The "Taxing your car by the mile" plan

Or in other words, we’ll all drive “taxis”, except for the chosen exempt few.

All private cars to be yellow in the future? Image: New York Times Blogs

Yesterday on “The Hill” they reported this story:

Obama admin. floats draft plan to tax cars by the mile: ‘A vehicle miles traveled tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven’

The plan is a part of the administration’s Transportation Opportunities Act, an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.

It is so spectacularly stupid, I kept waiting for it to show up on snopes.com yesterday. I just couldn’t believe it to be something under consideration. At 500 pages, the idea is one of many in the proposed bill.

Today at 10:15AM EST, the story was updated, and now the White House says this:

“This is not an administration proposal,” White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. “This is not a bill supported by the administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not taken into account the advice of the president’s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.”

Translation:

…we are shelving the idea until after the 2012 election.

The plan was to put GPS devices on cars that would report the mileage. The Hill writes:

Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.

I could see a huge black market for “patches and hacks” and other circumventions developing out of this. It would turn millions of people into criminals.

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189 thoughts on “The "Taxing your car by the mile" plan

  1. More about tracking people than taxation. Plan first floated in Oregon a few years ago. If they really wanted money, they’d just raise the gas tax.

  2. How to tax by the mile;
    Form 1040:
    How many miles did you drive last year ____________
    Multiply the amount in the line above by 0.006 enter result here _________
    The weird thing is for an average driver getting 25 mpg we are arguing about $100.

  3. Here in the UK, every car over 3 years-old has to undergo an annual MoT test to check its’ roadworthyness. The mileage is faithfully recorded.
    Do you have such a thing, or something similar, in the USA?
    If so, an annual car tax based on mileage (not something I am opposed to in principal) could easily be imposed without the need to introduce expensive, and intrusive, electronic tracking equipment…..

  4. There will be a need to move toward this form of a road tax as the plugin hybrids and electric cars increase in popularity. They still use the roads but won’t use gas so they need a way to collect road taxes for them that were previously collected as a per gallon gasoline tax.

  5. We already tax by the mile. It is called a gasoline tax. The more you drive the more you pay. What this tax is is a punishment. And a way to tax electrical cars. Which also pay a fuel surcharge on electrical use.
    Secretary LaHood is a elite nutcase. He believes that he knows what is right for every individual. What and when they can drive, where they can go, what they can eat, etc. Just reading the proclamations of this leftwing loon makes your skin crawl.

  6. if this guy is so smart….
    …why does he keep making the biggest bone head mistakes anyone has ever seen
    and what’s happened to Biden…
    ..did they finally cut his tongue out

  7. Local UK elections — Christopher Monckton speaking to Scotland via the Alex Jones show in the US. Billions to the Climate Department. Apparently things haver reached a point where Monckton is not allowed to speak on UK media at all, they won’t let him near a microphone, even though his is one of the biggest parties in the election.
    Alex Jones 2011-05-04 Part 8/12 (Monckton comes on after Steve Pieczenik, around the 11 minute mark)

    part 9/12

  8. . . . and they will also know where you travel to. This is not only a stupid tax proposal, this is an incredible violation of privacy. Electronic monitoring of where you fill up and how many miles you traveled.
    Their “electronic equipment” could easily be a GPS device to calculate the miles. Easy. And great to find out everywhere you go.

  9. Mice have a way of “thinking twice” before sticking their necks out to grab the cheese. But always remember, when you’re dealing with vermin they just can’t resist that cheese. Tomorrow is another day! Beware!

  10. This tax is the ultimate screw you to fly over states. Every town in Wyoming is at least 100 miles from the next one.

  11. *roll eyes* I can see it now.
    “Daddy can we go see Grandma for Christmas?”
    “I’m sorry little Suezie, we can’t afford the new Obama transportation tax”

  12. Sec. 3191. Failure to give up possession of household goods.
    Uh oh.
    This is insane.
    Trains only eh?
    No drilling for oil, no NASA launches,
    So what’s next – no planes allowed?
    No real science allowed, life is to be like the kit that you featured before – chemistry kit with no actual chemicals in it?
    Figures on the update…wow. This US admin is something to be vary wary of IMO.

  13. This is an excellent example of the type of watermelon thinking that pervades the Administration. Perhaps it was “never formally circulated within the administration” because it didn’t need to be–it was already mandated from on high. We mustn’t let this go. A resignation is called for.
    Can we be fooled into believing this “does not represent the views of the president?” One thing you can be absolutely sure of: the President’s appointees fully represent the Marxist views of the president, or they wouldn’t be there. Out with them all!

  14. “Anything is possible says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:00 am
    Here in the UK, every car over 3 years-old has to undergo an annual MoT test to check its’ roadworthyness. The mileage is faithfully recorded.
    Do you have such a thing, or something similar, in the USA?
    If so, an annual car tax based on mileage (not something I am opposed to in principal) could easily be imposed without the need to introduce expensive, and intrusive, electronic tracking equipment…..”
    It can differ from state to state. When I moved to Kansas they only checked to see if my car, which I bought in Texas, had a catalytic converter and the mileage. After that, never had to have it inspected again. When I lived in Texas I had to have my car inspected every year to get a inspection tag, in Texas you have a license plate tag and an inspection tag. So it can differ from state to state.

  15. Oblunder wants people to go back to the horse and cart. (One caveat, the cart will have to be made in China)
    How long before cars have government warnings written all over them? I am sure soul-destroying Lisa Jackson is already working on it.

  16. The tax per mile should also be greater for heavier vehicles. Large trucks cause greater road and bridge damage than cars do.

  17. “Fast Eddie says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:23 am
    *roll eyes* I can see it now.
    “Daddy can we go see Grandma for Christmas?”
    “I’m sorry little Suezie, we can’t afford the new Obama transportation tax””
    Actually Eddie even if you could afford it, the inboard government nazi tracking device would intervene tell you that the journey was unnecessary and would block any attempt to start the car.

  18. The poster “Anything is possible” is right-on.
    Every state in the union has a vehicle inspection sticker for checks on safety. IF tax on miles driven should be applied, this is clearly the cheapest mechanism.
    So the proposal for a GPS in every car is a fascist attempt to force everyone to buy new GPS devices from industriaists in bed with an administration who wants ever more control over its subjects. I vote no.

  19. I’m doing my part for global warming. I drive a 4×4 pickup truck that gets about ten miles per gallon and I burn firewood every chance I get.
    I hope it warms up soon… this global warming thing isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. It was 34 degrees when I rode my motorcycle to work today (my truck was out of gas… but I digress).

  20. @anything is possible
    There was a vehicle inspection law in Florida and Illinois, annually for all cars and trucks regardless of age. Across the street there were always headlight aiming services. Purpose was to assure safe vehicles on roads, discontinued when research showed no improvement in safety–and a healthy resistance from the public.

  21. When Canadians cross the boarder, will they note the odometer reading and again when we get out and ask us to pay if we want to get out of the USA? One word… extortion.

  22. Absolutely outrageous. The tax is in place already – the tax on gas. Absolutely no justification whatsoever for the tracking of vehicles. This is just the sort of thing that the the old USSR would love. If Americans love their freedom, the battle is not in Iraq or Afghanistan – it’s right in your own backyard. How much did you give up with ‘Homeland Security’? You see things like this and begin to wonder if the conspiracy nutters are right.

  23. Don’t forget that with the in-built GPS tracking your distance, they will also record your speed and send the Speeding Infringement Notices later. Naturally tampering with these devices will also be a crime. Breaks into song, “Money, money, money – it’s a tax man’s world”

  24. Welcome to the wonderful world of road charging. In 2005 the (then) UK government also announced plans for satellite-based charging, but then (a) worked out that you can’t levy taxation off the back of infrastructure belonging to another state (the US GPS system) and (b) found that the EU Galileo system which were contributing to (so could use to tax the good citizens of the this country) had turned into the usual EU graft-ridden shambles. We have therefore thankfully heard no more about it!
    But I’m sure we could offer you good folks in the US a dollar or two if you allowed our govt to levy road charges off your GPS system. Mind you, for this to work you would have to promise not to switch it off and that you would maintain the system in working order for at least 20 years so that we could then base all our budgets on it, and all the relative charging rates for motorways, rush hours, school runs, evening travel and so forth.
    Buddy, can you spare a dime (we’ve got a certain wedding still to pay for)?

  25. My car insurer (AAA) asks for the mileage on my cars every year. Low mileage gets me a break on rates.

  26. “Stephen Rasey says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:38 am
    The poster “Anything is possible” is right-on.
    Every state in the union has a vehicle inspection sticker for checks on safety. IF tax on miles driven should be applied, this is clearly the cheapest mechanism.
    So the proposal for a GPS in every car is a fascist attempt to force everyone to buy new GPS devices from industriaists in bed with an administration who wants ever more control over its subjects. I vote no.”
    No, every state does not have a vehicle inspection sticker. I have never had to have my van, which I bought right here in Kansas, inspected. Only the car I brought with me from Texas, and then they only checked for the catalytic converter and the mileage, once.
    We are already taxed for every drop of gasoline we buy, why tax us for just driving? This type of tax will put massive financial burdens on those that do not live in urban areas, not to mention the trucking industry. It is a bad idea and will always be a bad idea.

  27. Something like this has been talked about in the UK, speculation is rife that the EU Galileo SatNav project is really intended to make this viable. A variation is also being trialled for young drivers to reduce their horrendous insurance costs. This involves a GPS logger which records where and at what times of the day they drive. If they avoid heavy traffic and driving at night they get reduced premiums.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/feb/12/pay-as-you-go-car-insurance

  28. As the WSJ editorial notably commented (don’t remember the quote verbatim):
    Whatever is Obama’s and his sponsors’ spin about “the rich paying their fair share,” in the end, to finance their ideological agenda, they will rob the hard-working American middle class, for the same reason that Willie Sutton used to rob banks.

  29. Norway used to have a per kilometer tax for diesel cars, but they removed it and increased the fuel tax instead. From the AGW perspective, I would think that a fuel tax makes much more sense, since it favors efficient cars.

  30. These states have no emission or safety inspection.
    Arkansas
    Florida
    Iowa
    Kansas
    Kentucky
    Michigan
    Minnesota
    Montana
    North Dakota
    Oklahoma
    South Carolina
    South Dakota
    Wyoming
    After then it gets really fun as some states only require inspections upon title transfers, or based on age of the vehicle, or depending where you live, i.e. urban versus rural, so on and so forth. The Fed would have to step in and further erode states’ powers and considering the fuss caused over Obamacare and states being more inclined to fight the EPA, this tax is a non-winner.

  31. jorgekafkazar says:
    “One thing you can be absolutely sure of: the President’s appointees fully represent the Marxist views of the president, or they wouldn’t be there. Out with them all!”
    When in the course of human events… whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it… all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government… He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance… He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution… imposing Taxes on us without our Consent… altering fundamentally the Forms of our Government… declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever… He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us… In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
    Throw the bums out.

  32. Joe says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:34 am
    The tax per mile should also be greater for heavier vehicles. Large trucks cause greater road and bridge damage than cars do.

    Well, they already do. The heavier the vehicle, the lower the gas mileage, all other things being equal. Burn more gas per mile, pay more taxes. See, already done. I’ve seen the little stickers/placards on the sides of tractor-trailers; “This vehicle pays XXXX per year in taxes.” The sum represented by “XXXX” has never been less than US$7,000.

  33. These are very interesting reactions!
    In Europe we all assume that eventually “road pricing” will come. It’s inevitable because fuel economy continues to improve and of course there’ll be more and more electric vehicles on the road. So fuel tax will decline and will have to be replaced (supplemented?) with something else.
    Of course GPS is the obvious answer. “They” will know where you’ve been, but they do already from the CCTV that’s everywhere and your phone that allows telcos to provide even more detail on request. And don’t forget “if you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear”.
    As for you paying tax on your gasoline already — well we’d love your tax levels over here :).

  34. Hoser says:
    May 6, 2011 at 8:54 am
    More about tracking people than taxation. Plan first floated in Oregon a few years ago. If they really wanted money, they’d just raise the gas tax.
    ###
    BTW, did you know that Oregon was the state that “invented” the gasoline tax.

  35. Yesterday on “The Hill” they reported this story:
    Obama admin. floats draft plan to tax cars by the mile: ‘A vehicle miles traveled tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven’

    The plan is a part of the administration’s Transportation Opportunities Act, an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.
    It is so spectacularly stupid, I kept waiting for it to show up on snopes.com yesterday. I just couldn’t believe it to be something under consideration. At 500 pages, the idea is one of many in the proposed bill.
    Today at 10:15AM EST, the story was updated, and now the White House says this:
    “This is not an administration proposal,” White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. “This is not a bill supported by the administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not taken into account the advice of the president’s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.”
    Translation:
    …we are shelving the idea until after the 2012 election.
    The plan was to put GPS devices on cars that would report the mileage. The Hill writes:
    Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.
    I could see a huge black market for “patches and hacks” and other circumventions developing out of this. It would turn millions of people into criminals.

  36. Anything is possible says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:00 am
    Here in the UK, every car over 3 years-old has to undergo an annual MoT test to check its’ roadworthyness. The mileage is faithfully recorded.
    AIP’s comment shows how easily those claiming to be democratic and free slip into authoritarian states in which the government can track anyone they choose to. The 1984 future is already here, but it was sold to us by McDonalds and we didn’t notice.
    To even float the idea of putting GPS on ever car shows that some large group (eco-green thinkers) believe that all our freedoms are available if the “threat” is great enough. The Patriot Act, Homeland Security, airport screening are all infringements on the average American’s freedom that the WWII veteran would have felt unacceptable even during war. There is no end to what our governments will seek, all in the name of “our” best interests.
    Once you create a bureaucracy, it will develop to protect and enhance its own existence. Those working in it will work hard and legitimately for we all wish to be validated and effective in our efforts. It is the Achilles heel of the Western philosophy of over-achievement: tomorrow I wish to do more than I did today, and I will invent ways to do more if I can’t do so as it stands.
    All of us need more reflection on what is being done, not just how it is being done or how fast it is being done. But is not that the basic problem of the AGW scare? That the rhetoric is about methods and speed of “fixing” something that does not need repair?

  37. Selling: RF-attenuating boxes, all sizes all shapes. Suitable for shielding unwanted GPS receivers. Make it look like your car is always in a parking garage.
    Do it Obama, I’m going to be rich.

  38. ← Stanford claims farmers “dodged impacts of global warming” in the USA, but you have to find it first.
    The “Taxing your car by the mile” plan
    Posted on May 6, 2011 by Anthony Watts
    Or in other words, we’ll all drive “taxis”, except for the chosen exempt few.
    All private cars to be yellow in the future?
    Yesterday on “The Hill” they reported this story:
    Obama admin. floats draft plan to tax cars by the mile: ‘A vehicle miles traveled tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven’

    The plan is a part of the administration’s Transportation Opportunities Act, an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.
    It is so spectacularly stupid, I kept waiting for it to show up on snopes.com yesterday. I just couldn’t believe it to be something under consideration. At 500 pages, the idea is one of many in the proposed bill.
    Today at 10:15AM EST, the story was updated, and now the White House says this:
    “This is not an administration proposal,” White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. “This is not a bill supported by the administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not taken into account the advice of the president’s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.”
    Translation:
    …we are shelving the idea until after the 2012 election.
    The plan was to put GPS devices on cars that would report the mileage. The Hill writes:
    Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.
    I could see a huge black market for “patches and hacks” and other circumventions developing out of this. It would turn millions of people into criminals.

  39. Welcome to the future of the ‘Motor Voter’ concept.
    One stop shopping for all the Government needs:
    Register to vote
    Register your car
    Download automobile GPS tracking information
    Download Cell Phone archive information
    Register your guns
    Declare barter income
    And then all of this information becomes available to law enforcement, insurance companies and ultimately the marketing companies.
    Law enforcement will want to know why an individual’s car was in the vicinity of a crime. Insurance companies will want to increase an individual’s rates for going to a “bad” section of town. The marketing companies have their uses too.
    The detailed tracking information will be far more valuable that any taxes collected.

  40. Kevin_S says: “…It was, is and always will be an absolute idiotic idea.”
    That’s why absolutists like Obama like it so much.

  41. The aptly-named ‘Progressive’ car insurance company (in the US) is now openly touting the placing of a tracking device in your vehicle in order to ‘save you money’.

  42. Maybe my tin foil hat is almost wearing through, but I am sure that one of the facets of the EU Galileo project was to fit all cars in EUSSR with a device that would achieve the aims of the post.

  43. Well something of this type is coming to Europe in the future, as the GALILEO and EGNOS Projects (GPS system for Europe) continue to move forward. Road pricing of some type is inevitable over here… Clever systems based on time of travel, distance, type of roads, type of vehicle etc. have the potential to really change our way of life.
    I have little doubt it will coming to the US in the future too.

  44. Cars are already taxed per mile. Doesn’t the government realize they tax gas and diesel. With the vehicles getting the worst gas mileage paying the most per mile in taxes.

  45. “The sum represented by “XXXX” has never been less than US$7,000.”
    According to my civil engineering buddies that’s only fair since they basically also do effectively all the damage to highways. Your average passenger car almost literally has no maintenance/repair load on a well built road, even in their 10 of thousands.
    40ton trucks though… Yowsa, the slightest fault gets hammered into a pothole in weeks.

  46. Stephen Rasey says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:38 am
    Every state in the union has a vehicle inspection sticker for checks on safety. IF tax on miles driven should be applied, this is clearly the cheapest mechanism.

    I don’t know where you got this idea, but its absolute twaddle. There is no such thing in many states.

  47. The EU is already throwing taxpayer’s money at its own “Galileo” version of GPS in order to tax vehicle movements. Over the last few years more and more company owned vehicles have been fitted with GPS tracking, causing complaints and poor morale about spying on employee’s movements, how are we going to feel when every driver has Big Brother looking over their shoulder 24/7?

  48. How long do you think it would take for some teen-aged super-geek to hack into the system and wreak havoc?

  49. This system was in a testphase for a year or two in the Netherlands. The law prepared was that you get fined 25.000 and a maximum of 4 years prison if you didn’t have a gps or it was tampered with.
    In the end the plan was dropped because the complexity of making it work would cost a fortune and still would be waterproof quite prone to failure.
    So don’t worry, if it can’t be done in a country of roughly 300 by 600 km2 with 16 million inhabitants,noway nohow is it going to work in the USA.

  50. This is dumb… the best answer is to eliminate the gas tax completely and charge a road use tax annually when people register their vehicles…

  51. I often give my students assignments to sniff out government corruption, especially when the corruption involves technology or power. About five years ago my students brought me a report about taxing by the mile. They claimed that two of the sponsors of the bill had large Garmin interests. I can’t remember the original sponsors of the Bill, but their report seemed valid. I assume this is the same bill and the same lawmakers are hoping to acquire a nice power and wealth grab.

  52. charlie says:
    May 6, 2011 at 8:56 am
    How to tax by the mile;
    Form 1040:
    How many miles did you drive last year ____________
    Multiply the amount in the line above by 0.006 enter result here _________
    The weird thing is for an average driver getting 25 mpg we are arguing about $100.
    Irrelevent as to the amount since the gas tax is not going away this is an additional tax plus an invasion of privacy and a hidden attempt of keep track of citizens. You can send in $100 extra anytime you want.

  53. How easy would it be to come up with a device that plugged onto the devices antenna, and fed it a signal telling it your car was in your garage, 24/7 for the entire year?

  54. If so, an annual car tax based on mileage … could easily be imposed without the need to introduce expensive, and intrusive, electronic tracking equipment

    *facepalm*
    You’ve missed the point
    ENTIRELY, I see… 😉

  55. As stated by others including TimC above, the UK floated the idea of ‘road pricing’. I would think that the ideas in this ‘shelved’/’tabled’ paper would be the same. There is no point using GPS just for mileage, it is used to track the vehicle. The taxation would be based on what roads the car was driven on and when it was driven. So a car on the DC beltway between 6:30am and 9am would pay the maximum whereas the same car driving on a country road say near Newton OK, at 3am would pay the minimum. And of course everyone is now tracked whenever they leave home. Tie that data to the cell phone data and you get a complete country wide tracking system.
    The sale of GPS jammers would increase hugely. They are already used by trucking company drivers to avoid dispatch tracking them for just this reason.

  56. “Every state in the union has a vehicle inspection sticker for checks on safety.”
    Not even close. About half the states have yearly pollution control inspections. Maybe only two or three have safety inspections.
    The last four states that I have lived in, there was no yearly inspection of any kind.

  57. Last night in the Republican Presidential debate, Governor “Green” Pawlenty apologized for his former position on man-made global warming, but we in Minnesota still have to live with his Minnesota Renewable Energy Bill (http://www.startribune.com/politics/11759511.html), which gave us inefficient and government subsidized windmills. Governor Green also supported a pilot program to test the idea of charging drivers for each mileage they drive (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/03/18/mileage_tax/) and (http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/19/ugh-gop-minn-gov-pawlenty-studying-mileage-tax-satellite-based-tracking/).
    I hope the Republican Party wakes up and realizes that this guy is a progressive, and not a conservative.
    Keep Smiling 🙂
    Jeff

  58. @Anything is possible In the state of MA, your odometer reading is recorded when you take your car in for its annual safety check.

  59. Need more money for road repair and improvements? Stop raiding the highway “trust fund” for railroad follies.

  60. D. J. Hawkins: The problem is that the damage to roadways goes up with the square of the per axle weight of the vehicle.
    A fully loaded semi can weigh, 28,000 lbs (???) and has 4 axles. 7000 lbs/axle
    My car weighs 2000 lbs and has 2 axles. 1000 lbs/axle
    The truck is doing 49 times as much damage.
    My car gets 40 mpg.
    I believe a fully loaded semi gets around 3 mpg.
    Which means that per mile, he’s paying about 13 times as much as I do in taxes, but doing 49 times as much damage.
    There’s a pretty good chance that the truck you saw does a lot more than $7000 dollars worth of damage to the roads.

  61. Anything is possible says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:00 am
    Here in the UK, every car over 3 years-old has to undergo an annual MoT test to check its’ roadworthyness. The mileage is faithfully recorded.
    Do you have such a thing, or something similar, in the USA?
    If so, an annual car tax based on mileage (not something I am opposed to in principal) could easily be imposed without the need to introduce expensive, and intrusive, electronic tracking equipment…..

    A couple of points:
    – Some states have annual inspection requirements, others don’t. Other states require cars to be checked on a less than annual basis. To make your implied proposal work, all states would have to impose such inspections and they’d have to be annual.
    – Due to the expanse of our country, we have a problem which doesn’t really show up in the UK – private roads used for logging, mining, ranching, farming and other private roads. These are roads which should not be subject to road taxes. Currently, operators of vehicles using these roads can apply for rebates on their gas taxes, but there’s already a problem in verification of mileage on private roads. It seems to me that a simple odometer reading would do nothing to ease that and in fact might exacerbate that problem.
    – Charging a flat mileage tax is regressive in the extreme because it fails to acknowledge that not all highway miles driven are equal. Our current scheme of taxing the fuel does a much better job at rewarding those drivers who use the roads less, and/or who subject the roads to less wear by driving smaller/better mileage vehicles. I’ve ridden motorcycles for a long time. My Harleys get between 45-50 mpg. Why should I pay the same tax as a vehicle which gets half that mileage and which weighs 2-3 times as much?

  62. So, if they tax on miles and remove the existing gasoline/diesel taxes, you can expect lots of huge gas thirsty and polluting engines on the roads. That would not be a step in the right direction to reduce (real) pollutants.

  63. I know I differ from many of my conservative brethren on this, but I would support slow increases in fuel taxes so long as the revenue goes towards building and maintaining roads and bridges. Phasing in five cents per gallon per year over five years isn’t going to feel too painful for most motorists. Another option is to change the tax to a straight percentage of fuel cost (similar to a sales tax). The current method of having taxes pegged at a certain number of cents per gallon means that any inflation reduces the value of the tax collected.

  64. The solution isn’t taxing miles driven. The solution is cutting government spending in order to drive private sector investment and growth (hence more tax revenue). A miles driven tax will, as always with new taxes, cause unintended consequences, none of which will drive growth and all of which will ensure whatever tax revenue estimates these numb nuts believe will occur, won’t.
    When will the numb nuts in DC figure this out?

  65. If this idea is ever put into action it will never work. People will yank out the devices in an act of open, civil disobedience. There would be a massive public backlash. I very much doubt that this idea will ever be put into action.

  66. With these two statements, I think one is not telling the truth.
    “This is not an administration proposal,” White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. “This is not a bill supported by the administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not taken into account the advice of the president’s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.”
    And from the cover page of the bill.
    However, all of the dollar amounts authorized in the bill are consistent with the numbers put forward in the Department of Transportation’s FY 2012 budget request, even at the sub-sub-account level put forward in detail in the Federal Highway Administration’s budget justifications. And since those dollar amounts had to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, and cannot be
    changed (at least at the account level) without further permission from OMB, the
    language and policy accompanying the numbers is probably pretty far advanced.

    Another fun FOIA provision is futher down
    (4) TRANSPARENCY.–
    (A) OPEN MEETINGS.–Interested persons shall be permitted to attend meetings of the Group or file statements with the Group, subject to any reasonable rules or regulations that may be prescribed.
    (B) AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS.–The records, reports, transcripts, minutes, appendices, working papers, drafts, studies, agenda, or other documents which are made available to or prepared for or by the Group shall be made available to the public.
    (C) LIMITATION.–The requirements of this paragraph shall not apply if the Secretary determines that it is in the public interest that such meeting or information should be closed to the public in order to prevent the disclosure of matters that–
    (i) should be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy;
    (ii) are specifically exempted from disclosure by statute;
    (iii) involve trade secrets and commercial or financial information that are obtained from a person and are privileged or confidential; or
    (iv) would likely frustrate the purposes of the Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office.
    No you cannot know what we are doing, because is would likely frustrate us??!!

  67. “We are already taxed for every drop of gasoline we buy”
    Noooo. We’re paying it at about 9.9 USD/gallon, and going straigth up. Way to go.

  68. As a GPS engineer I can tell you a GPS makes a lousy odometer even in clear sky. Forget about inner city driving or on bridges or tunnels.
    They mention collecting the data. How? GSM? So that means the feds can call your GPS and check on your mileage. Great if it’s once a year. But who says it will be. Perhaps they would like to call you now and find out where you are. Hmmmm….
    Now lets save lat, lon and velocity. Log all this and when you get your data checked, feel free to line up for any speeding tickets. A GPS is very good at measuring velocity. Heck, lets move the system along and have the GPS call the feds anytime you are speeding on an interstate. (they would know the speed limit by knowing your lat and lon.)
    And to help get this program, let’s institute a federal based car inspection program. No reason to have all the variations in each of the states. Nothing like uniform regulations across the country. Bureaucrats love one size fits all thinking. Fits better in their little pin heads. Certainly need the same toilet bowl in Louisiana as in Arizona.

  69. A fully loaded semi weighs 80,000 lbs in the US (most jursdictions). Max axle weights are 20,000lbs per axle. A semi gets 6 – 8 mpg US.

  70. In the UK you pay a “Road Tax” based on the size of your engine and the supposed “emmissions’ – ironically based on data from the 1960s and 70s (The Civil Servants are too damned incompetent to know they are being fed lies on this by their Greenpeace “Advisors.”). On top of that there is the fuel tax, currently around 4/5ths of the pump price which is £1.50 per litre (4.5 litres = 1 Imperial Gallon/ 3.6 litres = 1 US Gallon). The tax is quite a complex calculation, but starts with Excise Duty levied on “landing” of the Crude, then a further tax on “product” and finally a tax at the pump – then add 20% Value Added Tax … The retailer actually gets to keep around £0.02p per litre sold, the oil company keeps around £0.38p and the rest goes to the Treasury.
    There are proposals, introduced by Blair’s Liebor Party, to change this system and make us pay a “Toll” to use the Motorways which would have been based on a rate per mile. As far as I know these are still on the table, despite the ejection of the anti-car, anti-freedom and anti-personal choice thugs of Liebor from power.
    And let us not forget the city dwelling “greens” who think everyone has access to a bus or tube train every five minutes and can cycle anywhere they want to go. This sort of tax, and I suspect a large part of the anti-carbon dioxide support we see in various political circles is more about controlling the individuals mobility than saving the planet. Most of them want to keep the public where they are so they have control over your travel options, schools, universities, job opportunities and so on …
    It used to be called the Feudal System, but Stalin and his merry men modernised it and proved it worked very well in the former USSR as it still does in China and North Korea.

  71. No extra taxes are needed for electric vehicles, just drop the subsidies. The increased costs will move those “green” folks back to the gas guzzling SUVs they previously drove. Those who drive electric, aren’t likely to get farther than 40 to 100 miles before they turn back, so it’s not likely they’ll be paying more than about $12 a day anyway (200 * $0.06/mile).

  72. From here you can see married couples’ miles estimate premium, the rich peoples miles estimate premium, the smokers and drinkers miles premium, the soda pop drinkers miles premium, the unregulated wood stove user miles premium, the gun owner miles premium, and the alternative minimum miles tax. That should keep them busy in DC for a few more years. way to go, not!

  73. This is a classical political tax! Tax you individually so no one else will know but you how much you pay in taxes! Hide the tax! Politicians are afraid to raise the gas tax in public so they try something stealthy!

  74. And people think I’m weird because I don’t want OnStar. I’ve been expressing just this concern ever since that system came out.
    Will they require us to buy GM vehicles, too?

  75. Time to get my old 6 VOLT car off the blocks…
    Then again all the ethanol additives has melted all the old fuel system gaskets.
    More wasting of my time to collect taxes on myself to pay the government.
    Then again when Obama care places a tracker in my head, all changes in location will be taxed.

  76. In Europe they call it Road Pricing and they can’t make it work or sell it to the public.

  77. OH xxxx, this is another of these “technology looking for a problem to solve”, whereby some greedy manufacturer with a technology tries to persuade stupid politicians that the world’s problems will be solved when they start using their wonderful technology.
    To see this is just utter carp, ask yourself why they don’t just tax petrol/gas? Why do you have to add complex equipment that is bound to break down and/or lead to a whole crime industry bypassing it, when you could simply tax petrol/gas? The answer is that this has nothing to do with reducing miles, and everything to do with selling a useless technology that no one wants.

  78. Northern California Bureaucrat says:
    May 6, 2011 at 11:17 am
    Keep those ideas bottled up in your little part of the world. The rest of us prefer not to think like typical Kalifornians do. I lived there for a while and became an angry angry person in less than a year. Any idea that comes from that state about taxes is wrong. How I know that is that the idea never involves reducing or eliminating a tax. Always increasing or creating a new one. We don’t have a federal govt. income problem. We have a fed govt spending problem. It’s time to stop the feds from spending so we can keep some of our own money. NO MORE TAXES of any kind implemented in any way. Got it???

  79. Ray say’s, “So, if they tax on miles and remove the existing gasoline/diesel taxes,”
    Guess what Ray. I don’t think there is any discussion of removing any existing taxes. The Government wants MORE money not less.

  80. In the USA, gasoline is already taxed. Diesel fuel is already taxed. Electricity is already taxed. Therefore, gasoline, diesel, and electric vehicles are already taxed per mile. Heavy vehicles use more energy per mile, therefore road weight is already taxed. Inefficient vehicles use more energy, therefore inefficiency is already taxed.
    I don’t know anyone stupid enough to believe that this proposal is about fairly taxing road use. That mechanism is already in place. This is about tracking vehicles, for which there is no legitimate justification.
    “I think we should tax all people who stand in water. … Ooooooh!”

  81. I am not against new taxes. I already pay for tolls on autoroutes and it varies by time and distance. What you want in a tax is that is easy to collect, and it not put to high a burden on any part the community The poor should not pay more than they can reasonly cope with, and the rich neither as they just go elsewhere. It could be a milage tax, but unless it is congestion related a petrol tax seems just more environmently friendly and better accepted.
    The problem is not the government getting the money, it is what they do with afterwards. You could lower the national debt. You could fight the a war against those blow up buses or the twin towers. You could even improve the roads. However if they see it as “new money” I suspect they will spend it on some silly projects to save the plante.

  82. I totally predicted at another blog that they would want GPS units in every car. Then they happen to have everybody’s movements also. Instead of just stopping someone and downloading their iPhone, they could also download you GPS records and see exactly how many times you were speeding. Oh, they would know that already and simply send you a bill in the mail or electronically debit your account as you speed.
    Welcome to Big Brother 1984 2.0 2011
    This has nothing to do with taxes. This has to do with knowing more about us. And more potential for control.

  83. wow, my 2 comments should have been moderated off the forum…not sure what happened.

  84. It won’t be long before everyone is chipped and a heart beat tax is levied. You could go on then to levy a bathroom/toilet tax and of course a chewing tax. Maybe later a thinking tax. For global warming a breathing tax (CO2) and a wind tax (methane gas).

  85. Hey, the Dems are secretly rejoicing over the gas prices. After all, it is a part of the Agenda that they voted for.
    “……Mr. Chu has called for gradually ramping up gasoline taxes over 15 years ……”Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Mr. Chu,…(now the Democrat Secretary of Energy) said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in September.”
    Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2008
    So, in September of 2008, the man that would become the current Secretary of Energy was laying out the Democrat Agenda. That was some two months before the election. The information was available and if you didn’t know that before you voted, then shame on you. And if you DID know but didn’t vote, then I don’t want to hear your whining.
    Do you remember in the 2006 election when Ms. Pelosi said we should elect the Dems because “we have a plan” for gas prices? Only you had to elect them to find out what it was. For four years, they were in control of Congress (2007 thru 2010) and now you know what their plan is. We are now half way to their goal.
    Too bad about the economy, though.
    But then you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.
    Besides, there would be plenty of money for HIGHWAYS, if the Dems didn’t throw our gas tax money away by building Toonerville Trolleys to nowhere. The pathetic fools in Austin just spent over $100,000,000 on light rail. And they used the existing rail lines instead of having to buy right-of-way and laying track. All that money and all they got was a slow trolley to Leander that nobody rides. But, it’s cool. Do you remember when the bridge collapsed in Minneapolis-Saint Paul? They had transportation funds available to maintain those bridges, but instead they built a really cool trolley that nobody rides. People died when the bridge collapsed but they have really cool light rail. Cool. You see, in liberal areas there is no glory (or votes) in maintaining roads or bridges. But there are votes in light rail or bike paths. And then when people die because of how the politicians have misspent the tax money, they just blame George Bush. And voters believe them.
    Too bad about the dead people, though.
    But then you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.
    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  86. So Big Brother wants to track your every move in your vehicle. Sounds totally innocent.

  87. Joe says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:34 am
    The tax per mile should also be greater for heavier vehicles. Large trucks cause greater road and bridge damage than cars do.

    As posted above we already do. For trucks it is called a ton mile tax, Cars also are indirectly taxed via both their gasoline taxes (heavier cars all things being equal get lower fuel mileage), and Colorado (not sure about all states) your license auto registration fees are determined by age and title weight of the car. In addition since tire sizes are proportional to vehicle weight taxes on tires also provide a vehicle weight pro-rated tax. Bigger heavier car = bigger tires.
    Truck damage to roadways also has a lot to do with construction standards for the roadways. It has only been recently that testing has confirmed the trip hammer effect of heavy vehicles as the loaded axles bounce after hitting a pot hole or other bump. Smoothness of the roadway, and strength of the road bed can largely eliminate road damage if adequate pavement depth is used. Thin understrength roads pound out quickly but thicker stronger pavements with adequate base fill, do not.
    Larry

  88. Although the privacy issue is huge, there is quite a bit of logic to this proposal to tax by the mile. We currently finance road and bridge construction through gasoline taxes. Even though an old 15-mpg car may not cause any more need for roads than a new 35-mpg car, the old car is paying more than twice for the roads as the new car. Now consider electric vehicles — or other alternative energy cars. They are not paying gasoline taxes and therefore are avoiding their share of road costs.

  89. Huge Constituional issue. You buy a car, you own it. Disable the device, period. ew-3 mentions a good point, btw… just sitting around in a parking lot the error on the GPS device will register some distance traveled.
    Mark

  90. It is about spying on the citizenry, tracking people’s movements and fining them for every incident of speeding and knowing where everyone is at all times.
    The easiest and most effective and anonymous way to tax per mile AND efficiently and effectively guarantee that the biggest polluters pay most in a guaranteed proportionate manner, is to tax gasoline at the pumps. It also guarantees that people are not criminalised as they will not be able to avoid it, and the tax revenue is collected.
    Trouble is, you can’t use that to track everyone’s travel. You cannot obsessively and in paranoid fashion, monitor what all the people are doing that way.
    This is why this issue, more than any other single issue, broke all records on the old No10 petition website in the UK when the then labour government were spending hundreds of millions of pounds trailing such a scheme.
    This policy is not about pollution, congestion or revenue generation. Taxing the fuel directly would be more effective and efficient at meeting all of those goals. It is solely about totalitarian control.
    Where I travel whilst going about my personal lawful business is none of their damned business. IF they believe I am breaking the law and should be tracked, it is up to them to prove it. Otherwise, LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!

  91. >> Northern California Bureaucrat says:
    May 6, 2011 at 11:17 am <<
    NCB, I'm pretty sure the current fuel taxes more than cover road and bridge needs. No need for higher taxes, just stop diverting it to other wasteful government spending.

  92. The interesting thing is a number states are considering these per mile taxation’s for the very reason that they’ve jacked up Gasoline taxes so much, that in fact people are actually beginning to conserve, and use gasoline in a far more intelligent manner.
    Typically people now park their truck more, and use their small lightweight fuel efficient car for errands and commuting now. And with these prices, people make sure that one errand is worth the trip (so you pick up the kids, but on the same trip you dropped off bottles at the depot before hand for example).
    As a result many of these Governments are seeing their revenues flat line or get worse in regards to gasoline taxes. Therefore to those who run fuel efficient cars and drive lots of miles are seen as a group to tax and get revenue. After all, this group has more money in their pockets because they are intelligently watching how they spend their hard earned dollars of which the Government wants. So Governments are cooking up the idea to shift from gasoline taxes into some type of per mile taxes.
    In other words if you do your green part drive and drive an efficient car and use less gasoline and lower your carbon footprint, the Government still intends to screw you out of anything you saved anyway.
    Super Turtle

  93. The funny part is that they would need to redistribute the tax to the states according to the total road length and usage I suppose. The states would then built lots more roads to collect as much as the tax as possible.

  94. MarkW says:
    May 6, 2011 at 11:12 am
    D. J. Hawkins: The problem is that the damage to roadways goes up with the square of the per axle weight of the vehicle.
    A fully loaded semi can weigh, 28,000 lbs (???) and has 4 axles. 7000 lbs/axle
    My car weighs 2000 lbs and has 2 axles. 1000 lbs/axle
    The truck is doing 49 times as much damage.
    My car gets 40 mpg.
    I believe a fully loaded semi gets around 3 mpg.
    Which means that per mile, he’s paying about 13 times as much as I do in taxes, but doing 49 times as much damage.
    There’s a pretty good chance that the truck you saw does a lot more than $7000 dollars worth of damage to the roads.

    If you drive in California where the road taxes are about 0.60 per gallon and you drive 15,000 miles per year, you pay about $225 per year in taxes. The truck is paying about 30X what you pay. As for damage, it isn’t the number of axles, it’s the tire contact area that’s important. So the four-axle semi has fourteen tires, and let’s say a contact area 1.5 times yours per tire, so he’s got a 5:1 advantage in contact area and a 14:1 margin in rolling weight for a net of 3:1 in damage while paying 30:1 the fees. If I was a trucker, I’d be mighty unhappy.

  95. This idea has been bouncing around Massachusetts for a long time now. The rationalization is the “hybrid” problem, which I think now accounts for approx. .5% of cars in Mass.
    Mass can’t use the mileage checked during inspections because they can’t determine if all the miles were driven in Mass, so that would be wrong. So now they want to put in place a NFID system that would essentially track your car everywhere in the state.
    Amazing. Of course, the gas tax doesn’t go away, this tax just gets ADDED.
    I’m just amazed that the voters keep these asshats in office.
    You just can’t make it up.
    JimB

  96. I’m betting good money that you DONT have to add anything to most cars; the onboard computers probably already store (or can be reprogrammed to) the annual mileage info. Note that you already get messages on oil changes and maintenance and that is based solely on mileage. This would keep black-markets in odometer rollbacks from happening or any new devices from being needed.

  97. Denied but illustrative eh? The fact that people took time and care to frame and consider something like this reflects upon the current Administration….
    Are those Gov’t jobs that could be eliminated?

  98. <<>>
    The Highway Trust Fund’s cupboard is pretty bare, and it sounds like it is being subsidized with other money:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/05/AR2008090503525.html
    There’s a lot of deferred maintenance out there, especially for bridges. And just to be clear, I’m generally anti-tax; however, a tax on fuel when the revenue is dedicated to road construction and maintenance is a lot closer to a user fee than a tax. I’d rather see Congress increase fuel taxes to pay for road construction, rather than watch them approve another unfunded ARRA-type stimulus package which only increases the national debt.

  99. D. J. Hawkins says:
    May 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    Wiki says damage is related to the fourth power of the axle weight (not the square and definitely not the contact area) which is what I was taught too.

  100. Let’s just “go the extra mile” here and just have the government implant electronic chips into our bodies so that they can track all our movements. Why stop at autos? Heck, they could tax you for NOT moving (“the couch potato tax”) or moving too much (“the marathoners tax”) or for being out of your house after curfew, playing hooky on your government job…the possibilities are endless!

  101. Ladies and Gentlemen, those of you who are talking about disabling their GPS receivers are missing a trick.
    Go up to your local avocate for this type of technology, whether it be a greeny, or a grasping politician, or even a grasping goverment. Use a GPS transmitter connected to a laptop to persuade your local friendly avocate’s car (for they pray at the church of ‘do as I say, not as I do’) that it has travelled around the local city, in rush hour, for several hours, at a speed that is well in excess of the speed limit.
    Be sure to engage with them to ensure their faith in the technology that will Save the World (TM) never wavers. Even during the bankruptcy court appearences.

  102. Alex said: It is money. Always more money for the Government.
    Not always. This is more likely to be a distraction to the really dangerous plan to require companies, but not unions, to disclose their political contributions – retroactive two years. This is the most Chavez-like plan ever put forward by the House of Obama.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703992704576305414137806694.html
    It’s not money, it’s power. If you have all the power you have all the money by definition.

  103. GPS in cars? Checks you’d mileage – and your speed.
    Ah, now you’ve got the real reason.

  104. Northern California Bureaucrat,
    There’s plenty of spin in that WaPo article. As it turns out, federal highway funding is substantially increasing.

  105. Simply increase petrol and car sales tax like we do down under. In Sydney we pay around USD 7 per gallon. Of course this will increase when we get the carbon tax everybody is keen on. More taxes, more government, that’s what you need.

  106. Tim,
    You are correct, I get a report from GM every month. They know the number of miles on the odometer, the tire pressure, etc etc.
    While I am totally against the mile tax, the fact of the matter is that we do need a system to tax the electric cars since they are not paying their share of road/bridge building/maintenance.
    This is the unintended consequences of pushing and subsidizing a stupid concept like electric cars for which there is no useful battery, except for local runs, and then realizing the Government will not collect the road and transportation tax via fuel tax which runs up to 70 cents per gal in some states. Of course some of that tax is diverted for other purposes so our roads are not properly repaired.
    I would support a mile tax for electric vehicles only so that they pay their fair share.
    Of course when Obama doubles the electricy costs as promised, they will really pay.

  107. Nigel S says:
    May 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm
    D. J. Hawkins says:
    May 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    Wiki says damage is related to the fourth power of the axle weight (not the square and definitely not the contact area) which is what I was taught too.

    I took a look, and it would appear you are correct. MarkW, I was wrong. It is, to overuse a phrase, “even worse than we thought”. Per Wiki, it would appear that in the example we’ve been using, the damage factor is 2,401:1.

  108. I am stunned by some here supporting this. Oh it is just another way to tax and is needed because of hybrid cars you say. At best this is a tax increase and worse it is a tax increase with the government tracking your movement. How can anyone support this?

  109. I read the entire thing (well, ok, skimmed all 400+ pages), and I didn’t see anything about GPSs or Electronic monitoring devices. There was a section about funding a study to investigate ways in which a mileage tax could be implemented for vehicles which don’t use Gasoline, but that was it. Can you provide page references for the GPS bit?

  110. Catcracking says:
    May 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm
    Tim,
    You are correct, I get a report from GM every month. They know the number of miles on the odometer, the tire pressure, etc etc.
    While I am totally against the mile tax, the fact of the matter is that we do need a system to tax the electric cars since they are not paying their share of road/bridge building/maintenance.

    Simple solution – install a watt hour meter on the electric car/charger and surcharge their electricity usage. Don’t forget to add a pollution cleanup/disposal fee on their battery pack, for the pollution created during the battery construction.
    The other aspect of this proposal is that it would absolutely kill the folks west of the Mississippi, who have no choice but to drive long distances. I know a good number of people here in the Colorado area that commute from 30-90 miles each way and a handful that drive over 100 miles each way to get to work. For folks that work in the construction trades for example, they have no choice but to drive to the job site no matter where it is if they want to work.
    I personally drive 30 miles each way to work, and have in the past commuted 85 miles each way to get to a job. My previous job was 17 miles from home and it would only take me 4 hours each way if I took the bus to get to work. Only problem, the bus stop was 4 miles from my house, the bus did not run 2 out of the 5 days a week I worked and only ran during the time window when I got to work, but the route shut down by the time I went home.
    Larry

  111. The plan was to put GPS devices on cars that …

    Nuh uh; not my vehicle, I want it electronically CLEAN (as in no EMI sources) for radio work (RFI tracking and other experiments) … a mechanical fuel-injection diesel does just that too. No spark and no noise once started … in fact, once (the engine is) started the battery as well as the alternator can be removed … vacuum is used to ‘kill’ the engine via a vacuum circuit actuated via the ‘ignition’ key.
    .

  112. It amazes me how often people will screw themselves over, just to get even with somebody else. GPS-based tracking so we can get even with folks driving electric cars? You’ve got to be kidding me. Retaining my privacy, or what little I have left, is well worth whatever fuel taxes they are apparently hosing me for.
    My other favorite in this thread is the insinuation that the big trucks should be paying more taxes for all the damage they do to the roads. I’m going out on a limb here, but I doubt there are many 18-wheelers out there being used for personal transportation. The vast majority of them are used for business purposes. That means that they provide a service (transportation) for a fee, and generally try to make a profit doing so. Increased fuel taxes are simply amortized into the freight cost they charge their customers. Who ends up paying it? You do, when the price of everything delivered by truck (which, let’s face it, is just about everything) goes up.
    In the end, the consumer ends up paying the tax, regardless of how it is levied. Businesses don’t pay taxes, ever, for anything. They simply pass them along to the consumer as another cost of doing business. The existing fuel tax works because it is relatively simple to collect and is relatively fair in how it is distributed.

  113. Josualdo, May 6, 2011 at 11:16 am
    Let’s forget about the tax(i) — what’s wrong with current electronic odometers? Why a GPS?

    Good question; the odo won’t yield a Lat/Long coordinate pair (or altitude) … or a record of those items (over, say, the past month), which, is probably the point …
    .

  114. Anything is possible says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:00 am
    Here in the UK, every car over 3 years-old has to undergo an annual MoT test to check its’ roadworthyness. The mileage is faithfully recorded.
    Do you have such a thing, or something similar, in the USA?
    If so, an annual car tax based on mileage (not something I am opposed to in principal) could easily be imposed without the need to introduce expensive, and intrusive, electronic tracking equipment…..
    That’s why we have a TEA Party.
    We Americans hate taxes and believe the federal government is too big already.
    It seems to an outsider like me you guys accept more taxes too easily.
    Maybe you’re the ones who need a TEA Party. (sarc)

  115. Smokey says:
    May 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm
    Northern California Bureaucrat,
    There’s plenty of spin in that WaPo article. As it turns out, federal highway funding is substantially increasing.
    – – – – –
    Spending may be increasing, but dedicated Highway Trust Fund revenue is not. I’d rather have roads being paid for by fuel taxes than by deficit spending, essentially running up balance on the national credit card. Here are two paragraphs from that article you linked to:
    – – –
    The appropriations bill is an important part of the annual funding process; however, it does not solve the underlying problem of not having authorization legislation in place, and it does not address the revenue shortage in the Highway Trust Fund. The highway and transit programs are currently operating under a short-term authorization that expires on Dec. 30. If a long-term reauthorization measure is not enacted by that date, Congress must again approve a short-term extension to avoid a shutdown in highway and transit funding. Highway Trust Fund revenue is insufficient to support the funding level that was approved by the House.
    In March 2010, $20 billion was transferred from the general fund to ensure that the Highway Trust Fund could meet its obligations. That funding is projected to support the current funding levels through August 2011. Congress will have to take action to further shore up the Highway Trust Fund to support the increased funding levels in the House bill.

  116. And also just to clarify, I think the idea of a nanny-state government using GPS to track miles is incredibly stupid, short-sighted, and a massive assault on individual liberty.

  117. NorCal Bureaucrat,
    Yes, I read that, and it’s part of a systemic problem. House Republicans now have veto power, and the Democrats don’t like it one little bit. So we have gridlock. Good.

  118. I haven’t read all the comments so I’ll probably sound like a parrot but this is just bureaucracy gone mad. The point of the Barry Meters isn’t to raise tax dollars as such but to add a level of bureauracy into the act of owing and driving a car, or green jobs for short.

  119. They already tax gasoline. Isn’t that a type of mileage tax? Just increase the gas tax. Why install electronic gadgets?

  120. All you need is a local GPS beacon that will screw up the signal. With high frequency impulsion generator devices becoming cheaper and cheaper, I expect a hack box fairly soon. Beside, who want to be tracked full time? Sounds like a Demolition Man type of world (w Sandra Bullock and Sylvester Stallone)

  121. I found a website a while ago that was selling GPS tracking devices in case your car got stolen. The same site also sells GPS jammers(easy to do). I guess then the government will set up GPS jammer detectors or make them illegal, just as Australia did with car radar detectors.
    If you want the ultimate nanny state New Zealand is the place for you. Car roadworthiness inspections every 6 months. Including any trailers you own (glider, boat general purpose box trailers etc.) A complete pain.

  122. Northern California Bureaucrat says
    “The highway and transit programs are currently operating under a short-term authorization that expires on Dec. 30.”

    Note that they are using highway money on transit. If they would quit robbing the Highway fund to pay for Light Rail and the rest of their worthless ideas there would be enough money.
    Require the GPS units in electric and hybrid cars only. They are the ones not paying their share, not us. Besides they are all watermelons, they wouldn’t object to paying higher taxes, now would they?

  123. This would have a definite impact on my volunteering to help small church schools in required environmental inspections (EPA-AHERA asbestos), & in my teaching efforts in a community college (I travel 50 miles one way). Living in a rural area, this would mean that travelling anywhere is very limited. Since I live on the east coast, I can just imagine what traveling is like for those in the western states.

  124. D. J. Hawkins says:
    May 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm
    Nigel S says:
    May 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm
    D. J. Hawkins says:
    May 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    Wiki says damage is related to the fourth power of the axle weight (not the square and definitely not the contact area) which is what I was taught too.
    I took a look, and it would appear you are correct. MarkW, I was wrong. It is, to overuse a phrase, “even worse than we thought”. Per Wiki, it would appear that in the example we’ve been using, the damage factor is 2,401:1.
    It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been in the highway biz, but back in the day the damage multiplication factor for HCADT( Heavy Commercial Average Daily Traffic) was 10,000 to 1 for automotive and even that was considered an underestimate. The real difference is that the heavy vehicles, particularly the not insignificant portion who are running over axle weight, have the capacity to push the roadway beyond its design yield point, which is when the real damage occurs. The problem is exacerbated in areas which experience an annual frost cycle because when the frost leaves the ground the roadway goes through an extended period of vulnerability which is why here in the northern tier states we have weight bans posted every spring, which usually only come off some time between next week and Memorial Day. Semis do pay higher taxes, but no where near to the average burden they place on the infrastructure. But since trying to collect from them on a proportional basis would just inflate the cost of everything transported by truck, which nowadays is just about everything, the present system is accepted. The power of the trucking lobby may factor in to the calculation.

  125. I pay gas taxes every time I fill up the car, BUT the new plan is to add to the extra gas taxes for every mile I travel? So much for, “No new taxes if you make less than $250,000 per year.”
    What a STUPID plan, not only will I have to pay for a GPS device I don’t want, BUT I’ll pay extra taxes per mile on top of that. PLUS, the copying of the data from my “Big Brother GPS” will cost money too.
    This is a MAJOR disincentive to get a high millage car.
    The current system of paying per gallon is simple and easy to deal with, which is why they want to screw it up for us!!!!

  126. Well, this is a stupid idea as Atrios, a well know liberal blogger (who is an economist) has pointed out repeatedly. If we need more revenue for highway maintenance then why not raise the gas tax?
    As structured right now, the gas tax does what it should do. Owners of lighter higher mileage vehicles, which do less damage to roads, pay less than owners of heavier lower mileage vehicles, which do more damage. Seems about right. If we need more money, raise the tax so that everyone continues to pay in proportion to the damage they do?
    Taxing everyone on a per mile traveled basis, rather than connecting damage done however remotely (via the fact that heavier vehicles pay more tax), seems counter productive. And this does not even bring into consideration the privacy concerns and the cost of equipping vehicles to meld into a pay-by-mile system. Inevitably in our national security state much than just miles traveled will be tracked. I am a greenie, but I am also a civil libertarian and something like this offends me.

  127. This is about tracking people. How long before they fly their true flag, the hammer and sickle.

  128. Actually a 10mpg 4×4 might be an advantage with this system.
    It’s the electric go-karts are going to get drilled…

  129. This would simply be a high-tech toll system, with “toll booths” every mile.
    Unfortunately, I can see it one day happening. There are certain hidden “advantages” to it. For one, the US Postal Service would obviously be exempted. This would let them keep their rates down compared to private shipping companies (FEDEX, UPS, etc.) who would have to pay. It would give an economic advantage to the “buy local” movement, making imports (from other countries or even states) more expensive the further away you are from the goods’ origins. It would compel people to move back to the cities and give up their commutes, perhaps staving off the bankruptcies many cities face. It would make mass transit economically feasible.
    In short, I can see many liberal, PC issues being helped by this concept. I could also see the fly-over states rebelling – and I would be joining them.

  130. What this all boils down to is that they have blown all the money, and now they want more to subsidize digging the hole deeper.
    This in NOT what America wants, it’s just another tax that will be spent on useless programs, which being unwanted makes it taxation without representation.
    When the kids spend thier allowance for the month in 1 day, then cry for more, the last thing you do is give them more this month. Too bad, wait.
    If the Gov. wants more money next year, then don’t spend it so fast this year.
    So simple even a politician can do it.

  131. Part of the desire for this is to keep an eye on the masses. Not only can they tell how far that you have been, they can track you back to your favorite extra-legal activity.
    This would also but a huge tax on rural people like myself with a 30 mile ride to the grocery store, and double that to the big city.
    One angle of environmentalism is to herd us into sustainable little cities where we can be controlled through a shortage of resources and held as a docile population as tyrants prosper. This fits that meme to a tee. Eventually high gas prices, land use issues, and now a road tax conspire to make rural living as expensive as possible.
    As far as using GPS, there would be flaws. As one other poster pointed out, signals are blocked by bridges, tall building and other sky obstructions.
    I had a little taste of this a few years ago on my snowmobile. I Velcro’d my GPS to the dash and went for a ride, expecting to chronicle distance and top speed. When I returned I was shocked to see that I had ridden 35 miles and had a top speed of 38mph. The ground truth was that I had gone over 150 miles, and had exceeded 100mph at least 4 times.
    The GPS couldn’t keep up between the heavy forest, the blockage from the windscreen, and the rapid changes in speed and direction. Admittedly it was a $99 yellow GPS, but it indicated flaws that could be exploited through creative antenna blockage and so on.
    Paying out monies to individual jurisdictions would become burdensome too. I was in 3 counties in less than 50 miles today. County A gets $0.12, County B gets $0.07… It would become a problem requiring significant infrastructure and computing power to resolve and distribute collections to each entity.
    Then there are people like me that won’t own a car that tattles on you. I’d rather rebuild a 20 year old car than have Big Brother watching my every move like throttle and brake position, speed, top speed, and so on.
    OnStar=not in my car.

  132. Take box. Wrap in Aluminium Foil. Drive to Florida and back. Remove foil.
    Yeah, like that tracking idea is gonna work….
    It’s really simple: You want to track my miles? I’m going to sue under the implied “Right To Privacy” found to allow abortions. If there is, in fact, a “right to privacy” that is not written anywhere in the constitution but says a child can be killed, then that same right to privacy lets me drive the Momma To Da Docta without a tracking…
    So, do I have a constitutional “right to privacy” or do you stop doing abortions? Your call…

  133. This has always troubled me, the EU want to do the same thing. However, we are already charged by the mile, as we pay tax on the fuel we use – this also acts to tax fuel guzzlers more than efficient cars as well. There proposal is to tax per mile at a fixed rate, this actually benefits fuel guzzlers and penalizes fuel efficient cars!
    The EU version was to be based on roads used with some roads be more expensive than others, and also based on peak hours etc…still a silly idea in my mind!
    New Zealand has a pay by the km system for taxing diesel already and no GPS is required, you simply buy a voucher for a few 1000 km from the post office or online. No need for big brother to track you. I would prefer the tax at the pump though to be honest – the GPS idea just has soooo many flaws to it!
    Plus your being tracked constantly which smacks of big brother government wanting to use it for other uses as well, average speed calculations and automatic speeding fines, automatic parking fines, tracking “suspected” terrorists – though it could be useful for avoiding crashes / congestion and quickly spotting accidents – but it is definitely a double edged sword!

  134. “They forgot to exempt electric cars. Back to the drawing board.”
    Actually, electric vehicles are precisely what has been spurring this change. A number of states have also specifically started talking about legislation to require EV’s – and only EV’s – to have mileage-tax equipment installed. This is because the government is bemoaning the possible loss of gas tax revenue from EV’s.
    It’s all academic, anyways. I don’t think they’re really willing to send anyone out here with guns to actually force me to put some sort of silly tax gizmo in my car, any more than they are likely to send people out for a half dozen other silly reasons ranging from failing to buy healthcare to stealing “their” rain that happens to fall on my house. They can go pound sand; I am not a serf.

  135. For over two decades, politicians over here in Germany are trying to implement this “Tax-per-Mile” – umm: rather “Tax-per-Kilometer”-system for privately owned cars, already.
    But while all the technical gizmos are in place and are being used to tax the crap out of commercial trucks already, no political party actually dares to swap this system over to taxing private cars, too – that is: as of yet – because they know, their political careers will rot in Hell, if they should ever really dare to do so.
    Public pressure is the only efficient tool you have to stop this madness in it’s shoes. Tell your congressmen, they will be toast, if they should ever dare try implementing the taxation-per-mile of private cars.
    That’ll work. Nothing else will.

  136. Beware guys, there are already systems embedded in the infrastructure of UK motorways which are able to track the individual, this is not widely known in the UK. Also I understand that the newer cars on the market have a “chip” currently not used, which will if enabled lead to “mile taxing”. How long before you are bar coded at birth so Big Brother, knows who, where & when.

  137. Just have all the Greenie cars to have an code that tells the power company the car is charging – then just tack on the required doubling of their electric bill. Better – when the person buys the car, just increase all their utility bills from electric to sewer to water by 175%. This include bikes and those wearing shoes – you know, all those things that use the road but don’t pay the gas tax.

  138. There are better and cheaper ways for a government to raise money but no better way to CONTROL THE POPULATION.
    Get wise America- vote this man out next election. He has killed Osama Bin Laden now he wants to kill American Freedom.

  139. If Obama thinks it is a good system than we should do it. He is a wonderful man and would never use this against the people. Look what he has done for the people already. He even killed the most wanted man on Earth. What a brillant man, someone you can trust.The winner of the Nobel Price for Peace.

  140. They are operating under the fantasy that a significant portion of vehicles will soon be electric and thus gas tax revenue (for highway maintenance) will go down. Is there any downward trend in gas sales? I think not. At the rate the new electrics are selling, you may never personally see one on the road. lol

  141. The system has been running in Germany for years. It prices trucks per km at the moment (I think 18 cents/km). It used the gps system. Not satisfied with that the EU is launching its own gps system, called Galileo:
    http://www.esa.int/esaNA/galileo.html
    Probably because of mistrust of the US system but also because the Galileo system will have higher power output sats. And cost more (it would have been much cheaper to farm the sat construction out entirely)
    The idea has been mooted in the UK:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1459230.ece
    And met massive resistance via an online government petition:
    http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/News/Search-Results/Motoring-issues/Politics/Road-pricing-petition-closes/
    However, you can bet your backside that the firmware in all production cars in the EU has been designed to be added-to.
    The idea has not gone away, it is just running under the surface.
    The UK has, for years, been installing fibre-optic cables along major roads….I doubt they need the massive capacity for signs and cameras:
    http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/1299.aspx
    Still, maybe they need it for the massive network of number-plate-scanning cameras the police have, some 10500:
    http://www.kable.co.uk/national-anpr-data-centre-police-acpo-03feb10

  142. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    I am a greenie, but I am also a civil libertarian and something like this offends me.

    Greenie/civil libertarian huh? Must lead to some sleepless nights.

  143. Get used to it. Big brother has made mighty strides in tracking and taxing the free people of the world since the 1960s. It has been incremental and generally accepted and, as each generation becomes aware of their surroundings, normal to them.
    My children laugh and comment on my paranoia as I describe the freedom of my childhood in contrast to the ever-growing, ever-infringing government-as-constant-companion state that they live in. My oldest son uses plastic for every purchase, including a pack of gum. It doesn’t bother him that the card contains a RFID chip that could be used for locating his position or that his phone tracks him with it’s GPS or that his phone can be used to listen to him without his knowledge.
    Automobile computers already track a variety of metrics that can be used to reveal your driving speed and location history. This info can be downloaded wirelessly and without your knowledge. Cameras and listening devices are everywhere.
    The biggest problem with all of this is the passivity with which we accept this. A lot of people on this board just shrug their shoulders and say “it’s only a few dollars a year, what’s the big deal?”. The big deal is this: We are living in an age where freedom is being limited daily and the rule of law is being gutted daily and flaunted in our faces.
    Government has stepped into private financial arangements and picked winners and losers without regard to law. Government has spirited citizens away to secret prisons and held them for years without charging them with crimes. Government tracks nearly every financial transaction and every on-line query made by every citizen. Government assasinates foreign nationals and brags openly about it (I know they always did this but, they kept it covert because it’s illegal).
    We all know about this and we either don’t care or feel that there is nothing to do. So, as I … wait there’s a knock at my door …

  144. What will they do with the data? It is a political goldmine! And is it possible for a government to get data for one purpose and not then use it in every way possible? If they know where you are, it is a short jump to wanting to know where you are, and why, and with whom. And lawyers, divorce and others, and private and public investigators will have their special search engines to mine the data. And, think of it, no one can be anonymous [in his own car] ever again! Yes, it sounds conspiratorial, but it is more the unintended consequences that will happen … and everyone who thinks about this knows it; but some don’t care, and others want it to happen … I care, and I hope I am not alone.

  145. I don’t know about you people but if they tax me per mile i’m done being a good person in society. We need to stop this government, its going to break us and make us slaves. I will not be a slave i’m close enough now. We need to revolt we did it once before we need to do it again. And set up the same government with none career politicians, people who stay in office no more than two years, never to return to government, going back to there lives.

  146. This is good – almost 100% recognize the true threat here is Big Brother. But as per usual the situation is far worse than you realize:
    • the driver’s license takes something which is your constitutional right – the right to travel – and makes it “illegal” without government permission
    • the “deal” you make when you sign your driver’s license application is fraudulent on the part of the government: failure to fully disclose the details and legal ramifications
    • when you stand in front of the camera for your photo what the state isn’t telling you is: the “photo” is actually a scan of your facial shape ( according to a Colorado motor vehicle department lady … and she refused to tell me who gets access to that facial scan … )
    • the feds have already snuck the tracking devices into all new cars – visible as the little “wing” on the roof
    • the feds have snuck in another interesting capability: they can now turn off your car remotely
    • allowing any government the capability of total 24/7 tracking and data-mining can only end badly – in a totalitarian death-grid skynet hell
    Don’t just shake your head in disgust – fight back. Tear down the surveillance state and arrest big brother! Use technology against the globalists. Jam the nanny state right back into the pit of hell it came from.
    http://blogs.computerworld.com/17165/eff_warns_big_brother_wants_to_be_your_friend
    cryptogon.com
    ronpaul2012.com
    http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/covert-gps-tracking-navigation.html
    { Covertly Track Vehicles – Fully Functional GPS Tracker Doubles As Navigation System
    “The first GPS Tracker that doubles as a navigation system to enhance your business, personal, tracking, and navigation needs. Using our web-based platform, you can easily check on your vehicle’s location to ensure employee productivity, eliminate wasted time, and check where your kids or employees are going. No one has to know that this navigation system is covertly tracking their every move. Featuring 2-way communication, employees can communicate directly with headquarters through the touch screen. The LiveWire NavGenius is the only Web ready navigation system and GPS Tracker built into one easy-to-use device.” }

  147. With a diesel vehicle, it is not hard to avoid being taxed at the pump. Someone I know, and he is not alone, collects used cooking oil from restaurants. Some days his exhaust smells distinctly fishy; on others, it has an appetizing sweet-and-sour aroma.Well, one should get a tax rebate for recycling. Waste not, want not.

  148. Yes, as many commenters have already pointed out, Surely if it were about the CO2 produced, Tax on the Gas would have a much closer correlation than the miles travelled.
    Taxing the miles travelled doesn’t reward efficiency.
    No, this idea only isn’t crazy if it’s really just an excuse to get a GPS tracker in every vehicle.
    Limitations on personal mobility & freedom for the sake of what ? Saving the planet? Give us a Break.
    Curtailing mobility

  149. JimBob May 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm:
    It amazes me how often people will screw themselves over, just to get even with somebody else. GPS-based tracking so we can get even with folks driving electric cars?

    Federal (excise?) tax on tires …
    .

  150. greg holmes May 7, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Also I understand that the newer cars on the market have a “chip” currently not used …

    Should be easy enough to ‘point this chip out’; can anybody confirm this with hard evidence?
    .

  151. Sam Hall says on May 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm:

    Require the GPS units in electric and hybrid cars only. They are the ones not paying their share, not us.

    Ding ding ding!
    We have a winner!
    .

  152. ecliptic says on May 7, 2011 at 7:46 am:

    • the driver’s license takes something which is your constitutional right – the right to travel – and makes it “illegal” without government permission

    Or friend from infowars .com (an Alex Jones site) needs to learn the distinction between rights and privileges …
    .

  153. ew-3 says on May 6, 2011 at 11:26 am:
    As a GPS engineer I can tell you a GPS makes a lousy odometer even in clear sky. Forget about inner city driving or on bridges or tunnels.

    All it would take is an accurate reading every 10 secs (or even more) with and simply use the straight-line distance between … it’s going to ‘catch’ those long highway trips; the ‘driving in circles’ lost in the city not so much …
    .

  154. Is there a commodities market in horse and buggies? At the rate things are going, that will be the most affordable means of travel – as long as there is no tax on methane emissions.

  155. Greed: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed.
    Moron: a brainless idiot who votes for people who are obsessed with greed; who exhibit no quantity of brilliant behavior. Over the cliff followers.
    A transponder in your car, followed by a chip up your…

  156. I thought Barrack Obama said he was only going to raise taxes on the rich? Are any demographics of the population going to be exempt from this tax?

  157. “…..no family making less than $250,000.00 a year will see any form of tax increase…..”
    ~Barrack Obama, September 12, 2008

    on video

  158. “…..So let me be absolutely clear: if you are a family making less than $250,000.00 a year (pause, point, look at camera)….. if you are a family making less than $250,000.00 a year you will not see your taxes go up….. not your capital gains tax, not your payroll tax, not your income tax, no taxes. Your taxes will not go up.”
    ~Barrack Obama, July 30, 2008

  159. Mark T says:
    May 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm
    Huge Constituional issue. You buy a car, you own it.
    ###
    Ummm, no you don’t. The State owns it. All you have is the Title.

  160. For those concerned with the “chip”: All cars made in the last 25 or so years have a computer that tracks speed, exhaust gas composition, crank and cam position, and a multitude of other “sensory” info. Many of those cars have keyless entry systems that are a receiving station for data transmitted from your keyfob. Newer cars have GPS, bluetooth, wifi, zigbee and other systems like ONStar. So they have the capability to transmit and receive data such as location, average speed, etc. Most of these systems have the capability of giving up the data on command from a handheld scanning device available to the police.

  161. Sal Minella says on May 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm:
    For those concerned with the “chip”: All cars made in the last 25 or so years have a computer that tracks speed, exhaust gas composition

    REALLY!!??
    OBD or, more specifically OBD-II much?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On-board_diagnostics
    BTW, a better choice than the word ‘track’ could have been made in that sentence; measure, time, gauge, supervise or sense would have been far better choices … since a variety of environmental and engine parameters are measured and used to calculate (by digital computer) control inputs to the engine for operation parameters e.g. fuel injection duration (or pulse width), spark timing (advance or retard), transmission shift points et al for the purposes of ’emissions control’.
    .

  162. Here in New Zealand we have had distance taxes for non-petrol-propeled vehicles for many years. Initially brought in for trucks above 2.5 T as a means of making them pay real costs for the road maintenance load that they caused, and all heavy vehicles [ being diesel fuelled ], have to have an approved hub odometer fitted and purchase distances in advance. { This includes heavy trailers for the 18-wheelers }.Light diesel vehicles can use their OEM odometers. All must display the sticker that shows the distance at which their tax expires. Seems to work well, and no expensive electronic tracking required. Diesel fuel is tax-free at the pump, which allows Farmers , boaties, etc to avoid the administrative load of claiming back for non-road useage.

  163. I’ll post this anonymously from NZ – I normally use my real id – but for this post I’ll just use a nom de plume. I keep two speedo-heads here for my diesel trucks. Since we have to pay for fuel at the pumps which includes some but not all taxes and then pay at the post office to buy what is called Road User Charges (RUC), I prefer to maximise my investment in tax. So one speedo head on the truck shows a value that is legal, whilst I have another in bits being “adjusted” so it can be reinstalled as needed. It’s amazing how much fuel I go through with so few miles!!!! Works for me – but – pssst – don’t let on
    Anonymous from Godzone

  164. @ Michael Schaefer and others – this just in from Pierre Gosselin:
    “State Government Takes Over Management Of Mercedes And Porsche.” Apparently a Green initiative to force manufacturers of large luxury cars to consider the environment. A comment from the source is as follows:
    “The incoming Green-led state government of Baden-Württemberg has unveiled plans to introduce a speed limit on the autobahns and replace vehicle tax with road tolls. The road tax should apply to all roads, he said, and should be, ‘as individualised as possible, thus related to time, place, length of road use and type of car.’ This should reduce traffic in total, he said.”
    http://notrickszone.com/2011/05/08/german-state-government-takes-over-management-of-mercedes-and-porsche-will-also-industrialise-black-forest-landscape/

  165. Adam Ness says on May 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm:
    I read the entire thing (well, ok, skimmed all 400+ pages), and I didn’t see anything about GPSs or Electronic monitoring devices. There was a section about funding a study to investigate ways in which a mileage tax could be implemented for vehicles which don’t use Gasoline, but that was it. Can you provide page references for the GPS bit?

    High-level planning docs like this seldom reach down into the minutia (details) on how mileage-based user fees would actually be metered for miles/km driven, but, it would be safe to say that any such system would have certain desirable features that monitor or note tampering, akin to means to prevent or detect turned-back miles (distance) such as on an odometer tampering … it would then be safe to say that a GPS-capable device fitted to the car or truck and requiring no more than +12V vehicle power would be one contemporary means by a vehicle’s mileage/distance driven (on particular roads even!) is not far fetched. In fact, if differentiation for different routes driven (say, state highways vs interstates) _then_ a GPS-position based ‘recorder’ is about the only answer to meet that requirement (logging of routes via Lat/Long coordinates and later determination of various taken for tax computation purposes say).
    .

  166. Re: Adam Ness on May 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm and his prior post, did you, Adam, by chance see this section:

    SEC. 3055. AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN ELECTRONIC
    STANDARDS.
    Section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the
    end the following:
    “(f) AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN ELECTRONIC
    STANDARDS.–The Secretary may prescribe motor vehicle safety standards
    regarding any device (electronic or otherwise), software, or system external to a
    motor vehicle that may be accessed electronically by a motor vehicle that is
    intended or designed for vehicle-to vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure
    communications or information, including dedicated short-range radio
    communications (DSRC).
    The standards also may be applicable to any such
    device, software, or system subsequent to initial manufacture.”.

    Bolding mine …
    The docuemnt: http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/flooraction/Jan2011/draftdot.pdf
    .

  167. Mods, if you pls, a do-over for formatting upgrade … thanks.
    Re: Adam Ness on May 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm and his prior post, did you, Adam, by chance see this section:

    SEC. 3055. AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN ELECTRONIC
    STANDARDS.
    Section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    “(f) AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN ELECTRONIC STANDARDS.–The Secretary may prescribe motor vehicle safety standards regarding any device (electronic or otherwise), software, or system external to a motor vehicle that may be accessed electronically by a motor vehicle that is intended or designed for vehicle-to vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure communications or information, including dedicated short-range radio communications (DSRC). The standards also may be applicable to any such device, software, or system subsequent to initial manufacture.”.

    Bolding mine …
    The document: http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/flooraction/Jan2011/draftdot.pdf
    .

  168. That would be double taxation. Tax is already in the price of gas. Increased mileage means increased taxes. This is not about tax, it’s about control of your life and the way you live. Why would the President of the ‘free’ world have friends like 60s radical Bill Ayres, communist Van Jones, union thugs Andy Stern & Richard Trumka? Time for people in the USA to take a stand and vote out Obama and his communist and socialist cronies.

  169. ‘A vehicle miles traveled tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven’
    Because using the odometer already in every vehicle wouldn’t cost enough.
    Using GPS to track mileage??? There used to be some kind of web award for the dumbest use of expensive, high-tech “solutions” that replaced low-tech solutions that work better and cost less. This would definitely be a contender.

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