A few weeks ago, The Washington Post broke a very important, but under-looked story; a group of East Coast states are looking to tax motorists for the miles they drive instead of taxing their gas. This is a dangerous precedent, and one we should care about in Michigan even if currently it isn’t being discussed by our government. Here’s a few reasons why you should care about this radical proposal:
- It’s highly unpopular but the government may force it upon its citizens, regardless of how we feel. The Washington Post wrote, “The Mineta Transportation Institute, which has polled the public on a variety of tax questions for the past seven years, found that the mileage tax was “unwaveringly unpopular.” In the latest survey, which covered 1,500 people and was released this month, the institute found that support ranged between 23 percent and 48 percent.” Despite this, states such as Delaware say they must ignore our voices and raise taxes because they know what is best for transportation funding, and not we the people.
- Never expect Michigan to say no. Michigan is always looking for new ways to fund roads and they have made it clear that our voice doesn’t matter, like in 2015 when we voted down an increase in gas taxes but the government increased them anyways. A mileage tax is something that Michigan will probably look at it in the future based on past decisions.
- The amount of money the government receives is never enough. The states’ who are looking to pass the mileage tax argue that this tax will only replace the gas tax. But do we trust these states to follow through on their promise? Trust in government is at an all time low. It is hard to trust these states to hold to their promise of getting rid of the gas tax. Rather, a lot of us may expect them to enact the mileage tax and increase the gas tax. The government rarely listens to we the people, so why would they now?