State officials say Minnesota is working on a pilot program to test the idea of charging drivers for each mile they drive. Other states around the country are considering a vehicle mileage tax, as revenues from the gas tax are expected to decline.
St. Paul, Minn. — The cost of each gallon of gas includes 18.4 cents to fund federal highway programs, and another 25.5 cents for roads in Minnesota.
But as cars and trucks get better mileage, the gas tax isn’t keeping pace with the need for roads and road work. So another option is gaining traction in Minnesota — a high-tech mileage-based user fee.
“We realize that in the future, cars aren’t going to be powered by fuel, probably,” said Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who signed into law $5 million for the current biennium to study the mileage tax.
Pawlenty said the state is now working on a pilot program to try it out, with an eye toward cars that aren’t even on the road yet…
…The idea is still in the planning stages for now, but the state Department of Transportation will likely ask for proposals on the technology this summer. Satellite technology and computers could turn literally turn every vehicle in Minnesota into a smart car.