It could be an expensive road ahead for Bay Area drivers—literally.
Transportation planners are throwing around the idea to make the Bay Area the first place in the country to tax drivers for every mile they travel, with an average bill of up to $1,300 per year. The scheme would require installing GPS-like trackers on everyone’s car to keep track of how far they travel, which sounds a little fishy on its own.
It’s called the VMT (vehicle miles traveled) tax, and its goal, obviously, is to reduce vehicle pollution and raise revenue to fill potholes and increase public transit service. The idea is kind of a dream right now, but it’s definitely being considered and could take a decade to implement—assuming the public will support it.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments, which consist of county supervisors and city council members from around the Bay Area, are prepared to authorize a study of the proposal Thursday, the Mercury News reports. Officials have yet to comment on the pros and cons of having a VMT tax.
This type of tax, which could raise up to $15 million a day, has been tested in small pilot programs in communities in Oregon, Washington state and Atlanta.