Reason Foundation

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Reason Foundation

Ten Reasons Why Per-Mile Tolling Is a Better Highway User Fee than Fuel Taxes

Mileage-based user fees are a sustainable, fair and efficient alternative to the gas tax

Robert Poole
February 13, 2014

This policy brief focuses on the challenge of developing a viable, user-friendly, per-mile charging system to replace fuel taxes for the nation's major highways. In doing so, it outlines 10 reasons why per-mile tolling is a better highway user fee than fuel taxes.

As this policy brief makes clear, the fuel tax was never an "ideal user fee". It should be replaced with a direct charge for highway services that is sustainable, fair, efficient and—for major highways and bridges—tailored to the capital and operating cost of individual facilities. This system should not create privacy concerns by enabling governments to track where and when people travel, and should give motorists choices in how to pay for their miles traveled.


Robert Poole is Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow and Director of Transportation Policy

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