May 22, 2015
Interesting news on encouraging efficiency in transportation and supporting infrastructure by paying for driving. This new system is innovative but can the socioeconomic structure bear the weight of the innovation. “In Oregon, pay as you go” is a new approach to encouraging new thinking. “Oregon is set to become the first state in the nation to implement a pay-per-mile tax.
The measure is currently voluntary, starts in July and will be open to only 5,000 drivers. Participating drivers will have their mileage recorded and be charged 1.5 cents per mile. They’ll get credit to offset the fuel tax at the pump. It’s an interesting experiment by the state as an attempt to offset the dropping revenue from the fuel tax. This is a problem across the United States as more drivers opt for fuel-efficient vehicles,” CNN reports.
The challenge is that the solution does not address the answer which is to change other systems such as poverty, jobs and construction. In addition, efficient vehicle are not yet manufactured that are cost efficient.
This tax assists those who can transfer to fuel efficient cars and/or electric. This transition to efficient cars is a challenge for those seeking work, under employed or economically challenged.
The poor may not find it easy to pay this tax as they undoubtedly have to drive distances to work. This tax is assessing a fee for not having the ability to work via telecommute or find other strategic methods of gaining revenue.
The tax does not address how construction has been in operation that allows prime contractors to bid and then deliver addendum(s) that change and extend the scope of the work for more profits that delivers cost overruns to the tax payer.
The tax must address the other gaps in the process so that what drivers pay actually serves the purpose of its objective.
Next is to consider can one more tax overburden the already over taxed citizens. The opportunity to address sustainable solutions and the efficiency of the overall ecosystem. Cities and states can not pay their way out of a problem more thinking is required.
Systems changes often do not address the problem but create a solution for another problem. This is a story worthy of following as the idea becomes an application.