Friday, February 20, 2009

A Per-Mile Driven Tax is Proposed in PA

One Pennsylvania house members says he has a new idea when it comes to transportation funding. PA Transportation Secretary Allen Biehler says the one billion dollars in he federal stimulus package designated for road and infrastructure repairs in Pennsylvania will help the economy. House Transportation Committee Chair Joe Markosek of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties does not disagree but he says the stimulus isn't a long-term solution. Markosek wants to investigate new revenue sources, including a possible tax on the amount of miles a person travels each year. He says that is better than a higher fuel tax, ”Theoretically you could use a horse and buggy, and if you traveled a thousand miles on that there would be a tax associated with that.” Some have complained that as cars become more fuel-efficient the traditional gas tax funding scheme will no longer work. Markosek points to a pilot program underway in Oregon, where officials track miles traveled with GPS chips, which seems to be viable.

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