- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 27, 2021

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Friday President Biden is weighing a “mileage tax” on drivers as a way to help pay for his forthcoming infrastructure plan that could cost upwards of $3 trillion.

“I think that shows a lot of promise,” Mr. Buttigieg said of a mileage-based tax on CNBC.

“If we believe in that so-called user-pays principle — the idea that part of how we pay for roads is you pay based on how much you drive, the gas tax used to be the obvious way to do it,” he continued. “It’s not anymore, so a so-called vehicle miles traveled tax or mileage tax, whatever you want to call it, could be a way to do it.”

Mr. Buttigieg said the gas tax is becoming outdated as the country seeks to pivot toward electric vehicles to combat climate change.

Mr. Biden is expected to unveil a $3 trillion package of investments on infrastructure and domestic programs next week, stating during his first press conference Thursday the plan will create a significant number of “really good-paying jobs.”

Mr. Buttigieg avoided specifics on how the plan would be paid for during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on Thursday, saying Congress would have to “arrive at a healthy balance of how this can be at least partially paid for,” The Associated Press reported.

The secretary said during his CNBC appearance that many options are being considered to fund the project, including the possible revival of Build America Bonds and creating a “national infrastructure bank.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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