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Bay Area drivers could pay to drive each mile under tax proposal

Imagine being taxed a dollar for driving to the store. Commute to work? That’ll be a few bucks more.
Is it crazy or the way of the future? The Bay Area is considering a long-range plan to become the first place in the nation to tax drivers for every mile they travel, with an average bill of up to $1,300 per year.
The proposal is a long way from becoming reality. But under the scenario, drivers would likely have to install GPS-like trackers on their cars to tally travel in the nine-county Bay Area, from freeways to neighborhood streets, with only low-income people exempted.
Transportation planners know they would have a tough time selling such a radical plan but argue the goal of the so-called VMT (vehicle miles traveled) tax is to reduce traffic and pollution while raising revenue needed to fill potholes and bolster public transit service.
“I don’t want to say it’s pie in the sky. A VMT charge is really an option for the future to be looked at and considered,” said Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the agency leading the effort. He said realistically the plan is so complex it might take a decade to implement if the public buys in.
Under the early proposal, the VMT tax could cost up to a dime per mile, or the cost may peak during rush hour and bottom out, perhaps to less than a penny per mile, when the roads are mostly empty.
“Are you kidding me?” said South Bay driver
More mercurynews.com

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