If you've got the money to buy an electric car, would you be willing to pay a voluntary gas tax? How about if you're an avid biker, and are using public roads without buying much gas – should you chip in to keep those roads in good repair? Or what if you just want to remind yourself that what you're pumping into your car isn't exactly good for the environment?

Questions like these have been raised and answered by a group of concerned citizens in Harrisonburg, VA since late 2000. Called the Voluntary Gas Tax campaign – where people donate a bit of money for every gallon of gas they use – the idea is to rethink how much we rely on petroleum, and to make clear that, "the price of gasoline and other oil products does not reflect the actual costs that our global community incurs as a result of our dependence on oil."

We know that, on the national level, a higher gas tax is has at least some bi-partisan support, but the Voluntary Gas Tax remains small after ten years. Still, the group has

So how much money are we talking about? Well, our tiny group of about a dozen or twenty folks here in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has collected about $9,000 over the past seven years. Not huge, but not chicken scratch either, in our humble opinion. Some of us who drive work vans kick in more. But the heroes among us are the bikers who use cars quite sparingly! That's the goal anyway: use less oil!

You can see some of the group's beneficiaries here. More Voluntary Gas Tax groups exist around the country, but this is probabaly something you can do on your own, if you were so inclined.

[Source: Voluntary Gas Tax via Treehugger]


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