Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Vermont and Pennsylvania have applied for federal funds to test a vehicle mileage tax. The multi-state pilot program study will cost Connecticut $300,000. The study would include how tracking devices transmit driving data, and proposals for per-mile fees.
While the Malloy Administration has consistently said it is not moving in the direction of charging motorists based on the number of miles they travel, officials want to see what the facts are. Officials also want to see if it makes sense as a way to pay for planned transportation infrastructure upgrades because the gas tax is no longer cutting it.
Wilton Senator Toni Boucher, a ranking member of the Transportation Committee, says she's heard from a number of constituents who are concerned with the idea. She says people feel they are taxed enough and this would just be one additional burden. Boucher says she is concerned that the revenue from a mileage tax would not be used for infrastructure upkeep, because officials are raiding transportation funds already to close budget gaps and other uses.
But Commuter Action Group founder Jim Cameron says the tax is a fair and effective way to maintain the roads based on how much people use them. He touted Connecticut for getting in on the ground level, noting that it's being studied in California, tried in Oregon and in place in a number of progressive European countries.
Boucher says there is also a privacy issue. While some argue that cars have GPS already, she says those things can be turned off.
Cameron says Google already knows where he travels, so why not a mileage tax device which would go to pay for improvements.