The volatile nature of the gas tax has some transportation funding advocates looking at a Vehicle Miles Travelled tax instead, but it’s a bad idea.
The first reason is that the politics are even worse than the gas tax. It’s a scary new tax, civil libertarian organizations like the ACLU are going to oppose it on privacy grounds, and it doesn’t distinguish between giant trucks and smaller fuel-efficient cars.
It is also more expensive to collect:
For all the gas tax’s woes, it’s cheap to collect, Lee said, with less than 1% of revenue wasted on logistics. For mileage-based fee systems, which haven’t scaled up yet, collection costs have been 20%-40%. Other issues include how to record out-of-state miles and how long to keep driver data.
That would come down if states started implementing it, but would it come down to less than 1% of revenue?
Let’s all stop thinking about VMT and get to work picking state-level fights on road fares.