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Discussion: (17 comments)

  1. I can buy the fall in tax revenue being due to people driving less because of high gas prices and the recsession before I can buy that it’s due to electric cars and hybrids…

    1. morganovich


      i think even more of it has to do with cars simply getting better mileage.

      30 mpg used to be great mileage for an econo car. now it’s 40-50.

      my new SUV gets the same mileage as my old one despite having twice the horsepower. i am getting around 19 mph highway which is astounding for a 555hp vehicle. even the supercars of today with 600+ hp get astounding mileage. the new mclaren gets 24mpg highway. compare this to the signle digit mileage of cars from the 80’s and 90’s and it’s truly amazing. HP/cl is through the roof and better fuel injection and electronic engine management are making massive strides. i

      the average mpg of a vehicle sold in the us is up almost 10% since 2008. it is currently around 22.7 up from 20.7 in 2008.

      that is going to have a big effect on fuel usage.

      1. Citizen B.

        If green vehicles arn’t paying their “fair share of taxes” then who is going to pay in Washington state?

        Every vehicle that drives on a Washington public road, based upon miles driven, if this scheme by lawmakers is approved.

        1. Jon Murphy

          I think that is going to be the wave of the future, Citizen. Here in New Hampshire, our vehicle excise tax is based in a similar manner.

          1. Citizen B.

            Jon, how do the guvmint people keep track of just New Hampshire miles driven? Transponders in your vehicle? I think that is what will happen in Washington state.

          2. Jon Murphy

            No. You need to register your vehicle every year. When you initially register your vehicle, you pay a certain fee based on the year of the car (the newer the car, the higher the fee. The idea being that a new car will do more damage going forward. For an older car, the damage is done).

            When you inspect your car every year, they record the mileage. If your mileage is low, you can ask the state for a waiver on the fee. If your claim is good, it is very rare the waiver is not granted. They’d just charge you a fee based on mileage driven between your last inspection and this one.

      2. Absolutely.

        I’m now getting 54 or so on average, traded in my Audi A6 for a basic Prius at end of last year (and took a lot a razzing for it). I miss the Audi a lot, don’t miss the $$$ spent on gas…$30 a month now.

        1. morganovich

          of course, the other way to do this is to tax tires instead of gasoline. tires wear out in direct relation to miles driven.

          take the expected mileage of the tires and charge some fee per mile.

          i suspect many states may try to go transponder, but this is expensive, has real issues with the legacy fleet, and personally, i see it as an invasion of privacy.

          seems like you could be tracked that way.

          1. seems like you could be tracked that way.

            No s**t!

            Of course if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from big Brother. (/sarc)

            Since I am now unable to disable 911 GPS on my smartphone, I’m considering using something like this when I don’t need navigation.

  2. MacDaddyWatch

    GOING BROKE…with plug-ins.

  3. here’s a link to the Fed data on vehicle miles driven.

    Even though the recession has caused a reduction in miles driven, the magnitude of that change is much less than the change in mileage stated above.

    Maybe we need to start taxing people who work from home, or those who ride public transportation to cover the revenue gap?

    1. morganovich

      why would we want to tax people who work from home?

      they are not contributing to the wear and tear of the roads, commuters are.

      that seems like the opposite of user pays.

      1. It is the opposite of user pays. And that is why it is likely to happen. I guess I could have added a /sarc to the above.

        1. morganovich

          ahh, sorry.

          sarcasm does not always come through well in web posts.

          of course, we do that exact thing here in park city.

          if you live here year round, you only have to pay half your property tax. if you own a vacation home (as many folks do) you pay the full amount.

          thus, our schools etc are more heavily paid for by folks who do not use them.

          oh, you can’t vote here? pay up.

          1. The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavours to live at the expense of everyone else.


  4. Rufus

    Maybe we need to start taxing people who work from home, or those who ride public transportation to cover the revenue gap?

    Sure, why not? Taxing people for things they don’t do worked with healthcare, no reason to believe it wouldn’t work with transportation.

  5. J Scheppers

    People are not increasing their driving. FHWA estimated 2004 vehicle miles traveled are sligtly higher than 2012. May be not having the steady revenue increase is part of the signal that we don’t need to build as many new roads and streets. Times change.

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