traffic jam
‘Freedom to Move’ Bill To Ban Taxes On Vehicle Miles Traveled Stalls In Senate

March 9, 2024

By Corinne Murdock |

The “Freedom to Move” bill, a ballot referral that would create a constitutional ban on taxes or fees for Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and limitations on travel miles, SCR1002/HCR2018, failed to pass in the Senate on Wednesday. 

The resolution failed as Republican State Sen. Ken Bennett (R-LD01) joined Democrats in voting against it.

VMTs levy fees based on miles driven, generally for passenger vehicles only. Oregon implemented a VMT in 2015, and Utah implemented a VMT in 2020. The federal government has encouraged VMT pilots and enhancements through its Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) grant program. Arizona is a member state of the STSFA Road Usage Charge (RUC) America Pilot, as are 12 other states.

Bennett expressed frustration that he was unable to have “reasonable changes” made to this or any other resolution like it. 

The senator said that while he agreed with the desire to prevent limitations to free movement, he had concerns that the bill didn’t provide sufficient exceptions for governmental entities to monitor their vehicles for maintenance and employee reimbursement purposes. 

Bennett further noted that businesses brought concerns to him that they would be prevented from complying with or taking advantage of the state implementation plan through Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and federal statutes.

“We do not want Arizona ever to be going down the road of what’s happening in other jurisdictions where they’re using VMT taxes or fees to limit people’s ability to move freely wherever they want to go,” said Bennett.

Bennett also claimed the bill wouldn’t appropriately apply to alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric vehicles. He suggested the legislature first come up with an energy equivalency calculation to bring alternative fuel vehicles into the process of paying for the roads.

“The growing number of electric vehicles is outside the HURF [Highway User Revenue Fund] revenue in this state, and we have to address that,” said Bennett.

Sen. Jake Hoffman (R-LD15) dismissed Bennett’s concerns as “patently false” and alleged that his counterpart knew that to be the case. 

Hoffman countered that the bill does allow for governmental entities to enact VMT monitoring or limitations, just not mandates for businesses, and that the bill wouldn’t preclude businesses from voluntarily engaging with VMT rules or policies. The latter was a provision added under an amendment at the request of Intel Corporation, according to Hoffman. 

Hoffman said that the federal government and entities bent on advancing environmental interests and policies were behind a feverish push for VMT.

“It’s called choice architecture, it’s a theory of the left. In choice architecture, you artificially alter the inputs with which people make decisions, so that the architecture surrounding those decisions changes,” said Hoffman. “You raise the price of gas to an unreasonable level, well, what’s the resulting behavior? They don’t drive as much.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Republican State Sen. Frank Carroll (R-LD28) voted against SCR1002/HCR2018. Sen. Carroll voted in favor of the resolution.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Get FREE News Delivered to Your Inbox!

Corporate media seeks stories that serve its own interests. But you deserve to know what’s really going on in your community. Stay up to date on the latest in Arizona by signing up to get FREE news delivered to your inbox.

You May Also Like …

Connect with us!


A project of the Arizona Freedom Foundation  |  All Rights Reserved 2024  |  Code of Ethics  |  Privacy Policy

Share This