure and a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.

To provide recommendations relating to the adoption and implementation of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.

Although the new tax is described as a pilot program and would initially rely upon “volunteers” representing all 50 states, the infrastructure measure would also require the Treasury Department to establish a mechanism to collect motor vehicle per-mile user fees from the participants.

The legislation would create a new “Federal System Funding Alternative Advisory Board” to advise Buttigieg on establishing and operating the program. The legislative language in the bill doesn’t specifically call for an end to the advisory board. – READ MORE

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