Just last week Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg floated a funding idea for President Biden’s upcoming multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure bill that would hit poor and middle-class Americans that hardest.
Buttigieg suggested a mileage tax, which is based on what he called the “user pays principle—the idea that part of how we pay for roads is you pay based on how much you drive.” Drivers would thus be hit with this tax in addition to facing steadily climbing gas prices since President Biden took office.
Now, however, he’s walking back that suggestion.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday, the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor said a mileage tax is “not part of the conversation about this infrastructure bill.”
“So just want to make sure that that’s really clear, but you will be hearing a lot more details in the coming days about how we envision being able to fund this,” Buttigieg said. “And again, these are carefully thought-through responsible ideas that ultimately are going to be a win for the economy and need to be compared to the unaffordable cost of the status quo.”
He then reiterated Biden’s pledge to not raise taxes on those earning under $400,000.
“One thing I will do is reiterate the president’s commitment that his proposals will not raise taxes at all on anyone making under $400,000 a year,” Buttigieg told the host. “If you’re making less than $400,000 a year, this proposal will not involve a tax increase for you."
The change in tune comes after his March 26 comments where he said a mileage tax “shows a lot of promise.”