Dori is saying “I told you so” to those who thought there was no way that Washington State would follow Oregon in promoting pay-by-mile driving fees. But he told you, and he was right: Washington is now testing how the program would work if applied broadly to all drivers.
Twenty volunteers in Washington have joined Portland’s pilot program to gather data for the Washington State Department of Transportation, which is considering a similar tax program.
Participants in the pilot install a device that tracks their driving and get a monthly bill for one-and-a-half cents per mile driven.
Just because there’s a pilot program doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. But Dori sees the move as a dangerous next step in our surveillance culture.
“They want to put a GPS device on every car in this state,” said Dori. “They want to be able to track where you drive, when you drive, and you will be charged for every mile you drive.”
Washington residents already pay some of the highest gas taxes in the country, but with more fuel efficient vehicles, the gas tax isn’t cutting it to cover the cost of building and maintaining roads.
Meanwhile, a group of Washington mayors are pushing Olympia for even more taxes. They asked the legislature for increased gas taxes, motor vehicle excise taxes, and vehicle license fees.