Oregon mileage tax program shows how to do it right
Basically, by combining GPS units that tracks miles driven but only transmit the data to receivers at gas stations and instant tax calculation at the pump, Oregon managed to eliminate a lot of the worries that opponents have of a mileage tax. These include privacy issues and added complexity. Still, one of the biggest problems with a mileage tax - that fuel-efficient vehicles and gas guzzlers are treated equally, thereby eliminating at least one incentive for people to shift to vehicles that burn less fuel - remains, no matter how well the system works. What's more, participants in the program ended up driving less than a control group, so there were some environmental benefits. If you're in favor of charging taxes by the mile, take a look at how one state managed to implement the tax without offending the (self-selected) people paying the money.
Photo by JeffWilcox. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.
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