Washington State Viewpoint: Nine months as a guinea pig for pay-by-the-mile tax study

In nine months, I logged more than 7,800 miles on our family SUV and shelled out an estimated $187.42 in state gas taxes, according to my mock invoices. That amounted to more than I would pay under the simulated 2.4 cents-per-mile plan. So my account so far has a credit of a little over $5. (If it were real money, I could score a cup of fancy coffee at Narrative.)

Washington is among several states giving “road usage charges” a look. Proponents believe a mileage tax could provide a more stable and equitable “user pays” source of roads funding than a gas tax as vehicles become more fuel efficient or switch to alternative fuels.

The tricky part is how to make it work.