Lawmakers should pursue a vehicle-mileage tax to rescue the struggling Highway Trust Fund, a right-leaning think tank argues in a new study.
The American Action Forum (AAF) makes the case for a mileage-based tax and provides other suggestions for a long-term fix to the ailing fund, which pays for road projects and is headed for another shortfall at the end of 2020.
“A mileage-based tax is a more stable alternative to the gas tax. Immediate implementation of a federal mileage-based tax, however, is unrealistic,” the study says.
Some Republican lawmakers have pointed to a vehicle-mileage tax as a means to fund infrastructure projects, but they also note that these programs are not ready for implementation.
Meanwhile, the White House Council of Economic Advisers in a February report touted a vehicle-mileage tax program in Oregon that charges its volunteers 1.7 cents for every mile they travel on the state’s public roads. The program then awards its participants with credits for the state’s fuel taxes.
The AAF calls for “a combination of new user fees implemented alongside the existing gas tax,” but notes that upping the gas fee alone will not provide the Highway Trust Fund with lasting relief or stability.
“If Congress only looks at raising the gas tax, that doesn’t create long-term funding for the Highway Trust Fund due to alternative fuel vehicles and autonomous vehicles emerging in the market,” AAF data analyst Brianna Fernandez, who authored the study, told The Hill.
More from The Hill.