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Wolf’s fee per mile proposal oppressive

Gov. Wolf’s Transportation Revenue Options Commission funding draft made front page news in the July 16 Altoona Mirror and rightly so.

Proposals include increasing vehicle registration, rental fees, package delivery and Uber and Lyft rides.

At first glance these may seem reasonable, but I decided to perform a little math on the cost of the mileage fee to see how it would compare to existing gas taxes we pay.

PA gasoline tax = 58.7 cents/gallon.

Federal gasoline tax = 18.4 cents/gallon.

Assume 12,000 miles per year travel.

Assume 20 miles/gallon fuel efficiency (many of us in this area drive all wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles).

With the above assumptions, our current annual total gas tax is $463/year of which $352 goes to PA.

With the above assumptions, an annual mileage tax will be $972 for an all-electric vehicle — 210% increase in the total gas taxes we currently pay.

But we don’t all have all-electric vehicles, so most of us will still need to purchase gasoline.

Even if PA decides to repeal the PA gas tax (which is debatable), there will still be a federal tax of 18.4 cents/gallon plus the mileage tax.

Again, with the above assumptions, the annual gas tax will be $1,082 – 234% increase in the tax we pay.

The federal 18.4 cents/gallon does come back in some way to PA through the federal transportation bill, but this puts gasoline and diesel vehicle owners shouldering more of the load in maintaining roads and bridges.

I get we need to figure out new ways outside of fuel taxes to generate revenue for highway and bridge maintenance.

A mileage tax seems reasonable; however, 8.1 cents / mile is very steep.

A mileage tax around the

4.5 cents per mile and repealing the PA gasoline tax would still increase highway maintenance revenues and not be overly oppressive.

William Wilkinson

Altoona

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