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.
You said -- "So if an emergency comes up and a loved one is rushed to the hospital, you have to pay taxes to go see them. Really outrageous, to say the least."
Now, wait a minute -- you're *already* paying taxes to see them at the hospital when you buy your gas at the pump.
I don't particularly like that idea of how they want to deal with gas taxes -- but, at least, let's be accurate and point out that you're *already* paying taxes by the mile -- as it is. It's just that your "tax per mile" is dependant upon your gas mileage, that's all. You're *paying it* -- nontheless.
You said -- "You won't even get pulled over. You will get your ticket in the mail for everything for failing to signal a lane change, for exceeding the speed limit, to not wearing your seat belt."
Well, here in Texas (and in Oklahoma), you have to pay to drive on certain roads and you just get a "box" and you sail on down the road and they take the money right out of your account (don't see you, don't talk to you; just take the money).
So, they've been doing that for a while in Texas and Oklahoma. I've got a box from each of those states. The money just comes out of my account as I'm driving down the road.
---Also, we have gas station attendents pump our gas!!---
I met one passing through. She related ot me how she had moved up to Oregon from California 12 years earlier. I always wondered what all those Californians did up there.
You said -- "No, there is no sales tax on goods."
Another follow-up on that -- to make a comparison between Texas and Oregon. I just bought an Airport Extreme (wireless) and it cost me $16 more in Texas -- just for the taxes.
If I were in Oregon, I would have saved -- on just *one purchase* -- $16. This is adding up while I'm down here.... I'm wanting to get back to Oregon just to save money. I could save enough for retirement -- just from the sales tax down here in Texas.
Absolutely an undetected preflight item. Right up there with leaving the pitot tube cover on. Or better yet, which I have done, forgot the nosewheel pin on a Falcon 20.
LOL Was taxiing a little tricky? haha A Falcon is one bird that I have never been off the ground in.
This is another step in the "total control grid" that our statist masters have planned for us.
Your every move, every word, and every purchase will be tracked. This information will then be processed to find "criminals". The sheeple will love it at first since only scumbags will be targeted. Eventually the program will expand, and they will make it a felony to have a "threat score" that is too high. Your "threat score" will be sort of like the no-fly list the gov't keeps. They won't tell you the algorithims they use to determine your score, so this will keep the sheeple in constant fear.
Just like in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, the majority of citizens won't wind up in the camps so long as they keep a low profile and pay their taxes and don't speak up too much.
Anything the government can audit, they can tax. That's one reason why I'd mind it. Plus, it'd make a lousy SHTF vehicle.
Side note. This article doesn't say anything about where those gasoline taxes go. I don't know about Oregon, but in Texas about 25% of the gas tax is siphoned off (haha, I made a funny) for indoctrina,,,er,,,public education.
"(although he is a former Democrat)."
LOL! It seems they can never quite change their stripes. It's interesting here in California the toll roads all run through the newer affluent developments! I think they like keeping out the riff-raff that can't afford the tolls!
I won't live in these communities, I can't stand homeowners associations. I really don't like someon telling me I can't park my car on my own driveway or paint my house the color I want.
BIG BROTHER AT ITS WORST!!!!!!!!!!
Exactly the reason why I'll never get On-Star in my car(s).
Wow, there's going to be a run-up on the price of old "pre GPS" cars! Keep your old 1965 chevy!!
I can recall many years ago when San Diego Gas & Electric raised electric rates so high that few people decorated their homes at Christmas. The reduction in usage (revenue) was so significant that the California PUC granted them another rate increase to guarantee their profits on their capital base.
It was many years before people decided the rates were never going to drop again and they sorely missed the Christmas decorations. It never has returned with the fervor that I remembered prior to 1973.
Wow! You see, there is this little thing called "The Internet". It's pretty cool as you can buy things from various merchants, some of which are tax free!
So to more fully enjoy Texas over the socialist paradise of Oregon, you may want to investigate it. I believe it even works on the Mac!
You said -- "Wow! You see, there is this little thing called "The Internet". It's pretty cool as you can buy things from various merchants, some of which are tax free!"
I get a lot through the Internet, but it won't work with several Internet sites. I know it won't work with Apple, for sure. They charge sales tax dependent upon where you ship it. If I ship to Oregon that exact same Apple product has no sales tax. If I ship to Texas, they charge the tax.
I've had the same problem with other Internet sites when I've tried to ship things to other places, other than Oregon. So, I just went down to the store and picked it up myself...
You'll find more and more places are charging the tax. I think that's the way it's going to go. So, better that I have a "live and ship to" address in Oregon. I can save a lot of money.
The same thing on cars, too. You save a lot of money on tax for a car in Oregon, versus a car in Texas. What a boat-load of tax they have on cars in Texas. Likewise for the yearly registration. You save quite a bit of money in Oregon.
So, while there may be some things that one might not like in Oregon -- I find that I do like a lot of things in Oregon. So, I can't wait to get back, actually.
You said -- "Wow, there's going to be a run-up on the price of old "pre GPS" cars! Keep your old 1965 chevy!!"
I seem to remember reading something about this particular taxing plan about a year or two ago. It's been "in the works" for a while now. If I remember right, the older cars or those that don't have it (can't remember all the details about it) -- would be charged more, via the pumps -- while those who had a GPS device would be getting a break. That way, you end up paying *more* at the pump and *less* with the GPS device.
So, you see, the way they'll get people, in the beginning -- is by saving money the one way. You see, they'll never eliminate the collecting of the taxes at the pump, because there will be out of out-of-state cares around. But, they will end up paying a lot more than the in-state cars, because they'll be paying "at the pump" and at a higher rate.
I remember that was the "gotcha point" of the whole plan. So, it was an incentive to have the GPS device -- overall. I just can't remember all the details involved in it. And, furthermore, it will probably morph and change by the time it gets implemented.
You said -- "Side note. This article doesn't say anything about where those gasoline taxes go. I don't know about Oregon, but in Texas about 25% of the gas tax is siphoned off (haha, I made a funny) for indoctrina,,,er,,,public education."
In Oregon the schools are funded by the property taxes. And I believe that all of the gasoline taxes go into roads -- but maybe part might have something to do with State Parks (but not sure...).
I suppose since Texas had such good roads (one of the best states for roads in the country not too long ago) they decided we didn't need to put so much money in those roads.
So they took the "excess" and put it into public education.
Maybe someone will confirm my understanding of this. Or, say I'm wrong. But I believe that is what I have read.
We're now looking at a huge expansion of toll roads. I can't believe people are voting for it.
Taxes are pretty much out of hand. They can't balance their budget, they rob Peter to pay Paul, and try to hide it with stuff like this. That's my take.
Watch - if this catches on in one state and sticks, others will soon follow. State governments are hungry for $, and will go to any length to get it.
Most brakes on exec jets are very bitey when taxiing. In citations I rarely steer with the nose wheel. An occasional nudge on the brake on one side or the other steers just fine.
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I seem to recall from somewhere that the damage is proportional to the fourth power of the weight.
What about vehicles with no GPS? I have 16 and none of them has it.
"No, there is no sales tax on goods. Oregon does not have a real estate transfer tax either. Oregon only has a 9% income tax. Also, we have gas station attendents pump our gas!!"
But we have a pretty hefty property tax. I would much rather trade the property tax for a sales tax. If we could just get rid of the stinking liberals in the cities we'd be okay. Unfortunately liberals congregate in cesspools.
What are you talking about? This scheme was the brainchild of a Republican senator (Bruce Starr from Hillsboro) and the task force that is putting it into place was created by a Republican led legislature.
You seem to be forgetting studded tires that little cars use to tear up the roads - at least here in Eugene.
I like it the way it is - no tracking devices on any of my vehicle, ever!
Insurance companies want to have GPS units in every car..and sensors that track your speed.
And there will be people that say..."I feel like that's a good thing!!"
So, they didn't eliminate the gas tax, but added a mileage tax on top of it? Terrific. What progress.
Sure, but not by Joe Six-pack.
Different kinds of damage. That's surface abrasion.
Until they make it part of buying car insurance or registering your property.
It still has to be repaired.
Only after a beeper is shoved up your @$$ so far only the car is tracked. But doesn't miles driven track gasoline consumed anyway?
But you know, taxing by the mile instead of by the gallon would be more fair. Roads are designed and built according to the demand that is expected to be placed on them, and any vehicle occupying a lane, regardless of the amount of fuel it uses, contributes equally to that expense with any other. Most maintenance is needed because of time and weather regardless of use, though any idiot can see the wear and tear that is obviously caused by heavy trucks, and they should and do pay proportionally more because of that.
So for the average schmuck going to get the groceries, to work, going fishing, or to the Saturday market, in his or her Hummer, Geo, Prius, Gizmo, motorcycle or bicycle, paying exactly the same rate for each and every mile traveled upon a public thoroughfare, sounds perfectly reasonable to me, as long as it completely replaces the gas tax and is as nearly revenue neutral as possible.
Now on the other issue of government tracking with the GPS, here is how the Oregon system, as proposed, is set up: The GPS device is programmed to record distance traveled within the state, and to discount distance traveled outside of the state. The data is to be be collected at each fill-up at participating fueling stations in the test markets. The promise has been made that these GPS devices are not capable of tracking a vehicle's movement other than to record miles traveled outside the state so those miles can be discounted. But a reality check is in order. First, a GPS receiver is just that, a receiver. By itself, it does not and can not ever transmit real time data about an individual unit's whereabouts. But, it can be programmed to record a precise itinerary and communicate with other devices which can, within their own specific capability, exchange that data with other devices. Whether or not that could be done in real time would depend on whether such capability exists within those other connected devices. The main point here is that the government's statement that it would not be possible to use it's data collection system for tracking specific whereabouts at particular times is demonstrably false. By necessity, the capability is designed into the hardware. The software will control what it will actually do, so whether or not you like this has to boil down to who you trust.
As for me, I like the idea of paying by the mile under the conditions I stated above, but I am not in favor of the technology that is being used to collect the data. Why are we expected to trust the state? Should the state not be expected to trust us? Right now the state doesn't mandate that I buy all my gas in Oregon, and my city has it's own tax and doesn't require it either, but for practical reasons, that's where I get most of it. For other practical reasons, I maintain a working odometer, and I would be perfectly capable of truthfully reporting it's reading on a quarterly return. Thousands of folks already do it for weight mile taxes on heavy trucks, and if it's good enough for them it's good enough for me.
The only extra expense then would be for the majority of bicycles that don't have odometers. But they can be had for ten or fifteen bucks and that seems reasonable to me, since they have gotten a free ride for so long. I say let's do it.
No it isn't. The intent behind road placement is to provide transportation connections. The gas tax is placed to provide for that connection. It also serves as an economic incentive for folks to choose the most economical way to to use that fuel. Gas guzzlers are not economical and they wear the road more.
This is just so wrong on so many levels...
One of the sad things is that they want to punish drivers of less efficient vehicles by charging them more in taxes. But what they hide is the fact that the driver of a less efficient vehicle already pays more in gasoline taxes by the mile they drive, since their vehicle gets fewer miles to the gallon. Hence they use more gas per mile traveled, and therefore pay more in taxes.
But just like the fact that there's always room for jello, there's always more room for more taxes, especially if you're trying to punish certain behaviors.
This is going to require putting GPS tranceivers in your car, which will be able to track everywhere you go. Leftists really hate privacy.
Uh, we already have that. City sewer rate here is based on winter average water consumption (so at least we don't have to pay extra for water used for irrigation). We also have a separate fee based loosely on square footage, for "storm water treatment" (i.e. a rain tax), though the storm water flows through a series of open ditches into a lake with no treatment other than filtering through natural vegetation. But it is quality runoff. Otters, not seen around here in ages, have actually taken up residence in the system as of last year. The ditched stolen bikes and shopping carts don't seem to bother them. Our company's heavy equipment dealership is right next to one of the main canals. We keep booms around all the storm drains to catch small amounts of oil that could get in there, so it goes in reasonably clean (and as you can imagine it is watched very closely and any sheen detected downstream from us gets us a visit from the city). But the biggest water polluter in this area is the government. The county fairgrounds has repeatedly washed heaps of nitrate laden manure into the system. Causes a big stink (so to speak) each time it happens. So now their drainage goes to the sewer system, and you know who gets to pay for that.
...and they wear the road more. Not appreciably so. The lion's share of wear and tear on the roads is caused by weather. But I repeat myself.
"None of the state's business."
It is the state's business. They're taxing fuel to pay for the roads. Fuel costs, availability and road coverage have a substantial effect on the economy. You're looking for a tax break on fuel for your short hikes in the guzzler.
Re: ...and they wear the road more.
" Not appreciably so. The lion's share of wear and tear on the roads is caused by weather. But I repeat myself."
You're wrong. Weather has little to do with road wear. Roads are destroyed by strains imparted by the pressure * velocity action of the vehicles moving over them, and rolling grip. Provided they were built right in the first place.
This is the state that pushed for fuel-efficient cars until they found out that it cost them in gas taxes.
Sorry, but the rate of fuel consumption of a particular vehicle doesn't doesn't affect, in any meaningful way, the true cost to the taxpayers of it occupying a lane of a public roadway. As for my "guzzler", you have no idea what I drive (and I am not going to tell you either), and it is no more the state's business than it is yours.
Fuel cost and availability are market matters. Supply and demand control that well enough. Proof of any public benefit from a state's attempts to control a market through taxation might help your argument. See if you can cite an example.
Weather has little to do with road wear.
Being in Wisconsin I'd think you'd know better than that, but you probably know your weather better than I do. Even in Western Oregon where we don't see near the temperature extremes, the weather's effect on roads is obvious. But even without weather the earth itself takes it's toll. In the lowlands, patches of soft earth are constantly sinking and rising. In the mountains, which appear to be solid rock, the land moves even more. I have spent a lifetime observing the buildup and subsequent collapse of stretches of roadway, over and over, plus other more sudden and catastrophic events such as washouts and landslides. So it is earth and water. Those things are major maintenance expenses in this area and they are not caused by the volume or load pressure of traffic.
Elsewhere: “In interviews with the Democrat-Herald and others, James Whitty, the ODOT official in charge of the project, tried to assure the public that that was not in the plans.”
Yes...indeed...and when the police asked for Tasers, Tasering pre-teens and the wheelchair bound wasn’t in the plans -either.