7 thoughts on “Americans drive 3.1 trillion miles in 2015, a new record”

  1. Stan – Hadn’t thought of the state vs federal highway system for tax purposes. How do you think the states would feel about having to share their tax dollars with the feds? Also, how would you allocate the taxes on a trip that involves several states (which would be almost impossible not to do on the east coast)?

  2. Brian R,
    That’s exactly correct.
    Here in California there has been dire warnings about a cyclical drought that’s occurring and the need to drastically reduce water consumption. OK, I get it, there is a drought. Which BTW isn’t helped by huge taxpayers subsidies to growers for their enormous & vastly cheaper water use.

    And now they want to raise the rates because of lack of water use by the general public.

    The same with hybrid car owners who received bills for not buying enough gas and therefore were not paying ‘enough’ taxes on gasoline.

    ‘Back to the USSR’

  3. If done properly and thoughtfully (I know, government right) and you reduced or eliminated the per gallon tax, it could work OK. A possible plus would be taxing the electrics that avoid the gas tax, but use the infrastructure just as much as the gas vehicles.

  4. My wife and I belong to organizations that engage in fundraising for many worthwhile community projects.
    These activities require thousands of miles of travel every year, most of it by private vehicle.
    For the states to impose such a tax would severely restrict such fundraising activities by ~all~ similar organizations.
    The net to society will be a loss to most communities as these private organizations have a burdensome tax imposed on the activities of the people who do the actual work.
    Many of the people involved are retired and living on fixed incomes. An additional tax of this nature would force them to give up their useful community service, leaving local political jurisdictions in the position of, once again, having to go the very people who are causing the problem for additional financial support to replace the losses from private charitable sources.
    In addition, such a mileage scheme is an unreasonable burden on those who live in communities where business and services are spread out. This isn’t as much of a problem for highly urbanized areas but many communities in the areas west of the Mississippi are spread out in such a fashion that many times the miles are required to take care of such mundane and necessary activities as shopping, doctor visits, church attendance, and etc..

  5. This reminds me very much of utility companies. They push people to use less energy, then raise the rates to cover their shortfall in income as people use less energy.

  6. Realizing that it varies from state to state, consider this.

    The oil companies profits on a gallon of gas are about 5 cents. In California the total government taxes on a gallon of gas are about 71 cents.

    Forget ‘Big Oil’, it’s the very real and greedy Big Government that is killing us.
    Plus, federal & state governments want to raise taxes on gas even higher.

    see: http://www.exxonmobilperspectives.com/2014/02/07/this-gasoline-tax-map-explains-a-lot/

  7. Unlike a fuel tax, which will face severe shortfalls as efficiency goes up, the mileage tax does make sense if collected properly. The problem will be that States will be trying to tax Federal Highway Miles, and the Federal Government may try and tax State Highway Miles, and technically, you probably can’t do that. Unless a trip crosses state lines or involves an interstate, the Federal Government may not have the authority to tax your miles.

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