"We will send them kind of a make-believe bill."
Proposal could replace the gasoline tax
By Jim Forsyth
WOAI (San Antonio, TX)
Residents of five central Texas counties have been invited to participate in a study to determine whether it is feasible to tax motorists by the mile, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Texans now pay 38.4 cents a gallon in gasoline taxes, which are used to fund highway construction and repair. But as we drive fewer miles and buy more fuel-efficient cars, gas tax revenue is dwindling, and after electric cars become a reality on the road in 2010, that revenue may begin to dry up altogether. So transportation officials are trying to come up with an alternative to the gasoline tax, and a tax per mile driven appears to be the most popular option.
Residents of Travis, Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell, and Williamson counties have been asked by the University of Iowa, which has been hired to test the feasibility of a mileage tax, to participate in a three year experiment.
"We have chosen places with different sized metropolitan areas," the University of Iowa's Lori Jarmon told 1200 WOAI news. Some places are familiar with toll roads, others are not."
She says motorists selected will have GPS devices placed in their cars and will drive around with the devices mapping their every move for eight months.
"We will send them kind of a make-believe bill, so they can see if the system were to go live in the future, perhaps, what their road use bill might look like."
She says participants will be paid $895 for their trouble.
"We want to find out if vehicle operators accept this or if they don't accept this kind of a system," Jarmon’s aid.
To participate, motorists also have to be at least 18 years old, and be legal U.S. residents. If you live in one of the five counties, call 866-363-1975 or go to www.roaduserstudy.org for more information.
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Related Link: Oregon's Mileage Tax: A Truly Bad Idea
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