By Program in place in Oregon and Washington; California may follow suit
Your morning commute is probably something you dread. You complain about it all the time. You complain about having to pay tolls. You complain about the price of gas these days. And you complain about the condition of the roads.
Some think the answer to some of these problems is another tax.
Oregon and Washington already have a voluntary program. California is considering it, too. It's called a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax. Phineas Baxandall of TEXPIRG told KTRH it's something Texas should consider at some point.
“It’s a legitimate way to raise money,” Baxandall stated.
Baxandall says the gas tax just isn't raising enough money these days.
“It’s just not working. It’s not raising enough revenue to support existing roads and promote other kinds of infrastructure that need to be developed,” Baxandall said.
That said there are issues with this kind of tax.
“The problem is it’s hard to administer,” Baxandall explained.
Oregon charges 1.5 cents per mile traveled. Houston has two times the amount of ‘mega commuters,’ those who travel 50 miles each way to work - than the national average. So that could run about $1.50 a day for some drivers, if they volunteered.
And if you drive from Katy to your office downtown, it could run you as much as fifty dollars a year if a voluntary program is eventually put in place. Would Texans go for something like that?
“If the alternative is watching your roads get in worse condition people might go for it,” Baxandall stated.