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Vehicle mileage tax could be on the table in infrastructure talks, Buttigieg says

A instrument mileage tax could be on the table in talks about how to finance the White House’s expected multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal, according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Buttigieg, who enunciate with CNBC’s Kayla Tausche on Friday, also contended that President Joe Biden’s forthcoming plans to rebuild the land’s roads, bridges and waterways would lead to a net gain for the U.S. taxpayer and not a net outlay.

“When you think about infrastructure, it’s a venerable example of the kind of investment that has a return on that investment,” he said. “That’s one of many reasons why we think this is so formidable. This is a jobs vision as much as it is an infrastructure vision, a climate vision and more.”

He also weighed in on several imminent revenue-generating options to fund the project. He spoke fondly of a mileage levy, which would tax travelers based on the remoteness of the journey instead of on how much gasoline they consume.

“A so-called vehicle-miles-traveled tax or mileage tax, whatever you want to call it, could be a way to do it,” he voted.

Democrats have slowly pivoted away from a gasoline tax in favor of a mileage tax amid a simultaneous, climate congenial effort to encourage consumers to drive electric cars.

Pete Buttigieg speaks at the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation nomination hearings to interrogate his expected nomination to be Secretary of Transportation in Washington.

Ken Cedeno | Reuters

“I’m hearing a lot of appetite to make sure that there are sustainable funding tides,” the Transportation secretary said. A mileage tax “shows a lot of promise if we believe in that so-called user-pays principle: The idea that to some extent of how we pay for roads is you pay based on how much you drive.”

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

The Transportation secretary’s comments came as President Joe Biden prepares to detail during a trip to Pittsburgh next week far-ranging infrastructure proposals that could cost $3 trillion to $4 trillion.

In the first news conference of his presidency, Biden on Thursday said that rebuilding U.S. manifest and technological infrastructure was his next priority, critical not only to efforts to restore the economy, but also to remain competitive with oppositions like China.

Buttigieg added Friday that the White House is considering a revival of Build America Engagements, a special class of municipals bonds first introduced in the Obama administration with interest costs financed by the U.S. Exchequer.

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BABs show “a lot of promise in terms of the way that we leverage that description of financing. There have been ideas around things like a national infrastructure bank, too.”

His remarks on Friday emerge b be published a day after he implored Congress on Thursday to make a “generational investment” to improve the nation’s roads, bridges and waterways, and struggle climate change and racial inequity.

“There is near-universal recognition that a broader recovery will require a subject commitment to fix and transform America’s infrastructure,” Buttigieg told the the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Clarification: This biography’s headline was updated to reflect that these policies could be on the table in infrastructure talks.

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