NEWS & ANALYSIS

Senate Infrastructure Bill Includes Pilot Program to Test Motorist Mileage Tax


Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are moving to create a motorist tax as part of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. 

“National motor vehicle per-mile user fee pilot,” a pilot program to tax drivers based on their vehicle mileage, was slipped into a section of the legislation. 

The current draft legislation requires Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to provide recommendations to Congress three years after the pilot starts, allowing lawmakers to decide then whether to officially impose the tax, Just the News reports.

The program would target “passenger motor vehicles, light trucks, and medium and heavy-duty trucks,” and suggest fees that “may vary between vehicle types and weight classes to reflect estimated impacts on infrastructure, safety, congestion, the environment, or other related social impacts.” 

“The Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of the treasury, and consistent with the recommendations of the advisory board, shall establish a pilot program to demonstrate a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee to restore and maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and to improve and maintain the surface transportation system,” the bill reads. 

“The objectives of the pilot program are to test the design, acceptance, implementation, and financial sustainability of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee, to address the need for additional revenue for surface transportation infrastructure and a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee; and to provide recommendations relating to the adoption and implementation of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.”