California Proposes VMT Tax to Make Drivers Pay By the Mile

It was the next logical step, I guess. The California state government, which has been teetering in and out of bankruptcy for quite a few years now, had seen its gasoline tax revenue start to dry up. Because people in California just aren’t buying that much gas. All of those hybrid cars and whatnot. And California is happy about reducing its carbon footprint and pollution and all that. It’s just that they also want more money. And that’s when some brilliant bureaucrat came up with the (Vehicle Miles Traveled) VMT Tax:

“We want to do as Washington and Oregon have done in a much bigger state with much longer commutes … to make sure that we find out whether it would work, whether the public would like it or not,” [Democratic Representative Mark] DeSaulnier said.


It’s unknown how much the tax would be, but Oregon currently charges its volunteers 1.5 cents per mile. “All of those things would be determined. We would let the agency determine that because this would be a voluntary program,” DeSaulnier said.

Yes, and I’m sure the VMT tax would stay a voluntary program. Who in the universe is going to agree to pay an extra tax based on the mileage he drives? I’m sure he is not going to get a waiver, so he doesn’t have to pay the gasoline tax at the pump. Isn’t that crazy? That’s like the “extra withholdings” tab on your tax form. I really don’t understand why anyone would voluntarily give more money to the civil government. But I’m not from the West. There must be something in the water.

Or maybe DeSaulnier meant the VMT tax would be voluntary the way Harry Reid thinks income tax is.1 I don’t know. I expected this to come sooner or later. It exposes the fact that big government liberals really aren’t in the environmentalism business in order to benefit the environment. It’s about power and money. As usual. One of the unfortunate side effects of the environmental programs’ successes in California was shrinking tax revenue. But thanks to VMT taxes, they can have their green façade and eat their big government pork pie too. Yay!

  1. And by the way, if you haven’t seen that video, it’s irrational comic gold. Go watch it now. Here’s the link again. []