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Texas Transportation Commission examining possibility of taxing drivers by the mile

Texas Transportation Commission examining possibility of taxing drivers by the mile

WacoTrib.com

By Michael W. Shapiro Tribune-Herald staff writer

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For the last two decades, Texans have paid to keep up and expand the state’s highway system through a 20 cents-per-gallon gas tax. But with gas-tax revenues drying up, transportation officials are looking at another way to fund road projects.

The Texas Transportation Commission last month tasked the Highway User Fee Exploratory Committee with examining the idea of charging drivers based not on how much fuel they pump but how many miles they travel.

Several local officials said gas-tax shortfalls, which have stalled several local road projects indefinitely, warrant taking a long, hard look at a mileage-based tax, often referred to as a vehicle-miles-traveled, or VMT, tax. With drivers in the state switching to more fuel-efficient vehicles — a trend that is expected to increase in the coming decades — Chris Evilia, director of the Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization, says a VMT tax is all the more important.

Though the TTC recently agreed to allot almost $1.1 billion in voter-approved bond money to widen five stretches of Interstate 35 in Central Texas, Evilia said everything else that’s not paid for with stimulus money is on hold... FULL ARTICLE

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