Vermont legislators are looking at ways to change from increasingly outmoded gasoline tax to a mileage tax for vehicles, so that road-repair funds won’t run out as people switch to electric vehicles. (Valley News story is here.)
Officials have described a possible framework: The Department of Motor Vehicles could calculate the amount drivers owe using odometer readings, which are already collected during annual vehicle inspections.
The fees would be comparable to what the average gas-powered car driver pays in state gas taxes, which is about $150 a year, said Patrick Murphy, sustainability and innovations project manager at the Agency of Transportation. Drivers would likely be able to pay in multiple installments over a year.
Any mileage tax needs to be linked to the Fourth power law, so that ultra-heavy vehicles (EV and ICE) and semis don’t shirk the consequences of wearing down the roads much, much faster than lighter vehicles.
That makes absolute sense in terms of fairness, but it would eliminate the registration of 18-wheelers in Vermont. A fully loaded semi does about 9600 times the road damage of a sedan.
F150 drivers would object to paying 16 times as much as Fiat 500 drivers.