2,702 pages later, we have an infrastructure bill. But it’s not without a few (many) questionable government oversteps, including plans to monitor driving habits and test a mileage tax.
Flipping quickly to page 511, we find details on the proposed tax pilot program.
The objectives of the pilot program are—
(A) to test the design, acceptance, implementation, and financial sustainability of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee;
(B) to address the need for additional revenue for surface transportation infrastructure and a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee; and
(C) to provide recommendations relating to the adoption and implementation of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.
A tax on the American people for driving, enforced by the mile. But more alarming, perhaps, is all the ways the government intends to monitor Americans to collect data on miles driven:
(A) Third-party on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) devices.
(B) Smartphone applications.
(C) Telemetric data collected by automakers.
(D) Motor vehicle data obtained by car insurance companies.
(E) Data from the States that received a grant under section 6020 of the FAST Act (23 U.S.C. 503 note; Public Law 114–94) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act).
(F) Motor vehicle data obtained from fueling stations.
(G) Any other method that the Secretary considers appropriate.
Any other method that the Secretary considers appropriate? That sounds like a blank check to track American drivers however they want.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the average person drives close to 13,500 miles every year. And now they can look forward to being watched and taxed for every mile.
Until they can no longer afford to drive.