With transportation infrastructure falling apart before our eyes and little money to fix it, there has been much talk recently about modernizing the gas tax. It’s been at the same rate for two decades, at 18.4 cents a gallon for regular gasoline.
The big debate in recent years has been how to bring a tax increase into the 21st century. Lawmakers worry that just jacking it up would be extremely unpopular with taxpayers right now and are looking for a more equitable way to spread the cost, such as paying based on how much you drive.
The New York Times weighs in on the debate in an editorial, suggesting a system based on something called a “ton mile.” Here’s the article.
I would go for a ton mile fee, as I have a very light Ford Escort and the 7500 miles they use as an example is close to what I drive. I find it odd that I am charged the same tonnage fee on both my vehicles and the Escort is at least a 1000 pounds lighter than my Jeep Liberty, which I drive even less than the Escort.
So, according to the article, you'd pay about $50 a year for a ton mile fee, which doesn't seem bad at all to me. It also seems like a pretty simple system that couldn't be messed up too badly because all they do is check your odometer each year and determine how heavy your car is. That is odd about the weight difference between your vehicles. Would need some fine-tuning I guess.
I think the state uses a flat rate on our licenses and then calls it a tonnage fee.