State rep. files bill to prohibit driving tax based on mileage
State Rep. David L. Flynn, D-Bridgewater, has filed a bill that would prohibit new taxes from being levied on family vehicles based on mileage counts.
Flynn says there’s a risk that families and commuters, already stressed by high gas prices, shouldn’t be tapped to fill the state’s revenue gap.
“There is always the possibility that someone might propose odometer-based charges on private passenger cars. I want to act now to prevent any possibility of raising taxes on the backs of these family motorists,” he said.
Flynn, House chairman of the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets, said, taxing private cars would be “counter-productive and punitive” and could raise personal privacy issues.
There are two potential ways auto mileage could be taxed.
The low-tech way would be to determine miles driven between annual auto inspections.
The high tech way would be to develop a Global Positioning System-based computerized “odometer” reading on an any-time basis.
Some other states, including Oregon and California, municipalities and countries have similar ideas for a “pay-as-you-drive” system.
Flynn says, “Enough is enough.”
“My bill will be a simple one. It would provide, in an amendment to Chapter 64A of the General Laws, that ‘No tax on the mileage a privately owned motor vehicle is driven shall be imposed by the Commonwealth, a county or city or town,’” he said.
He would prefer to see the state raise an estimated $500 million a year by legalizing slot machines at its four racetracks.
His bill is due to go before the House this summer.