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Author Topic: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN  (Read 11907 times)

ctsignguy

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What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« on: February 21, 2009, 10:24:48 AM »

I am sure several of you have been watching the news as States and the Federal Government are wrangling with shortfalls in their budgets...

The latest Grand Idea now seems to be levying a tax on drivers per mile driven...requiring that devices be attached to cars so that mileages can be tracked and taxes levyed at some point...Oregon, Michigan, North Carolina,..even the new Secretary of Transportation is openly kicking around the idea

Leaving aside the Orwelliaa factor, i am not keen on this idea as between driving to my two jobs (on separate sides of Columbus) and my home, plus the biweekly visit to help my mother out, i could easily be shelling out money i cannot afford just to do necessary driving in my life...and what about vacations? 

Or am i being too revanchist on this one?

Hopefully, this os ONE cuckoo bird that wont come home to roost

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un1

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 10:32:26 AM »

Just great... Just great.

 :banghead:
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ctsignguy

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 10:42:42 AM »

I did some more checking and while the Obama Administration has nixed any such tax, the the fact that it is being floated in the States is a very worrisome trend...

cant these guys learn to live within their means as we have to do?
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SSOWorld

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 10:56:02 AM »

The menacing power of greed hard at work :|
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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 11:46:56 AM »

If they start doing that I will no longer register my automobile and will refuse to have any such GPS device installed based on principle or will move to a state that does not have this tax

Tarkus

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 09:13:20 PM »

Oregon's been milling around with the "mileage tax" idea (or as it's officially called "road user fee") for a few years now, and quite frankly, it's just about the stupidest and scariest tax I've ever heard of.  Our governor is particularly keen on it, too.  It also gives people who drive Stretch Hummer Limos a tax advantage over people who drive Priuses--that's just not right.

It's totally something out of Orwell's 1984.  ODOT has insisted that there will be no way of tracking anyone, but the fact of the matter is, your location is being beamed into outer space with those GPS devices on there.  (Also a good reason not to buy a GPS navigation system, imo.)  I don't buy that for a minute.

I actually looked over a bunch of their technical documentation on it awhile ago, and there is apparently a "cutoff switch" on the device, and any car which doesn't have a functioning GPS tracker reverts to paying the old gas tax. 

What would probably end up happening is that there would be a burgeoning "gray market" industry of auto mechanics and car stereo installer-types who will disable State GPS Mileage Tax devices for a price.  The people who drive fuel-efficient cars will end up having the devices disabled, and the people who drive giant SUVs will leave them in, and the end result would be even less money for roads.  All you'd end up with is a taxpayer-funded windfall for GPS manufacturers. 

-Alex (Tarkus)
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wandering drive

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2009, 11:51:06 PM »

I don't understand how a mileage tax is any different than increasing the gas tax, except that it's more expensive to implement and treats all vehicles equally.  And it's nearly impossible to circumvent a gas tax.
I sure hope this idea isn't being taken seriously.

Scott5114

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2009, 12:00:42 AM »

The mileage tax is simply the concept of a toll road turned into something infinitely more stupid.
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Revive 755

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2009, 12:03:00 AM »

I'm kind of curious on the real advantages on a mileage tax over more toll roads, including tolling currently free roads.  The only one I can think of is it charges for driving on every road, not just major interstates and expressways, but it seems there could be a way to toll non-controlled access facilities using transponders.
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Scott5114

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2009, 12:07:00 AM »

I'm kind of curious on the real advantages on a mileage tax over more toll roads, including tolling currently free roads.  The only one I can think of is it charges for driving on every road, not just major interstates and expressways, but it seems there could be a way to toll non-controlled access facilities using transponders.

Well, you could have the "congestion charge" like London has, where you get billed to enter very congested areas.

Or you could place toll cameras at random points to bill people. Problem there is the way most American cities are laid out, it would be simple to learn where the cameras are and circumvent them (potentially dumping lots of traffic on residential streets so they can avoid the cameras).
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mightyace

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2009, 12:10:26 AM »

One of the arguments brought up on the OR mileage tax is that you'd be taxed for traveling on private roads.  (which rural Oregon apparently has a lot of)

While that's true, a gas tax has the same problem.
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Duke87

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2009, 01:19:32 AM »

What it is is political weaseling. People will scream if you propose raising the gas tax (which would be the simpler, more logical course of action), so you get creative and find a more roundabout way of doing sort of the same thing which people won't have the same objection to because it sounds different.

What I really don't get about it is why installing GPS devices in cars (yeah, like people aren't going to just rip them out. I would.) is necessary. Wouldn't it be simpler to just check the odometer? :pan:
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Scott5114

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2009, 03:40:45 AM »

Wouldn't it be simpler to just check the odometer? :pan:

You know, that's a brilliant idea. Require mandatory vehicle inspections like Oklahoma used to do (and I think Texas still does), and while you're checking other things, write down the odometer number. Turn it in to the Tax Commission, and your customers gets billed. Brilliant.

Although then you might have problems with station attendants lowballing their friends' mileages...
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mightyace

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2009, 04:09:31 AM »

But then all the legislators friends and contributors in the GPS and tech companies wouldn't get those nice fat equipment and consulting contacts!  :pan:
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ctsignguy

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2009, 10:15:22 AM »

But then all the legislators friends and contributors in the GPS and tech companies wouldn't get those nice fat equipment and consulting contacts!  :pan:

awwwww. poor sweet baboos!!!!   :-(
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Chris

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2009, 10:32:35 AM »

The idea of a mileage tax also exists in the Netherlands. They can make the toll more expensive if you drive during rushhour and on congestion spots, hoping that it would reduce congestion. As some of you know motorists are already taxed the crap out of them by our government, so many are not happy with the additional mileage tax.

The problem in the Netherlands, and probably also in some U.S. metros is that they simply stopped adding capacity to the freeway network at a certain point, but population continued to grow, and then blame the motorists for the traffic congestion.

Situation is a bit different in NL and the USA to compare, since we pay extremely high taxes on automobility, and taxes in the US are fairly low. If they want to increase a tax, they should increase the gas tax. There's nothing wrong with paying taxes for the infrastructure you use, but it must not get out of hand like in Europe where motorists are taxed to death, paying 4 - 5 times more than they spend on roads.

vdeane

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2009, 11:58:16 AM »

I don't get what all the hostility to a mileage tax is.  I think it's a good idea, provided:
1. The gas tax is abolished.
2. Toll roads within the area that uses the mileage tax are made free.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2009, 02:14:49 PM »

The main problem I have with the mileage tax -- well, other than the total expense and hastle of implementation and monitoring every single vehicle -- is that it would be such a regressive tax imposed mostly on working class and poor people without any return whatsoever.

I'm with the consensus...increasing the gas and fuel taxes is a far more equitable means of funding infrastructure....and if the tax is more progressive in hitting gas guzzlers and the most fuel inefficient the hardest, so much the better.  Why, there would even be enough revenue created to transfer over to build some meaningful public transit, too....after we upgrade and finish the Interstate system, of course.


Anthony
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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2009, 03:43:45 PM »

Anthony_JK's rhetoric aside.  The main objection most of us seem to have is the use of GPS devices to track mileage and the privacy concerns therein.
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Tarkus

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2009, 06:42:14 PM »

The reason the GPS devices were brought into the equation is that an Odometer Tag would also charge you for any sort of mileage done out-of-state--for instace, if you drive into Washington from Oregon, you'd end up paying Oregon mileage tax for driving on Washington roads.

There have been a few proponents within ODOT who have proposed charging a lesser rate to people who drive fuel-efficient cars, but that would completely defeat their entire reasoning for coming up with the idea in the first place--making "freeloaders" who are driving more efficient/environmentally-friendly vehicles pay the same as people who drive Ford Excursions, etc. 

And at that point, it's not going to result in any more revenue for transportation departments, and it will just be an excuse to hand taxpayer money over to the GPS industry.

There's also the issue with solar flares, too--those things render GPS units completely inoperable for a time, so the tax is unreliable as well.

The ODOT proposal also involved having the mileage tax being billed at the gas station, too, which ultimately ends up being kind of silly.  If the problem with raising the gas tax is that people will complain about it raising fuel prices, how is charging them some other tax when they fill up going to change that?

-Alex (Tarkus)
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corco

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2009, 10:07:55 PM »

Quote
Our governor is particularly keen on it, too.  It also gives people who drive Stretch Hummer Limos a tax advantage over people who drive Priuses--that's just not right.

People who give money to Tokyo should be taxed huge amounts. At least Hummer limos are supporting our economy

ctsignguy

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2009, 01:11:39 AM »

a couple of other thoughts about all this...

1. A double-edged sword is welded here....when more gas is sold to gas hogs, more money to the government....but if we buy fuel efficient cars like they urge, or demand for gas drops (due to sticker shock) then their tax receipts drop...the taxpayer cant win!

maybe the answer is to tax the gas hogs more heavily at license renewal time...maybe a tax based upon vehicle MPG...Hummer owners would pay more than Focus or Prius owners

as for myself, i live in the Columbus area...apartment is in Canal Winchester, the day job is in Grove City, and the night/weekend job is north of town (Sharon Woods)....i drive about 400 miles per week in NECESSITY driving...this doesnt include the biweekly trip to Dayton to help my mother out which adds another 125 miles...nor does it include any pleasure driving...

even a 1/4 cent per mile tax would add up to a whopping bill i cant really afford!
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mightyace

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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2009, 01:12:30 PM »

Quote
They're trying to take it Federal:

Well that's exactly what Transportation Secretary LaHood proposed a couple weeks ago, until the rest of the adminsitration shot it down.


I had forgot about that.  :banghead:

Thanks.
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Re: What creative ideas to get into our pockets...AGAIN
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2009, 08:52:18 PM »

I don't get what all the hostility to a mileage tax is.  I think it's a good idea, provided:
1. The gas tax is abolished.

I see this idea becoming more of a possibility in the future as more vehicles will be using some sort of alternative fuel.  The states are already feeling the loss of tax revenue from hybrids, so they'll be looking for some means to keep the future road coffers filled.
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