The government must hate tourism, or they just love taxes! The Obama administration is once again floating the ‘pay-per-mile’ tax idea. Is it really the time for the current administration to be purposing yet another tax? Yes, it appears a bit fairer on the surface. People can either choose to pay the tax or not based on how much traveling they do. But, is it fair for a government to continue adding more and more taxes without making sacrifices itself by cutting extravagant spending? This increase in tax could affect vacations, tourism, transportation, and the everyday life of Americans.
Many Americans have gone to taking ‘staycations’ due to the downturn in the economy. During a staycation, families take day trips to the surrounding area of where they live, but sleep at home. They spend a few days at home, too. Implementing a ‘pay-per-mile-tax’ could see a $0.9 per mile tax increase to $2.2 per mile, or a $.46 per gallon increase at the pump. This will definitely hurt the family traveling budget even more.
Less time spent vacationing and seeing the sites, either at home or away, will affect tourism. A decrease in demand means a decrease in revenue. Less revenue from tourists mean increased prices at hotels, attractions, and restaurants. As it becomes more difficult for businesses to make money, jobs begin to be cut. At some point, a decrease in revenues and a decrease in staff (to maintain productivity) causes a business to not be able to sustain itself. Not only will the family vacation take a downturn, but families will also have to decide what is most important for weekly activities.
Many families are constantly on the go these days. Kids are involved in sports, music lessons, community volunteering to meet school requirements, church, and entertainment, such as going to the movies. Then there are the errands that have to be done to maintain the home. Groceries, school clothes and supplies, clothes from the dry cleaner, and more, have to be taken care of on a weekly basis. With a possible 250% ‘pay-per-mile’ tax increase, people will really have to weigh their choices of activities. Attending church, a child’s athletic game or practice, or running errands will bring new financial struggles to families who are already feeling financial pain from the additional tax increases that hit paychecks this month of January.
Those who use public transportation aren’t off the hook, either. Before my grandmother passed away, she got to the point where she couldn’t drive, so she took a cab to run her errands. Sometimes she took the senior transportation bus. She was on a strict monthly budget, as many seniors are, and an increase in transportation costs would have been a big to deal to her. Seniors, like my grandmother, and low-income families, will get to contribute to the ‘pay-per-mile’ tax when the cost to public transportation companies is passed along to them. Taking the cab or bus will become costly.
Where’s the flurry of news about the ‘pay-per-mile’ tax increase in mainstream media? They are paying for all of these taxes, too. At some point we must stand up and say, “Enough is enough!” “We will not give you anymore money!” “Balance the budget with the funds you have!”