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Buttigieg: No gas tax, mileage tax in infrastructure plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Monday that neither a gas tax nor a mileage tax would be part of President Joe Biden's sweeping infrastructure plan to be detailed on Wednesday.

"No, that's not part of the conversation about this infrastructure bill," Buttigieg told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead" when asked whether a mileage tax, which would charge people based on how many miles they drive, would factor into paying for the plan.

He added that "no," a gas tax would not be a part of the plan either. Buttigieg also reiterated Biden's prior pledge not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $400,000.

The absence of both taxes to fund the infrastructure proposal marks a shift from Buttigieg's comments Friday, when he indicated during a CNBC interview that both ideas could be on the table.

"I think that shows a lot of promise," Buttigieg said of the mileage tax. "If we believe in that so-called user pays principle, the idea that part of how we pay for roads is you pay based on how much you drive."

He continued, "The gas tax used to be the obvious way to do it -- it's not anymore, so a so-called vehicle-miles-traveled tax or mileage tax, whatever you want to call it, could be a way to do it."

Of the gas tax on Friday, Buttigieg also said that "if there's a way to do it that doesn't increase the burden on the middle class, we can look at it, but if we do, we've got to recognize that's still not going to be the long-term answer."

Biden will lay out the first of a sweeping two-pronged infrastructure and jobs proposal Wednesday, with the administration launching its expected months-long effort to pass proposals that will total between $3 trillion and $4 trillion, according to senior administration officials.

Biden, who will detail the infrastructure and climate piece of the proposal in Pittsburgh, is set to focus on repairing the physical infrastructure of the country while pushing for significant investments in climate infrastructure and research and development.

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