by: Tim Brown & the Common Constitutionalist
It never ceases to amaze me how government can come up with new ways to milk people of their money, but find it impossible to cut their spending.
The new technology is already being explored by Minnesota and Oregon. The GPS-like box would be mounted inside a person’s vehicle and they can purchase “miles” ahead of time.
“As the (national vehicle) fleet becomes more fuel efficient … we’re going to lose a lot of revenue from the gas tax. If it’s not replaced, we’re going to see our transportation infrastructure deteriorate,” says Joshua Schank, president of the Eno Center for Transportation in Washington, D.C.
He expects to see a state vehicle miles-traveled (VMT) tax within the next 5 to 10 years.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest in VMT as one of the potential solutions to transportation funding gaps that states are dealing with,” says Jaime Rall, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Many say the greatest obstacle to a miles-traveled tax has been privacy concerns. When Oregon ran a pilot program six years ago, motorists’ major objection was to in-vehicle boxes used to track miles driven, said James Whitty of the Oregon Department of Transportation. “They didn’t like the government boxes. They didn’t like the GPS mandate,” he says.
Of those 2 words, GPS and mandate, my guess is they objected more to ‘mandate’.
So let’s see if I have this right. In most states, we purchase a vehicle and pay a tax to either the city or town & the state. Then we must register it; another tax. Then we buy gas for it and pay tax on the gas. We then pay a toll to drive on the road; that’s a tax. Now they’re going to tax us on the miles we drive due to diminished revenue because they have forced us into more economical cars with escalated fuel costs and bogus CAFE standards?
Next, some state or federal bureaucrat will propose a new tax (actually more of a penalty) for non-mass transit users. An additional fee when you register your vehicle. By purchasing a car, it is assumed you will not be using mass transit. The intent of said bureaucrat is to nudge people toward the use of trains and buses.
If the program has any success, the government will soon discover the revenue shortfall was caused by it’s own action & must then invent another tax or fee to subsidize that shortfall.
This is what governments do. They constantly cause more problems than they ever solve.