Florida Motorists May Soon Pay Miles Driven Taxes Based on GPS Tracking

3 Jul 2012

The State of Florida is considering attaching GPS tracking devices to motorists’ vehicles to track miles driven. The miles driven would be tied to a tax — a tax-per-mile driven — as opposed to the current fuel-based tax.

As it currently stands, when an individual fuels up his vehicle at a gas station, a portion of that gas price per gallon is allocated to tax, which is revenue the state uses to maintain its bridges and roads. Presently, that fuel tax rate is 59 cents per gallon in Florida. However, with more people purchasing and driving fuel-efficient vehicles coupled with rising fuel economy, the state is collecting less tax.

Not to mention there’s the  Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, intended to improve the fuel economy of cars, trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles sold in the U.S. In 2011, President Obama revealed an agreement with 13 large automobile manufacturers to increase the average fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 for cars and light-duty trucks. 2011 CAFE standards are 30.2 and 24.1 for cars and light trucks, respectively. In incremental increases in the CAFE standards each year, by 2025, agreed upon CAFE standards for cars and small trucks are 61 and 50, respectively.

Officials from the state of Florida believe this is the best way to ensure all residents pay their fair share toward road repair costs.

Based on mileage driven data, the state would divide up the tax-per-mile-driven revenue among local, county, and state maintained road based upon which roads receive the most traffic.

In addition, to persuade drivers to help reduce traffic congestion during peak hours, a higher tax on roads driven more frequently during rush hour commutes is being discussed by the Florida Transportation Commission.

Florida state officials would like to see this implemented within five years.

Florida isn’t the only state considering a tax-per-mile-driven approach utilizing a GPS tracking device.  Both Minnesota and Oregon are also considering implementing a similar setup, which the USA Today reports are already in the testing phase. Nevada and Washington are also looking at comparable arrangements.

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