In what is certainly welcome news for motorists and car aficionados across the country, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has confirmed that there will not be a gas or mileage tax in the Biden administration’s sweeping infrastructure plan.
It’s no secret that America’s roads, bridges, and waterways could use a serious facelift, but the question on everybody’s mind is who would foot the bill. Earlier this week Buttigieg had said that a “mileage levy” was on the table during a CNBC interview last Friday, but has now walked back those claims entirely.
Buttigieg had explained that drivers who use roads more often will be the ones to pay for it.
“A so-called vehicle-miles-traveled tax or mileage tax, whatever you want to call it, could be a way to do it,” he said in the interview at the time.
But now after some pushback and Biden’s stance on avoiding unpopular “user fees,” Buttigieg has changed his tune on the proposition.
“No, that’s not part of the conversation about this infrastructure bill,” Buttigieg told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday.
Of the gas tax on Friday, Buttigieg also said that “if there’s a way to do it that doesn’t increase the burden on the middle class, we can look at it, but if we do, we’ve got to recognize that’s still not going to be the long-term answer.”
Given that majority of working Americans own cars, a mileage tax would’ve weighed heavily on middle-class folks.
For many quarantine-wary Americans who are eager to travel this summer, this is certainly good news. As vaccinations increase, many people are wanting to take trips again but with increasing gas prices I’m sure the last thing people wanted to deal with was an additional mileage or fuel tax on top of that.