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Gas tax down, so officials eye levy on mileage

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- More carpooling, fuel economy, hybrids and electric cars may be good for the environment, but they're bad for state and federal transportation funds, which rely on taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.

Now some states, including Vermont, are eying a "vehicle miles traveled" tax for bridge and road maintenance, where you pay not based on how much fuel you burned, but how far you went.

Vermont Transportation Secretary Brian Searles says such a system — probably five years off at least — would use GPS devices to track mileage and then levy a tax on a per-mile basis.

But officials in other states say there are other technological approaches that wouldn't raise the privacy issues of GPS tracking.

An Oregon bill would let motorists choose from a range of technologies.