Oregon's plan to tax motorists based on number of miles driven rather than amount of fuel consumed is expected to launch in 2015 on a volunteer basis.
The problem for lawmakers is that the existing per-gallon gas tax has hit a point of diminishing returns, as Americans drive less and vehicles become more fuel efficient. The federal Highway Trust Fund, which gives money to states for highway construction and repairs, for example, has needed a congressional bailout four times since 2009, in part the result of no federal gas tax increase in the past 20 years.
Rick Geddes, a Cornell University professor, said the basic device is okay because it is simply attached to a vehicle’s computer, which cannot track locations.
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