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Thread: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

  1. #1
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    I kinda like this idea.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/...le674120.shtml
    States Mull Taxing Drivers By Mile
    CORVALLIS, Ore., Feb. 14, 2005


    College student Jayson Just commutes an odometer-spinning 2,000 miles a month. As CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports, his monthly gas bill once topped his car payment.

    "I was paying about $500 a month," says Just.

    So Just bought a fuel efficient hybrid and said goodbye to his gas-guzzling BMW.

    And what kind of mileage does he get?

    "The EPA estimate is 60 in the city, 51 on the highway," says Just.

    And that saves him almost $300 a month in gas. It's great for Just but bad for the roads he's driving on, because he also pays a lot less in gasoline taxes which fund highway projects and road repairs. As more and more hybrids hit the road, cash-strapped states are warning of rough roads ahead.

    Officials in car-clogged California are so worried they may be considering a replacement for the gas tax altogether, replacing it with something called "tax by the mile."

    Seeing tax dollars dwindling, neighboring Oregon has already started road testing the idea.

    "Drivers will get charged for how many miles they use the roads, and it's as simple as that," says engineer David Kim.

    Kim and fellow researcher David Porter at Oregon State University equipped a test car with a global positioning device to keep track of its mileage. Eventually, every car would need one.

    "So, if you drive 10 miles you will pay a certain fee which will be, let's say, one tenth of what someone pays if they drive 100 miles," says Kim.

    The new tax would be charged each time you fill up. A computer inside the gas pump would communicate with your car's odometer to calculate how much you owe.

    The system could also track how often you drive during rush hour and charge higher fees to discourage peak use. That's an idea that could break the bottleneck on California's freeways.

    "We're getting a lot of interest from other states," says Jim Whitty of the Oregon Department of Transportation. "They're watching what we're doing.

    "Transportation officials across the country are concerned about what's going to happen with the gas tax revenues."

    Privacy advocates say it's more like big brother riding on your bumper, not to mention a disincentive to buy fuel-efficient cars.

    "It's not fair for people like me who have to commute, and we don't have any choice but take the freeways," says Just. "We shouldn't have to be taxed."

    But tax-by-mile advocates say it may be the only way to ensure that fuel efficiency doesn't prevent smooth sailing down the road.
    Last edited by Unassisted; 02-19-2005 at 11:22 PM.
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  3. #2
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    I kinda hate the idea, primarily because of the privacy issue barely mentioned therein.
    Toll roads make some sense to me, as do higher gas taxes, even though I hate to pay tolls and taxes. I don't like the idea of the government tracking all my travel though.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  4. #3
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    I'd rather see the government have stricter control over the contractors who do the road work in order to battle inefficiency and cost overruns.
    "It is much easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

  5. #4
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron
    I kinda hate the idea, primarily because of the privacy issue barely mentioned therein.
    Toll roads make some sense to me, as do higher gas taxes, even though I hate to pay tolls and taxes. I don't like the idea of the government tracking all my travel though.
    I know a number of folks who work in larger metropolitan areas who simply can't afford to live near their workplace because of the price of real estate. So they end up commuting an hour or an hour and a half to work each day to be able to afford the cost of housing (and barely at that). Unless that tax is calculated appropriately and all gas taxes are wiped out, the tax burden just might be shifted to this commuter class who can least afford it.

    And of course, there's the privacy issue. But on top of that, if the "per mile" tax is in response to the proliferation of more fuel efficient vehicles, it simply sends the wrong message. Don't drive vehicles that conserve fossil fuel. Don't drive vehicles that may result in lower pollution rates. Don't drive smaller vehicles that tear up the road less than larger vehicles. Don't pressure your government to be more cost effective in road construction/maintenance (GREAT point, Brutus!).

    The message is just live closer to where you work when you can't afford it and drive whatever you want.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

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    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    Horrible idea and screws those who can't even afford hybrid vehicles. They get double whammied.
    "I've never understood the term "women and children" as if their lives are somewhat more important than men."

  7. #6
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    If they can find a way to tax it, then they will.

    I'm waiting for a sex tax. It could also be based on single or married filing jointly. I should be getting a refund!
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  8. #7
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC

    I'm waiting for a sex tax. It could also be based on single or married filing jointly. I should be getting a refund!
    Interesting idea. Many people tend to lie about the amount of sex they receive and the amount of taxes they owe. Combine the two........
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  9. #8
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron
    Interesting idea. Many people tend to lie about the amount of sex they receive and the amount of taxes they owe. Combine the two........
    And they'd could deduct the cost of Levitra or viagra, because after all... you're only trying to do your part to pay your fair share of taxes to keep the government running.

    Gives new meaning to the term "getting screwed by the government" :allovrjr:
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  10. #9
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    This law would be very unfair to people who live in places like Montana, or anyone who lives in remote rural areas. Those who live in urban areas take it for granted that they can just hop down the street for a meal at Red Lobster or Outback, then run down to Best Buy for a minute, then top off the night at a comedy club. Shopping for a car? No problem. There are umpteen dealers within ten minutes of your house. For those who live two hours from the nearest large city, doing the things I just mentioned rolls up 200-300 miles on the odometer.

    Furthermore, the privacy issues already mentioned trouble me GREATLY! What would keep government or anyone else from tracking our every move, just because they can? Much to "Big Brotherish" for me. In fact, it frightens me.
    Last edited by macro; 02-20-2005 at 10:48 AM.

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  11. #10
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    <monty python>
    I would tax the woman in my bed...No wait, what's the word...WELCOME! That's it! Welcome!"
    </monty python>

    On a serious note:

    It would be interesting to see how this affects the trucking industry. Would they end up paying more by being taxed by the mile than by the gallon of gas? If it's more, how much of this cost will then increase freight costs and result in inflationary price increases for goods shipped by truck (pretty much everything)?

  12. #11
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    The new tax would be charged each time you fill up. A computer inside the gas pump would communicate with your car's odometer to calculate how much you owe.
    So what's to stop someone from buying a 10 gallon gas can and walking up to the pump? You could just park your car far enough away so that the pump couldn't detect your odometer.

    The whole plan seems ridiculously overcomplicated. GPS transmitters in cars? Good luck passing that one.

    I think Brutus hit the nail on the head -- target the road work contractors and force them to trim their budgets.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  13. #12
    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    It would seem like the technology involved in implementing this would eat up a lot of the revenue margin. Also, like JF pointed out, people will start to figure out ways to work around it.

    This would sure be a big whack for people like sales reps who travel a lot for their jobs.

  14. #13
    SERP deep cover ops WebScorpion's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    So what's to stop someone from buying a 10 gallon gas can and walking up to the pump? You could just park your car far enough away so that the pump couldn't detect your odometer.

    The whole plan seems ridiculously overcomplicated. GPS transmitters in cars? Good luck passing that one.

    I think Brutus hit the nail on the head -- target the road work contractors and force them to trim their budgets.
    Plus if I drive all the way across Ohio and stop for gas in Indiana, do I pay Indiana tax for all the miles I drove in Ohio??

    "Okay you guys, pair up in threes!" --Yogi Berra

  15. #14
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    Quote Originally Posted by WebScorpion
    Plus if I drive all the way across Ohio and stop for gas in Indiana, do I pay Indiana tax for all the miles I drove in Ohio??
    No...you'd pay California, because it's their plan, and they are the one's 8 billion dolalrs in debt!
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  16. #15
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    Re: Taxed By the Mile for Driving?

    You can get all worked up about this if you want...but it's never going to happen.
    Last edited by Phoenix; 02-21-2005 at 11:04 PM.


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