California state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier has introduced a bill that would tax motorists for each mile driven.
The vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, tax is the Democrat’s idea to recoup declining gas tax revenue with the adoption of more fuel-efficient vehicles, a local CBS affiliate reported.
“We want to do as Washington and Oregon have done in a much bigger state with much longer commutes…to make sure that we find out whether it would work, whether the public would like it or not,” Mr. DeSaulnier said, the local station reported. The bill would create a voluntary program for taxpayers could opt into.
The bill will likely face opposition from Californians who purchased expensive hybrid vehicles that require heavy driving in order to see eventually see gas tax savings.
“I bought a hybrid … because of my drive. I’m very opposed. I drive to Brentwood every day from Burbank, and I am already paying more than I should be,” one driver, Carmen Smith, told CBS.
Another driver questioned whether or not the bill was tantamount to taxing individuals for going on vacation.
“So if we go on vacation and I drive up to Mammoth, that’s 600 miles. We’re being taxed on vacations?” Kim Robinson said.
If passed, some of the most important details of the law, e.g., how much the tax per mile would be, would be determined at a later date.
“All of those things would be determined. We would let the [proper] agency determine that because this would be a voluntary program,” Mr. DeSaulnier said.