Last week’s highway funding proposal by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon gained considerable attention for addressing a long needed increase in fuel taxes. However, the wolf hiding under the wool suit is a stealth plan to institute a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax scheme.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll note again “that the only thing that mileage-based taxes can accomplish that isn’t already possible with the current fuel tax system, is the creation of yet another politically-driven bureaucracy to administer the new tax.”
While the VMT tax scheme is problematic in many regards, the problem that should most concern the average motorist is the potential for bureaucratic snooping, especially in light of the recent NSA scandals. How many motorists want a politically inclined bureaucrat to know where they’ve driven, when, and at what speed?
The Heartland Institute’s “Somewhat Reasonable” blog considers the privacy concerns with a VMT tax, saying, “To the ‘If you’re doing nothing wrong, you should have no problem being tracked’ crowd, let us ask: Do you put curtains, drapes, or blinds over the windows in your home? Following their logic, if you’re doing nothing wrong, you should take down all your window coverings and let people peer inside whenever they want.”