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Michigan group to study mileage-based vehicle fee after Wisconsin rejects

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - It's been just over a year since Wisconsin Republicans said no to charging motorists a fee based on how many miles they drive.  

Now, a study group in neighboring Michigan is bringing up the same idea.

An environmentally-based transportation group at the University of Michigan says a mileage fee would more fairly allocate the costs of building and maintaining roads. The group says it would solve the same problems that Wisconsin is facing -- a drop in the miles that people drive, plus falling gas tax revenues due to more fuel efficient cars.  

An author of the Michigan report, Elizabeth Treutel, said a mileage-based vehicle fee would be at least five years away -- but the debate over it should begin now.  

We first learned in 2012 that a Wisconsin task force was considering a mileage-based fee only for certain numbers of miles driven each year. It was part of a series of tax hikes that legislative Republicans dropped with almost no debate.  

Now, state Transportation Secretary Mark Gottleib says his agency is looking at new ideas to prop up road money -- but nothing's been set yet.  

Meanwhile, USA Today says folks in Michigan worry about their privacy being violated if GPS units are put on vehicles to track people's travels.  

Wisconsin's task force expressed concerns about that -- and it proposed that people use the honor system to submit their mileage.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)