Jeff Jacoby’s column “Tax the roads, not the fuel” makes many valid points and gives a good perspective on the revenue required to maintain the nation’s aging highway infrastructure.
Over the next 10 years, motor vehicle fuel economy will increase to 54.5 miles per gallon. This, combined with an increasing number of electric and alternative-fuel vehicles, could significantly reduce the gas tax revenue on which the Highway Trust Fund relies. It is time to move to a fairer and more accurate system of revenue collection: increased tolling and charging for miles driven.
President Obama took the first step, calling for states to be allowed to install new tolls on a range of interstate highways. This plan is awaiting congressional action.
In my view, the best system is to charge drivers by miles driven. With today’s technologies there are many ways to implement this system.
The cornerstone of such change, however, must be the installation of new thinking. Infrastructure is expensive, and the cost must be shared fairly by all users.