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Dutch drivers to face per kilometer tax

Earlier this year, a pay-per-mile federal driving tax was floated.

Even the Secretary of Transportation expressed some interest in a VMT, or vehicle mileage tax.

Traffic_crowded highway As you might suspect, any even remote idea to make Americans pay more on anything related to our beloved automobiles was quickly shuttled to the "No Way" exit on the political highway.

Mileage tax on track in Europe: It's a different story, however, across the pond. In the Netherlands, just such a road tax proposal is on its way to becoming law.

If finalized, when 2012 rolls around Dutch drivers will pay for every kilometer they are on the road. The tax will increase every year until 2018.

As a trade, the Dutch government would end ownership and sales taxes on autos.

Dutch officials say nearly six out of 10 drivers will benefit under the new system, which shifts the tax burden to people who drive the most and at peak hours.

In addition, mileage tax advocates say the levy would reduce traffic jams, fatal accidents and carbon emissions.

Road tax in Britain, too? A similar proposal is getting a test drive in the United Kingdom.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a panel established by Parliament to advise the government on environmental issues, issued a report last month that "suggests that road pricing would result in a significant emissions reduction … if there were no offsetting reductions in other aspects of transport pricing (i.e. fuel duty, vehicle excise duty)."

Given that data, CCC members recommend that the British government "seriously consider road pricing."

Keep your eyes on this particular tax road. While a national vehicle mileage tax is not likely to come out of Washington, D.C., any time soon, are those light bulbs I see going off over the heads of cash-strapped California lawmakers?

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A gas tax (which already exists) makes more sense to me. It penalizes both mileage and inefficiency simultaneously.

Although it would be terribly unpopular, I would be in favor of a $1/gallon gas tax if all the proceeds went to fund research on renewable energy. We need a long term solution

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