San Francisco considering mileage tax

July 25, 2012 12:00 AM

As fuel economy increases, one side effect is that governments are collecting less in taxes. Gas taxes add a small surcharge to each gallon of gas sold, but with high MPG cars now the norm, drivers are refueling less and less.

According to The Associated Press, officials in the San Francisco area are considering a new tax in order to recoup the lost money. The idea is to charge local residents for every mile they drive, rather than apply the tax to the gas.

To achieve this, all cars would be required to install GPS devices. The proposal has raised issues of privacy, as the government would theoretically be able to tell where residents were traveling.

"The last thing we're interested in is where you go and what you do," Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesperson Randy Rentschler told the news source. "What we're trying to do is get people to figure out a way to raise revenue that they could support."

The idea would charge between one and 10 cents for every mile driven. If enacted, officials say the new tax could raise up to $15 million per day. However, the idea is unlikely to be implemented for quite some time.

Drivers who want to keep their cars going for many miles should invest in auto maintenance, such as oil changes.

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