The gasoline tax has long been the method of choice for raising money for public road upkeep, but more fuel efficient cars are slowly eroding funds from the public coffers. Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski wants to keep road repair money flowing, so he's proposing the dreaded mileage tax. Opponents of the idea see a GPS-based solution as being an invasion of privacy, giving the government the ability to track where tax-payers go. However, the proposed system in Oregon doesn't track any travel points. Mileage is instead read whenever drivers fuel up, and a 1.2 cent per mile tax is levied. The program was tested in 2006 and 2007 with 300 motorists participating in the experiment.

Someone driving 12,000 miles per year would pay $144 in mileage tax. For comparison's sake, a 25 mpg vehicle driving 12,000 miles would pay $115 based on Oregon's current 0.24 cent per gallon tax. Kulongoski has no power to enforce a mileage tax, so he's relying on the Oregon legislature to make the tax law. Since it will take time to get all vehicles on the road equipped with a GPS device, the standard gas tax would remain in effect for the foreseeable future, with a possible two cent increase. Commuters equipped with a GPS system would receive a refund for gas taxes paid.

[Source: Gazette Times]