Federal government would collect GPS data and tax at higher rates in congested traffic
December 12, 2018
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House Democrats are planning to put forward a new tax on drivers stuck in traffic, according to Americans For Tax Reform.
The new tax, to be introduced by incoming House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), is meant to punish drivers by taxing them at a higher rate when they’re in congested traffic.
The traffic tax would be part of a new program for “Vehicle Miles Traveled” [VMT] tax that would replace taxes on gas.
“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.
The system would require installing GPS devices in citizens’ cars and does nothing to actually address the problem of congested traffic.
From Americans For Tax Reform:
“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 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.”
This comes as California Democrats are also poised to introduce a tax measure for text messages.
And Chicago Democrats have already passed a “video game” tax last month to cover underfunded pensions.