Brendon x over 2 years ago

Vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient and people are driving less.  This means gas taxes cover less and less of the maintenance costs for our roads.  Minnesota has 1,149 bridges that are structurally deficient.  Traffic congestion is also an externalized cost that drivers don't pay for.  In the regional plan and the transportation policy plan, explore ways to implement mileage-based fees to replace gas taxes.  This is a better way to fund our infrastructure and will make people more aware of the true cost of driving.

8 Comments 31 Votes Acknowledged
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Chris S over 2 years ago

Amen...

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Winston Jackson Ray over 2 years ago

I would add that mileage-based user fees combined with some form of congestion pricing will allow us to get the most out of expensive infrastructure we already have.

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Benjamin Hinkley over 2 years ago

If the gas tax is not raising enough revenue to maintain our roads and bridges (and I agree it is not), it makes MUCH more sense to raise the rate of the gas tax than to implement a mileage based system. 

The collection infrastructure is in place for the gas tax - every fuel pump in the state is set up to collect the tax.  The collection infrastructure is not in place for a mileage based tax, and would in fact be quite exspensive to implement.

Additionally, a mileage based tax treats a gas sipping light compact car the same as a gas guzzling heavy SUV, despite the fact that the latter consumes more fuel and does considerably more damage to roads.  The gas tax already takes those variables into consideration, and consequently is more fair.

And that's without getting into the intrusiveness of having a GPS required in your vehicle, or the fact that some people will find out a way to alter the GPS to report low (evasion that is simply impossible with a per gallon tax).


The per mile tax is a bad solution to a problem that barely exists.

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Brendon x over 2 years ago

Benjamin - you're right that it would be easier in the short run to increase gas taxes.  But what happens a significant portion of the fleet is electric and uses little or no gasoline?  MNDOT says we'll have a $50 billion deficit in 20 years at current funding levels. (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/04/19/smart-phone-test/)  Hardly "a problem that barely exists".

Also, there is no reason a mileage-based fee couldn't be charged differently based on vehicle weight.

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Fehler x over 2 years ago

Until we have the "problem" of a significant elecrtic vehicle fleet, I say it is premature to implement a milage-based fee.  Continue increasing the gas tax, if necessary, to expand and maintain the current system.

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David Greene over 2 years ago

An advantage of milage-based fees is that they could be used for all kinds of transportation improvements.  The gas tax is constitutionally dedicated to "highway purposes."

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Greg x over 2 years ago

Part of the proceeds should also go to funding improved public transit - buses, bike lanes, sidewalks.

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Leon Hazare over 2 years ago

Our GOVT give tax break to drive with tax deduction for mileage but penalize transit riders who cannot deduct transit passes on their taxes

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