Highway subcommittee chair talks highway usage tax, infrastructure

| February 28, 2013

highway infrastructureRep. Thomas Petri, a Republican from Wisconsin, said a vehicle miles traveled tax — a highway usage fee, essentially — may be a source of revenue for highway funding in the future.

Petri is chairman of the Highways and Transit subcommittee to the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and addressed a meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Wednesday. Like outgoing Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood’s speech to AASHTO, Petri said investments in infrastructure are needed to make the U.S. the most efficient and most competitive country in the world.

Part of that will include a March 14 hearing of his subcommittee to determine progress on things like the National Freight Network and other provisions included in the MAP-21 highway bill signed last summer.

The other part of that will include future funding to improve infrastructure and make transportation more efficient, and, moving forward, a fuel tax is not going to be the right approach, as it has been the last century.

“Using the gas tax as proxy for road use is something that worked in the 1950s, but it’s not going to work in the 2050s,” he said.
For more on Petri’s speech, see Overdrive sister site CCJ‘s article, which includes a video of Petri’s address.
  • http://twitter.com/jihadlives John

    The government is coming after personal vehicles with the tax..

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.nilsen Ken Nilsen

    Here is a better place to start. Stop using federal and state highway funds for high speed rail, city buses, bike trails, trolleys, and other useless ideas that do not have anything to do with interstate commerce. After you have taken all of that money back there would be more for interstate infrastructure.

  • rcdwltd

    Ken Nilsen is right! Stop using the highway tax fund for high speed rail, city buses, bike trails, trolleys and enterprises other than highways!

  • Doug

    How about OUR corrupt government quit spending our tax money on other countries infrastructure and bribing them. If they spent that money on America we would be in good shape.

  • Paul White

    Don’t we already have a highway use tax? It is filed on a 2290 every year. How about adding a tax similar to the Heavy Hwy Use tax for 4 wheelers. They could provide odometer readings each year when renewing tags and pay tax on how much they drive. Why do we always look to add an additional burden on the trucking industry which is already heavily taxed?

  • David S. McQueen

    The federal government wants to create essentially a 55 million-mile toll road. How it will determine how many miles we all drive is problematical. I agree with Ken et al about the federal grants for street cars and bike trails. There are no interstate bike trails.

  • steve rhyner

    lets ask congress to show us how they have been spending the money they already collect.the problem is in wash. i believe

  • mousekiller

    The problem with this tax is that it will not be going wholly intact to highways & bridges. It will go to legislators pet projects, bike & walking paths and special interest ventures no different than it does now.

  • The George and Wendy Show

    They have already started installing RF readers… Will be very similar to the pre-pass and toll system.

  • Robert

    They are already working on the idea of the mileage tax for four wheelers out west. They claim high MPG vehicles are not paying their fair share. I guess it’s only a matter of time.

  • John,,

    It should come without prejeduce to have ALL vehicles file a yearly highway use tax form. Trucks and all other commercial vehicles are required to comply,,so too should cars,taxis,rental vehicles. ANY vehicle. We [trucks] already are taxed at the pump,,are then again taxed thruogh road use IFTA. All vehicles should be required to pay their fair share for road use.

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