Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg Walks Back Idea to Fund Infrastructure With Mileage Tax

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Monday that the Biden administration’s infrastructure proposal would not include a gas or mileage tax after he floated the idea earlier this month, CNN reports.

Buttigieg floated the idea of a tax based on the mileage drivers accrue to pay for some of the $4 trillion infrastructure plan last week.

“When you think about infrastructure, it’s a classic example of the kind of investment that has a return on that investment,” he told CNBC, offering a mileage tax as a potential revenue stream.

“A so-called vehicle-miles-traveled tax or mileage tax, whatever you want to call it, could be a way to do it,” he said, adding that it “shows a lot of promise if we believe in that so-called user-pays principle: The idea that part of how we pay for roads is you pay based on how much you drive.”

“You’re hearing a lot of ‘maybe’ here,” he added, “because all of these things need to be balanced and could be part of the mix.

Pete walks it back:

Buttigieg walked the idea back after it was met with backlash.

"No, that's not part of the conversation about this infrastructure bill," he told CNN when asked if a mileage tax was on the table, adding that there would be no gas tax either.

Buttigieg reiterated Biden’s vow not to raise taxes on people earning under $400,000, which such a tax would do.

"I hope we can work in good faith with folks across the aisle in Congress to get some votes there," Buttigieg said. "Ultimately it's up to them whether they are going to support something. But we're going to work with them to try to shape it in a way that earns as much support as possible."

Biden eyes trillions in tax hikes:

Biden plans to unveil a $2+ trillion infrastructure bill that is expected to fund roads, bridges, highways, ports, elderly care, housing infrastructure, US manufacturing, electrical grid, and water systems. The administration vowed to press forward with a second part of the package that would include funding for clean energy and family support.

The administration initially planned to raise about $1 trillion in taxes but is now pushing forward with a plan to hike taxes by about $3.5 trillion to cover most of the cost due to economic concerns.

The administration aimed to hike taxes on wealthy investors, the rich, and corporations. The plan is expected to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, end federal subsidies for fossil fuel companies, increase the global minimum tax from 13% to 21%, and other measures.


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