LANSING, Mich. (MIRS NEWS) – It may be time to add the abbreviation “VMT” to your legislative vocabulary. In a host of other states, the Vehicle Miles Traveled tax is getting a better workout than in Michigan, where the Governor has only begun to consider alternatives to the aging gas tax.

There is universal agreement that as more and more electric vehicles are purchased, the state will suffer huge loses at the pump since the EVs don’t pay the gas tax.

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The question is how they should pay into improving the roads. Some argue those drivers shouldn’t pay because it would discourage the purchase of the environmentally friendly cars and trucks.

At least 10 states have started the discussion on the VMT, some with more success than others. Oregon and Utah were at the vanguard of the movement, but the program in Oregon is voluntary and a legislative attempt to make it mandatory died. Tennessee lawmakers considered it but a call for a task force failed.

The debate elsewhere has centered on how the mileage data is collected. More importantly, how secure is that data once it is in the government’s hands and how private is it?

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Virginia adopted a no-sell data rule; it forbids usage for purposes other than to collect the fee, and motorists have the option to opt out of sharing the location of their travels.

Oregon is allowing two private vendors to collect the data by installing a device and the companies send bills to motorists. Drivers who end up still paying the gas tax, which has not been eliminated, are reimbursed by the state. The state’s transportation department also does some of the data gathering and billing.

In one state, the 1.8-cent-per mile tax resulted in drivers paying $207 a year if they drove 11,500 miles.

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told the Detroit Free Press, “It’s going to require a major policy change” that will require a bipartisan buy in from all parties. “This cannot come from one person,” noted the Governor who tried that by proposing a 45-cent-gas tax hike that went nowhere in the GOP legislature.

The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association is conducting a study on alternatives to the gas tax with a report due in late winter.

Four states, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Iowa are taxing EV’s at charging stations.