Would Americans Be Willing To Pay A Mileage Tax?

Interstate 630 in Little Rock, Ark., March 10, 2011.

Interstate 630 in Little Rock, Ark., March 10, 2011. Danny Johnston/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Danny Johnston/AP

Would Americans be willing to pay a tax based on the mileage they drive with the money raised going to fix the nation's highways and bridges?

Maybe. Then again, anyone who knows how Americans feel about their cars and and how important getting out on the open road is to so many of us can be excused for having doubts.

Still, the federal gas tax isn't raising enough money. First, the 18.4 cents a gallon tax hasn't been raised since 1993. That isn't a typo.

Secondly, with ever more Americans driving more fuel efficient cars, the gas tax is just plain inadequate to the nation's infrastructure needs.

Thus someone in the Obama Administration is running up the flag pole the idea of a tax that would be based on the mileage you drive. But the administration officially wants you to know that it's just an idea, as vaporous as gas fumes. Nothing to worry about. Not yet at least.

The Hill reports:

The White House, however, said the bill is only an early draft that was not formally circulated within the administration.

"This is not an administration proposal," White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. "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 advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.