House Democrats plan new ‘Traffic Tax’

Democrats have an idea to make bumper-to-bumper traffic worse: tax drivers more when they’re sitting in traffic.  Incoming House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is planning to propose a new tax that would penalize drivers by taxing them at a higher rate when they experience traffic.

The traffic tax would be part of a new pilot program for a “vehicle miles traveled” (VMT) tax which would replace the federal gas tax and instead charge motorists based on a per-mile fee.

In order for a VMT system to work, GPS systems would be installed in vehicles which would track vehicle movement and measure miles traveled in order to calculate the tax. Rep. DeFazio would then use the guise of replacing the gas tax with a VMT tax to charge differential rates based on highway congestion.

“The only fair way to do VMT is with congestion pricing. You shouldn’t charge a farmer who has to travel 20 miles to the feed store the same per-mile fee as someone who jumps on 205 in Portland and causes a backup,” DeFazio said.

To be clear, DeFazio isn’t talking about creating new toll lanes or raising toll prices to reduce highway congestion. He is instead talking about installing a tracking system in your car that would monitor your vehicle’s movement and the location at every moment, transmit this information to federal agencies, and then tax you based upon how busy traffic is when you’re driving.

Such a form of congestion pricing is a deeply regressive form of taxation that would be exponentially more detrimental to the working poor who spend a higher percentage of their income commuting to work. DeFazio’s traffic tax would also disproportionally tax suburban and rural drivers who use highways more frequently and commute further to work than individuals in urban areas.

Apart from the inherent unfairness of the tax and obvious privacy concerns of having the federal government collect information on every driver’s whereabouts, the point of taxation would be deeply unpopular with voters.

Imagine the frustration you’d experience when you’re late for work because road construction is causing traffic delays while at that same moment knowing the government is charging you more money for the pleasure.

28 Comments

    • This sorry excuse represents my state. He has a LEGIT chance of being beaten this time, by a young American Hero. His challenger is the Airman that stopped the train Massacre in Frqnce while on vacation. Alek Skarlatos is his name.

  1. I think it is a good idea, they are tracking truck drivers the same way. It is just the start to put speed limiter in cars as well as trucks, you all think the government should control every aspect of a truck drivers life, the same rules should apply to every person in a motorized vehicle

    • How about the citizens charge the Oregon Government for every hour the tents are on the streets of Portland? How about you pay to clean up the mess. Charge people more for going to work..Right you are an idiot! Think I want you to know where I am at all times..HAHAHAHA sure!! I’m and Oregon voter.. see ya!

  2. How about charging the government of Oregon for every hour they let the tents stay on the sidewalk in Portland you moron. Zero on the tracking of where I drive. The gasoline tax will not go away.. Never saw a tax go away and I’m not paying for more of your useless waste!

  3. I have a gutt feeling the government wants to know our every move. Just another way to control us. They must have forgot , this is America, land of the free and home of the brave.

  4. Wow Peter you really are a socialist through and through “trust us we’re the government we’re here to Help” timing is everything this is the wrong timing for this stupid idea.

  5. Is another way the Demorats to steal more money from the tax payers we can hardly make ends meet now!

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