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dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
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reply to Kilroy

Re: A black box in your car?

So, the choice seems to be:

- taxes that suffice to pay for road maintenance

- a usage fee which requires measuring usage

- toll booths everywhere (increasing gridlock since we can't seem to read tags at any speed in the USA)

The 'truck versus car' factor can be worked into the measured-miles solution easily enough: miles times some transportation-class weighting.


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
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said by dave:

So, the choice seems to be:

- taxes that suffice to pay for road maintenance

- a usage fee which requires measuring usage

Call it by any name, those 2 items are the same thing - just accessed in different ways.
The Federal gas tax isn't broken, it's just outdated for it's intended purpose.
Replacing it with a per mile assessment is more about smoke & mirrors since at the end of the day besides giving the Gov't enhanced tracking capabilities it will correspond with a users gas consumption with adjustments made for hybrids, IMO.

Politically, claiming to 'abolish' the Federal gas tax will make hero's out of bums that that don't have the guts to just raise the Federal gas tax preferring instead to play games with words (taxes).

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by Snowy:

those 2 items are the same thing

For the purpose of this forum, I don't think so. They might involve parting me from the same amount of money either way, but only one of them involves knowing the position of my car on a continuous basis. (And this is the security forum, not the tax forum, so that's the important bit).

The joke here is that those who think any government tax is unwarranted intrusion into our lives will thereby pave the way for more government intrusion into our lives.

Me, I'm a fence-sitter. I see that pay-per-mile is a fair way to apportion the costs of maintaining the nation's infrastructure, but I don't like the big-brotherly aspects of it.


goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big

1 recommendation

reply to dave
said by dave:

So, the choice seems to be:

- taxes that suffice to pay for road maintenance

- a usage fee which requires measuring usage

Actually, that's a false choice. It's not so much that enough taxes aren't paid now to maintain the roads, it's more that the money gets diverted to other things that have nothing to do with infrastructure.

At some point we have to set some priorities. We have government pushing higher mileage vehicles on the one hand, and then lamenting the "lost" revenue on the other. Just as we have government bemoaning the health risks of things like smoking on the one hand, while happily taxing said smokers and diverting the funds raised to other things. (The most common excuse being "the little children.")

If tax monies raised were allocated specifically it would be one thing, but they almost never are. Even when they are in theory (like the stimulus money for "shovel ready jobs like roads and bridges"), they can still be diverted to other uses. So this whole campaign is just one more dog and pony show relying heavily on false logic and "fairness." No thanks.


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to dave
said by dave:

... I see that pay-per-mile is a fair way to apportion the costs of maintaining the nation's infrastructure, but I don't like the big-brotherly aspects of it.

"Fair", of course, being a relative term. If you live in South Dakota or Wyoming where the nearest town may be many miles away, you'd pay far more taxes under a per-mile-driven basis than someone living in a heavy urban area (NYC, Miami, etc) where much of what they do is "local". Unfortunately, urban Federal highways require many more dollars per-mile to construct and maintain than most rural highways. So the high-cost-infrastructure user effectively gets a subsidy from the high-mileage user. In the end, there is no such thing as a "fair tax".
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
said by Blackbird:

said by dave:

... I see that pay-per-mile is a fair way to apportion the costs of maintaining the nation's infrastructure, but I don't like the big-brotherly aspects of it.

"Fair", of course, being a relative term. If you live in South Dakota or Wyoming where the nearest town may be many miles away, you'd pay far more taxes under a per-mile-driven basis than someone living in a heavy urban area (NYC, Miami, etc) where much of what they do is "local".

I don't understand how a tracked mileage program is going to increase high mileage users cost while cutting a break for low mileage users.
Currently, everyone pays 18.4cents per gallon in Federal tax.
Drive many miles, pay many 18.4 cents.
Drive few miles, pay few 18.4 cents.

The benefits of the current pay as you go system beyond the security/privacy implications of a tracked usage program are that it's a paid in advance, pay as you go system.
The Gov't can't retroactively raise the gas tax the way a tracked usage program can be adjusted upwards retroactively.
If the gas tax were to be raised it would be immediately seen at the pumps whereas with a tracked usage system rate increases can be done quietly.

A tracked usage program is not going to be unfair or inequitable to one group of drivers over another, it's going to increase transportation costs for everyone under the guise of being 'fairer'.

The Antihero

join:2002-04-09
Enola, PA
reply to goalieskates
said by goalieskates:

It's not so much that enough taxes aren't paid now to maintain the roads, it's more that the money gets diverted to other things that have nothing to do with infrastructure.

Agreed. Back in '97, when Tom Ridge (the former head of Homeland Insecurity) was governor, he jacked up the gasoline taxes and the cost of registrations, supposedly to fix our roads and bridges. Our roads and bridges never got any better, but by an astonishing coincidence, we did get a bunch of taxpayer-funded sports stadiums. Naturally, there was a huge public outcry against both the tax hikes and the stadiums, but like most politicians, he basically said, "F you, we're doing it anyway!"