Vehicle Mileage Tax. Minnesotans were shocked and dismayed this week to learn their state is one of 18 considering passing something called a VMT; A Vehicle Mileage Tax. A GPS locating device would be attached to cars, and drivers would be taxed according to the number of miles they drive. While ‘sources’ say the VMT would replace the state gasoline tax, at an average of 34 cents, that would depend on individual state legislatures and the wording of bills in those respective states. How many Minnesotans would bet the state would ‘replace’ the state gas tax with the VMT? More than likely a reduction in the state gas tax would be combined with a VMT. Advancing this story requires some research on why states spent as much as 150 percent of their gas tax dollars, and Podcast 278 provides the details. Is government efficiently spending transportation dollars? Is government spending transportation dollars on roads? Is government allowing tests of alternative methods of funding roads? Will bicycle riders have to wear GPS devices and pay a VMT too? Why not? What about the privacy issues related to GPS devices placed on the cars of citizens. States will argue ‘driving is a privilege’, and ‘you already have GPS tracking on your cell phone’. Will those arguments be good enough to prevent, or withstand a constitutional challenge if VMT’s are passed? What about ‘intermodal’ and ‘modal’ forms of transportation. How much of the transportation budget is sucked up by commuter rail, light rail, passenger rail, high speed rail and street cars, buses, and bike trails? Can Minnesotans depend on a Republican majority in Saint Paul to vote against this kind of tax. (Editor’s Note: Hint…um…No.) Is this an opportunity for birds of a different feather to flock together and defeat the measure if it is offered in the state house? These kinds of taxes, and so called infrastructure projects, controlled by central planners, rubber stamped by career politicians, create sclerotic bureaucracies and governments with too much centralized control. What strategies might be used effectively to defeat ideas like the VMT, and throw politicians who support them out of government, for good. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.