I would not…unless the money went towards a project that had a direct impact on my community. And that is apparently the idea behind the Voluntary Gas Tax program, which originated in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Like-minded people are getting together, bringing with them their gas receipts and then they are donating money based on how much fuel they collectively used. splinter groups have also been founded in Davis, California and Goshen, Indiana. To date, the Harrisonburg group has raised over $9,000 over the past seven years, donating the money towards groups advocating for local bike paths, giving reflector lights to people at a halfway house for their bikes, and other such initiatives.
So this isn’t a tax, per-se, but more of a guilt-driven donation. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Obviously the money is going towards good causes, and it’s a different take on the whole donation idea. I’m still not sure I’d give up what little extra money I have, but on the same token, I’d love to give back to my community in a bigger way. However, gas needs to go over $7 a gallon for most Americans to seriously consider giving up their petrol addiction, and even with gas sitting around $3.50 a gallon right now, we’re only halfway there. Even Bob Lutz, the man behind the new Camaro and the Chevy Volt, thinks a higher gas tax would help get America off of oil.
Would you willingly apply a voluntary gas tax to your life if it meant giving back to your local community?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.