Metro Board Member Pam O’Connor appointed to state task force on mileage-based user fees

22Long-time Santa Monica Council Member and Metro Board Member Pam O’Connor has been appointed to a California Transportation Commission task force exploring milage-based user fees in the state.

California and the federal government currently raise money for transportation projects by taxing each gallon of gasoline that motorists purchase. The problem is twofold: no one wants to raise those taxes and vehicles have become more fuel efficient in recent years, meaning there has been a big decline in tax revenues collected. At the same time, the cost of transportation projects keeps going up.

A few words about Pam: she’s a frequent transit rider who has served on the Santa Monica Council since 1994 and recently completed another term as the city’s mayor. At Metro, she represents South Bay and other Westside cities on the Board. She’s long pushed for transit and other mobility options — and I think it’s a good thing to have someone at Metro have a seat at the table while a potentially landmark shift in tax policy is discussed and developed. Here’s her full bio.

Mileage0-based user fees would tax motorists based on the number of miles they drive. Such fees have been tested in other states and proponents argue that such fees would be more fair (i.e. those who use roads the most get taxed more) and would also raise the kind of revenues needed to maintain and build transportation infrastructure.

Of course, how to tax motorists is a crucial bit of public policy, especially for Metro, which like all transportation agencies relies heavily on money raised by gas taxes at the state and federal level. The task force that Pam is joining is charged with developing a pilot program that will evaluate mileage-based fees for fairness and effectiveness.

8 replies

  1. “Mileage-based user fees would tax motorists based on the number of miles they drive. Such fees have been tested in other states and proponents argue that such fees would be more fair (i.e. those who use roads the most get taxed more) and would also raise the kind of revenues needed to maintain and build transportation infrastructure.”

    Tell me why if this makes perfect sense then why the same distance based fare logic aren’t done for mass transit? I mean really, is it that hard to figure out that those who ride Metro over a longer distance need to pay more and those who ride Metro over shorter distances? It’s the same exact concept!

  2. Betcha Metro and every government vehicle will be exempt from those mileage based taxes. Tax everybody while continuing to enrich themselves.

  3. If this is approved California will continue to loose businesses and residents to other states. California will be the most heavily taxed state in the nation. What a shame, the government has to ruin everything.

  4. If they want to do a mileage based taxes, it’ll have to be a trade off with the current local and state gas taxes.

    http://i.imgur.com/kdlbvYS.jpg

    They have to pick one or the other, but they can’t have both. Otherwise, everyone will be against this. It’s not just the regular car drivers, but every industry that uses our roads, including commercial vehicles. And don’t underestimate the commercial vehicle industry because that plays a vital role in transporting goods across California. How do you think our food gets to our supermarket?