Today, a good part of the taxes for maintenance of infrastructure is obtained from the fuel. In Spain, around 50 euro cents per litre they are charging tax, the rest being coverage of costs and a margin for the oil company/distributor. What a senator from Illinois has proposed is taxing motorists based on their miles traveled. What is the point of a cheaper fuel and a tax apart directly linked to the use of the road infrastructure?
Pay by kilometre, not per liter of spent fuel
In Michigan has reduced the revenues of fuel taxes. What reason? The cars are more efficient than ever.
The senator from the state of Michigan, John Cullerton, has proposed to eliminate the fuel tax, and replace them by a tax variable in function of our use of the roads. This use would be recorded by a GPS device installed in each car, whose mileage could be transmitted telematically to the state authorities, or verified in the annual reviews, for example. In Spain there are insurance companies with pilot projects similar: you pay more or less premium depending on the use of the car.
Imagine for a moment that the price of fuel would receive a discount of 50 cents. But a driver who recorriese about 15,000 km per year, would pay let’s say 500 euros of taxes to the end of the year. It would be a measure that would greatly benefit those who just used your car, would be its annual cost reduced substantially. Also , might promote a more rational use of the car, how perhaps we do not what we would think twice before taking the car for a multitude of movements that we could do in public transport?
A measure unfair to some groups
GPS devices for measurement of mileage raise questions about privacy and a possible to use to locate vehicles.
do you do less than 5,000 km a year? Congratulations, you’ll save even more money. However, a measure such as this hurt strongly to another sector of the population. All drivers that do many miles a year would increase costs significantly. It would be particularly serious in the case of those who live from the road: carriers and professionals – in Spain, many of them self – employed- whose annual expenses would skyrocket. Súmalo to the new energy labelling for vehicles, and we have a recipe for disaster.
Or rather unfair. There will be groups that, left unprotected, despite the fund sought justice of the measure. What will this be? In an increase of costs associated to road transport. It also penalises in greater extent the owners of efficient vehicles, which is why the senator from Michigan has proposed: revenues from fuel taxes have been reduced, as the public has opted for more efficient vehicles. Isn’t that the desired result of the tax?
Yes, but “the banker always wins”, and if it reduces the revenue on the one hand, you have to raise on the other. The measure would not go into effect before 2025, if it is finally approved. The proposed tax is of 0,015 $ per mile travelled: 20,000 miles per year, the driver would have to pay 300 dollars.