California is the latest state seriously considering a mileage tax on drivers to help pay for new roads, it's an idea also being floated here in Texas.
Ginger Goodin, director of the Transportation Policy Research Center at Texas A&M's Texas Transportation Institute, says many states are considering a mileage tax because of falling gas tax revenue due to electric cars.
“As vehicles get more fuel efficient over time, as we see more alternative fuels and electric vehicles that aren't paying at the fuel pump the way we're paying now, then you're going to see a decline over time in the revenue that is coming in,” she says.
“What you begin to see are people who can afford more expensive vehicles that are alternative fuel vehicles or electric vehicles, they're paying less for their use of the roadway than somebody who has a gasoline-powered vehicle.”
In fact, Goodin says your yearly inspection could potentially come with a bill for miles driven.
“Part of that inspection, the odometer reading is recorded, so that data is being gathered right now,” she says. “There are some issues in terms of the reliabiltiy of that data which would have to be looked at.”
She says it's something state lawmakers will be forced to consider in the decades ahead.