Skip to comments.Gas tax on miles, not gallons, tested in Oregon!
Posted on 03/26/2006 5:10:28 AM PST by runvus
Gas tax on miles, not gallons, tested PORTLAND, Ore., March 25 (UPI) -- Oregon is testing the idea of collecting highway funds through a tax on miles driven, rather than gasoline consumed.
Eighty percent of Oregon's highway money comes from its 24-cents-per-gallon gas tax. If the state promotes reducing gasoline consumption and consumers tend to buy the fuel-efficient vehicles, including hybrids, highway revenues would take a hit, The New York Times reported.
The test program uses a global positioning system to track miles driven, using a black box to calculate how many miles are clocked in-state, out of state and during rush hour.
The experiment is designed to increase state revenue for road maintenance without raising gasoline taxes, but critics say collecting GPS records poses new privacy issues.
"The existence of such a database, which would, for the first time in history, allow for the creation of detailed daily itineraries of every driver, raises obvious privacy concerns," said David L. Sobel, general counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties group in Washington.
All that encouragement to buy fuel-efficient vehicles leads to this! I guess it is a variant of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
With the added benefit the state gets to track you everywhere you go.
How long before someone figured how to take this off the car & leave it in the garage...while they drove around town?
Portland has a nice little racket going. They severely restrict land use by prohibiting the building of intown high-density housing, forcing new residents to live farther and farther from the city, then penalize those same residents for living so far away. Nice job, leftists.
The privacy issue put aside for the moment, this is a simple and pure tax increase.
Once the state starts tracking who drives what miles, heavy use vehicles like truckers will be taxed at a higher rate, which will drive up costs to transport goods and services.
A hidden tax that will be passed onto consumers
It's a a lot like taxing cigarettes a lot to get people to quit smoking. Sometimes they get what they ask for and screw themselves out of revenue and need to find new ways to make it up.
I take it that the Hummer and the Honda Prius will be paying the same tax for miles driven even though one pollutes 8 times more than the other? Silly Dems.
Enforcement raises so many questions. They would have to get into issues of blocking the GPS rcvr in order to conceal how many miles are driven. That leads to questions on parking the car in a garage or under a carport, trees etc.
Next comes inspections of one's home by ODOT, to prove that one has a garage. ODOT would then have to look at driving patterns and history for evidence of fraud.
I can see the enforcement of this tax procedure getting to be very expensive and entrusive. Far better to keep the simple consumption tax.
"Sir, we pulled you over because we scanned your vehicle at the checkpoint and did not receive an GPS signal. Here's your $265 ticket, you have 30 days to bring your vehicle into compliance or we will issue a bench warrant"
"Have a nice day and drive safe."
Or build a shielded enclosure to place around the box, say to about 100db. It will transmit to nowhere. Take it off once a month just to be inventoried on your trip to the grocery store.
Are you kidding? Random roadside checks, felony charges for "driving without GPS device" and confiscation of vehicle, loss of voting rights and right to own firearms . . . and that's just for starters.
What did Ayn Rand say? You can't control free men. You have to make criminals of them.
And, if there is a reduction in the price of household goods (such as appliances), sales tax revenues will fall. So Oregon will probably begin tracking, and taxing, based on how many loads of wash you run or how many times you use the blender or coffee pot.
The first law to be passed will be one excluding all elected representatives, police officers, state employees, and legislative staffers from being required to be fitted with a box.
Maybe a jamming device? Ya gotta be able to hide it on those roadside checks though - you know, for the children.
Officials can then use real-time GPS to watch drivers fleeing the state for good.
Excellent tag line material.
I bet after they put it on they send you an installation fee, and charge you for the box.
This is BS to the max. But then, no one ever accused libs of being smart.
Their claim is that miles driven causes wear and tear on the roads, but that the smaller cars are driven more miles per gallon and therefore are tearing up the roads more without paying higher taxes at the pump. Well this is purely stupid-lib-think.
Smaller vehicles cause far less damage per mile that a heavy truck. In fact, if a road is well designed and well installed, even a medium sized car will do virutally no damage to the road. Poor road design, poor materials, poor installation, extreme weather, salt, plows, and heavy trucks with poor suspension do FAR, FAR more damage to roads than most passenger vehicles.
Look at well designed and built airport runways and tarmacs. They don't crumble under the weight of an 910,000 lb fueled 747. When was the last time you saw potholes being filled on a commercial runway?
If they want to tax miles driven on the poor suckers of Oregon, then just include a declaration of miles driven on their annual state income tax. They will still be idiots, though.
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