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Pay as You Go Tax

September 25th, 2009 by flanews

The push for more fuel efficient vehicles is costing the state billions in gas tax dollars. The money is used to maintain roads and bridges. As Whitney Ray tells us, transportation officials are considering a pay by the mile plan to make up for the lost tax dollars.

Floridians are buying less gas and paying fewer taxes at the pump. The transition to more fuel efficient vehicles is costing the state billions of tax dollars. A national plan to make up the difference by charging a mileage tax is being driven by transportation officials. Drivers hate the idea.

I drive 50 miles to work and 50 miles back home everyday. I would rather go by gas than mileage any day, said Matt Cieslinki.

In order to charge by the mile the government would have to keep track of how much driving you do. The plan would require every vehicle to be equipped with a tracking device in order to keep up with the miles you have driven. The mileage information would be downloaded every time you fill up. Florida PIRG, a consumer advocacy group, says the plan sounds invasive.

I think a lot of people would be suspicious of that and I think there would be a lot of questions and I think rightfully so, said Brad Ashwell, a Florida PIRG Spokesman.

Environmentalists say the pay by the mile plan would water down the cash incentive of owning a fuel efficient vehicle.

The solution should be trying to get more people to share rides and move their cars together or drive more fuel efficient vehicles, not just build more roads for more gas guzzlers, said Eric Draper with Audubon of Florida.

Drivers pay 50 cents in taxes for every gallon of gas bought in Florida; another solution to recover lost revenues is to simply raise the gas tax. A decline in gas tax collections isnt the only reason the state is losing money for roads and bridges. State lawmakers have raided transportation funds and money raised from a recent increase in license and tag fees isnt being used exclusively on roads.

Posted in Environment, Gas Prices, Highways, State Budget, State News, Taxes, Transportation | No Comments »

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