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New proposal in Kalifornistan

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mayfly, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    How about copying and pasting the article here. I don't want to register at that site.


  2. Sorry! Didn't know you had to register.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]Posted on Fri, Mar. 11, 2005[​IMG][​IMG]
    Dyer Streets
    Pay-by-mile tax proposal in the works

    Heads up. California is at it again.

    Everything that happens there eventually makes its way here. Or tries to.

    This one is ugly. The director of California's Department of Motor Vehicles wants to tax motorists for every mile they drive.

    Even worse, she would do that by installing tracking devices in their cars.

    After that, she wants to implant microchips in their feet and tax them for the number of steps they take on public sidewalks.

    Just kidding on the second one. But the theory is roughly the same.

    This West Coast genius points out that people who drive a lot on the public highways wear them down faster than people who don't.

    The traditional way to raise funds for highway repair, of course, is through gasoline taxes. California drivers now pay 18 cents of state tax for every gallon they pump. But more and more drivers are buying fuel-efficient cars, so the revenue has dropped.

    Encouraging people to buy vehicles that are more fuel-efficient has been a national goal for decades, and for good reason: It slows the depletion of natural resources, cuts pollution and reduces excessive reliance on foreign oil, which can get us into all kinds of trouble -- including wars.

    But if this California scheme gets through, the owner of a Toyota Prius -- which averages 44 miles per gallon on regular fuel -- would pay exactly the same tax per mile as the owner of a Toyota Land Cruiser -- which averages 14 mpg on premium fuel.

    At least as troubling is the fact that the equipment used to measure your mileage would not be a simple counter, like your odometer. The system being tested consists of installing an actual tracking device that sends your exact location to a global positioning satellite.

    The information is beamed back down to earth to calculate the tax bill. Lord knows what else it could be used for.

    Privacy advocates are riled up. For some odd reason, they don't envision a scenario in which everyone involved would be a saint who would never dream of snooping into other people's business for, say, political reasons.

    Even if that were the case, this kind of system could be used to introduce all kinds of new wrinkles. How about a higher tax for people who use high-traffic roads at high-volume times?

    Surprise. It's already being done. According to the Los Angeles Times, in a pilot program in Seattle, GPS devices were put in 500 cars ``to monitor where they drive -- and then calculating a usage fee based on the roads they use and the times they drive.''

    In other words, if this trickles down to us, driving to work on the Akron Expressway during morning rush hour could cost you more money than using secondary streets.

    Now, that might make things smoother for the expressway users. But what about the secondary consequences: Do we really want to encourage drivers to move their morning dash from the freeways to secondary streets?

    And wouldn't that funnel more big trucks onto city streets, where one big truck can inflict as much damage as 10,000 cars?

    Installing all this equipment wouldn't be cheap, either. In the most likely technological scenario, each car would need a GPS device and a shortwave radio to send the GPS results to a receiver installed at the gas station, and the gas pump would have to calculate the appropriate tax for each fill-up based on the miles since your last fill-up.

    The transportation director's boss, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, isn't sold yet. He says he needs to think it through.

    Well, Ahhhhnold, here's a wild and crazy idea: Just jack up the gas tax! California's 18 cents is below the national average, which is 20 cents.

    Bob Dyer's column appears every Friday. He can be reached at 330-996-3580 or

    © 2005 Beacon Journal and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  3. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    I actually don't see this getting very far for several reasons. Entertaining reading though, even if it leans a little to the left. Thanks for posting the story here!
  4. I heard about that about a month or more ago...
    California yea gezzzzzzzus PLZ someone help jump start that earthquake and give me a deal on some good ol' Nevada desert :rolleyes:
  5. Corey

    Corey OGF Team-Charter Member

    Those goofs out there are hoping that, if the fault goes, everything East of it will fall into the Atlantic, lol.