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State Explores Pay-by-the-Mile Alternative to Gas Tax—What Do You Think?

Transportation officials say a fresh approach is needed as gas-tax revenues continue to decline.

An ongoing decline in gas-tax revenue has prompted Washington state transportation officials to consider a pay-by-the-mile roadway tax system, The Associated Press reports.

A committee of transportation experts recently concluded a pay-as-you-go system would be feasible in Washington; the state must now determine whether doing so is a good idea—and how the new structure would be implemented.

Would you support a pay-by-the-mile tax system? Tell us in the comments section.

Washington's gas tax has long been the primary revenue source for highway repair and maintenance in our state. But the tax has been hit hard as vehicles become more fuel efficient and people opt to drive less. President Obama's new fuel-efficiency standards are expected to further exacerbate the problem.

"The gas tax is dwindling," state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond told the AP. "It would be irresponsible for us not to look ahead and take care of our system in the future."

Pay-by-the mile is not a clear-cut solution. It has yet to be widely implemented by any state, and questions remain on how best to track miles without raising privacy issues.

Hammond said it could be a decade or more before Washington implements any new transportation tax system.

Local Guy February 20, 2013 at 04:05 AM
"When spent wisely, money spent on mass transit and HOV helps everybody by reducing the number of cars on the roads we've already paid for. I don't use mass transit much, but I'm happy to help pay for it because it makes the roads I use less crowded." Good, because you are paying $89 for every $11 in Sound Transit fares collected. Helluva deal...
Jim Stanton February 20, 2013 at 04:55 PM
The gas tax is the least invasive user tax and takes into account to some extent the wear and tear than different vehicles cause. Big, low mileage trucks use more gas than a Prius and do a lot more damage to the roads. I also support raising the gas tax for three more reasons: 1) it uses pricing (the market) to encourage high mileage vehicles 2) it raises needed money for our roads and transportation system, and 3) it doesn't allow the government to track my every move.
LARRY HAYDON February 22, 2013 at 01:32 AM
FIRST I WILL SAY THAT WE DO BELIEVE THAT ALL POLITIONS JUST LOVE ALL TAXES. NEXT, IF EVERY ONE REMBERS THAT DURING THE ELECTION FOR GOVERNOR, THIS GOVERNOR IS THE ONE WHO SAID NO NEW TAXES AND NO INCREASE IN TAXES. HE MUST HAVE A SHORT MEMORY. REMBER WHEN GEORGE BUS,SR. SAID READ MY LIPS, NO NEW TAXES OR NO MORE TAXES BUT HE DID IT. IT COST HIM HIS JOB. WAS A ONE TERM PRESIDENT, MAYBE HISTORY WILL BE REPEATED. EVERY POLITION ALWAYS TELL LITTLE LIES ALL THE TIME AND HOPE WE DO NOT REMBER THEM. FIRE THE WHOLE BUNCH OVER THERE.
LARRY HAYDON February 22, 2013 at 01:47 AM
you are corret. it is not the tax payers fault that that they do not have enough tax now. the goverment is the one that made us all get rid of our big cars that were safe and had room for all the family plus room for suit cases and now buy these small cramped up cars that in a wreck will kill most the people. just because they do not use much gas and not paying all that gas tax is not the publics fault. also if all that gas tax was used on the roads instead of all there pork projects so they can keep getting elected, then they would not need a raise in the tax. all the politions want is more taxes, they never use it where it should go. also if seattle wants an other ferry, then they should buy it themselves.no reason all the people here should pay for it. they have been robbing the east side of the state all the time. fire all the politions if they pas this tax.
Tere Ryder April 10, 2013 at 02:45 PM
In the 70s during the oil embargo people actually started conserving on gas and drove smaller cars. Now we have ROAD WARRIORS that drive these obscene HUGE trucks and Suvs and actually think it is their right to despoil the environment even more. These are the people that need to be taxed right out of their stupidity.....It is NOW a no brainer about our environment. The companies that continue to make thesse should be taxed also

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