With GOP Help, Biden’s Plan To Tax People For Driving Moves Ahead

President Joe Biden now wants to tax you for driving.

The $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” plan unveiled by the White House includes a pilot program for a “national motor vehicle per-mile user fee,” which is defined as “a revenue mechanism that is applied to road users operating motor vehicles on the surface transportation system, and is based on the number of vehicle miles traveled by an individual road user.”

The “user fee” – which in non-bureaucratese means tax – is needed “to restore and maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, and to improve and maintain the surface transportation system.”

It would apply to “passenger motor vehicles, light trucks, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks,” as well as commercial vehicles.

And how does it work?

The bill says the “collection tools” include “third-party on-board diagnostic devices, smartphone apps, “telemetric data collected by automakers, vehicle data obtained by car insurance companies, data compiled by states, vehicle data obtained from gas stations, or “any other method that the Secretary [of Transportation] considers appropriate.”

Under the measure, recommendations of the feasibility of such a program would come from an advisory board whose members include not only trucking industry reps and fleet owners but also academics and “advocacy groups focused on equity.”

The bill says the pilot program is supposed to be voluntary, and that the identity of participants will remain private. The advisory board is also supposed to include a privacy expert.

And in a boon to another group of glad-handers, collecting the tax could be outsourced to “independent and private third-party vendors.”

The bill says the government will spend $2 million a year over five years to implement a pilot program that allegedly will last only a year. This proposal is buried more than 500 pages into the 2,702-page bill.

In a familiar development, Biden and his administration have lied about plans for such a tax.

Back in March Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg dismissed the suggestion that Biden would boost the federal gas tax or tax drivers simply for driving in order to pay for the infrastructure plan.

“That’s not part of the conversation about this infrastructure bill,” Buttigieg told CNN at the time when asked if Biden would tax motorists by how many miles they drive. “Just want to make sure that’s really clear,” he added.

Interestingly, Buttigieg had reversed course on that. Just a few days earlier, he had admitted a user fee “shows a lot of promise.”

Meanwhile, 17 GOP senators have backed this idea by voting last month in support of allowing the bill to advance to debate. According to CNN, they include:

Roy Blunt of Missouri; Richard Burr of North Carolina; Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia; Bill Cassidy of Louisiana; Susan Collins of Maine; Kevin Cramer of North Dakota; Mike Crapo of Idaho; Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; Chuck Grassley of Iowa; John Hoeven of North Dakota; Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Rob Portman of Ohio; Jim Risch of Idaho; Mitt Romney of Utah; Thom Tillis of North Carolina’ and Todd Young of Indiana.

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