In Illinois, a state legislator has proposed imposing tax on the number of miles a person drives, clearly showing that efforts to increase government intervention in the lives of people are probably not going to come to an end anytime soon.
Government controls nearly all aspects of a person’s life – from healthcare to agriculture, from education to transportation, and so much more. When the government (especially at the federal level) intervenes into the lives of Americans through complex regulations, individual freedom is diminished. When quantified, federal regulation costs each American household nearly $15,000 per year.[i] The size and scope of federal government has continued to worry public policy experts for decades. Efforts to shrink the bloated federal labyrinth continue.
But it is not just the federal government that has, over the course of time, expanded its influence on people’s lives. The state government in Illinois has mismanaged the economy. Its response to problems has always been to further inflate the government, rather than making it smaller. High taxes, huge unfunded pension liabilities, and junk credit rating are just a few of the many problems plaguing Illinois. Illinoisans are responding by moving out of the state in massive numbers.[ii] And yet, proposals (such as the one to implement a tax on the number of miles driven) to further grow the tentacles of the government are presented before the people.
The proposal, made by Democrat State Representative Marcus Evans, would replace the gas tax (19 cents per gallon) with a mileage tax (2.1 cent per mile). If implemented, this would potentially raise what people pay for travel. According to a news report by WSIL, for every 10,000 miles, an average driver would see an increase of over $133 in expenses.[iii] Furthermore, drivers would have a meter installed in their vehicles to calculate mileage. While proposed as a pilot program of only 5000 cars, it could be assumed that the goal is to ensure full-scale implementation.
It is not just the financial burden that would hurt people. Operating a vehicle, for work or pleasure, is one of the basic functions that millions of Americans in Illinois and around the country perform regularly. The proposed policy is alarming because it shows how, little by little, the government seeks to become a growing part of people’s lives and infringe on their freedom. Representative Evans’ idea to install meters in vehicles also raises privacy concerns.
Proposed government intervention to tax the number of
miles driven is outrageous and should be strongly opposed. Illinois lawmakers
must promote policies that reign in government spending, and not push the state
further towards economic ruin while failing to protect people’s freedom.