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Draft Proposal Would Create Agency To Tax Cars By the Mile

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the and-we're-here-to-help-you dept.

Government 932

theodp writes "The Hill reports that the Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive. The plan is a part of the administration's 'Transportation Opportunities Act,' and calls for spending $200 million to implement a new Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office tasked with creating a 'study framework that defines the functionality of a mileage-based user fee system and other systems.' The office would be required to consider four factors — the capability of states to enforce payment, the reliability of technology, administrative costs, and 'user acceptance' — in field trials slated to begin within four years at unspecified sites. Forbes suggests the so-called vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax should be called the Rube Goldberg Gas Tax, because while its objective is the same as the gas tax, the way it collects revenue is extremely complex, costly and cumbersome." The disclaimers are thick on the ground, though; note, this is an "early draft," not pending legislation.

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932 comments

Bad. (3, Insightful)

myoparo (933550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36037962)

This sounds very, very bad.

Re:Bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038108)

Bad for those us who drive 70-80K miles per year due to commuting to whoever hires ya to do a job. Thus, job contractors will be affected alot.

Re:Bad. (1, Insightful)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038292)

So....hows all the Hope and Change working out for everyone.

Re:Bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038324)

So....hows all the Hope and Change working out for everyone.

To tell the truth, not so good.

I would support it if... (2)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36037982)

If federal gas tax is lifted.

Re:I would support it if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038034)

So gas car drivers pay mileage taxes, but no fuel taxes. Electric car drivers pay mileage taxes and fuel taxes (in the form of taxes on their electricity). Sounds counterproductive.

Re:I would support it if... (5, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038284)

The whole thing makes no sense. Usually we use taxes to create incentives and disincentives, nudging the public in a direction determined by government.

By taxing gas you create an incentive for people to drive fewer miles and to use more efficient vehicles. I presume these are both aims of government.

Taxing per mile means there is no penalty for using an excessively large vehicle with poor fuel consumption over driving a smaller car that uses less fuel. I don't see any government implementing it in that simple form. It might be different if the proposal were to include bands for vehicles based on fuel consumption or emissions, with higher per mile charges for inefficient vehicles.

One disadvantage of taxing gas consumption or pollution is that we don't usually know how many people are in a vehicle. As a result, a family of six traveling in a minivan may be penalized at the same rate as an individual driving an SUV that has similar gas consumption.

Re:I would support it if... (5, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038166)

I wouldn't. A consumption-based tax practically balances itself. The heavier vehicles create more wear due to their greater mass and they pay more into the tax fund because they consume more fuel to move that mass around. There's nothing to calculate or measure or derive. Vehicles are taxed according to their impact on the infrastructure. I realize it's not an absolute "prefect justice for all" scenario but there's very little bureaucracy involved in the current scenario so it should cost very little to implement (or, in this case, maintain). XX cents per gallon consumed. Done. All-electric and alternative fuel vehicles are such a small percentage that it's not worth the hassle of worrying about them at this point.

Re:I would support it if... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038358)

>>>The heavier vehicles create more wear due to their greater mass and they pay more into the tax fund because they consume more fuel to move that mass around.
>>>

Unless they are electric powered (like hybrids). Then the heavier vehicle might actually burn less gasoline, and pay less tax, than a lighter vehicle.

Re:I would support it if... (1)

shadowzero313 (827228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038304)

keep the gas tax as a mileage tax, and tax vehicles by weight at registration to compensate for road wear

Couldn't be simpler (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36037984)

They read the odometer when you renew your plates..

I will expect my 200 mil in small unmarked, non sequential bills... thankyouverymuch

Re:Couldn't be simpler (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038054)

They read the odometer when you renew your plates..

I will expect my 200 mil in small unmarked, non sequential bills... thankyouverymuch

You want a department of motor vehicles employee to work as hard as it would take to get up and go out to read your odometer? You must be be from Bizarro World.

Re:Couldn't be simpler (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038140)

Then I'll leave the speedometer cable disconnected 90% of the year.

(Yes, cable, since I might as well drive an old gas hog.)

Re:Couldn't be simpler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038220)

Thats already a fraud charge now

Re:Couldn't be simpler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038260)

Ok, so you won't know how fast you're going, what good does that do?

Re:Couldn't be simpler (1)

Spectre (1685) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038318)

Ok, so you won't know how fast you're going, what good does that do?

For many vehicles, there is only one cable that drives the whole speedometer hub, including the odometer. Such as the Kawasaki Ninja I rode to work on this morning.

Re:Couldn't be simpler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038300)

Set up a meth lab while you're at it. It's all law-breaking.

Re:Couldn't be simpler (3, Interesting)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038238)

I've never "renewed my pates" in my life. They send me a bill, I send them money, they send me a sticker to put on my plate. If we have to add in an odometer reading, who's going to be authorized to record that information? Am I going to have to go to the DMV every year? That place is already a clusterfuck. Am I going to have to do it when I get my car smogged? That happens every 2 years. Well, it will after the first 5 years or so. Am I going to have to make quarterly estimates or something until that happens?

Re:Couldn't be simpler (1)

Spectre (1685) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038340)

I've never "renewed my pates" in my life. They send me a bill, I send them money, they send me a sticker to put on my plate. If we have to add in an odometer reading, who's going to be authorized to record that information? Am I going to have to go to the DMV every year? That place is already a clusterfuck. Am I going to have to do it when I get my car smogged? That happens every 2 years. Well, it will after the first 5 years or so. Am I going to have to make quarterly estimates or something until that happens?

I agree with you, 100%.

Plus, I have two motorcycles and a small SUV. I would need to make THREE trips to the DMV instead of ZERO if the DMV needed to check odometer readings.

It's NOT that simple. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038266)

They read the odometer when you renew your plates..

They don't want to actually just measure your miles driven. They want to track wherever you drive.

They know that this will never pass the House of Reps too. Right now all they want to do is track all the people who are extremely upset at the mere idea of this, and voice their opposition on the Internet so they can gather more names to add onto their list of people who they deem to be "anti-authority". And that part is working phenomenally well.

Don't get too excited (4, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36037996)

It will never pass the house.

Re:Don't get too excited (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038334)

One would hope, but I think with a few exeptions, it will pass. Conservatives hate big government, but they hate the little tax payers even more. Look at the flexible/health spending accounts, the one way we little guys can save some tax. They keep taking out things we can use it on. It should be able to pay for any legal medical expenses, including any medications that one deems necessary. The government should not be involved in decided which medical expenses are covered. The little guys almost gets a break, and the conservatives should be with us, but they screw us.

Samt think for IRAs. There should be no limits on contributions, only limits to the amount of valid deductions per tax level. For instance, below average pay there should not limits, only a provision that there can be no refund based on the contribution. The IRA is a way for the little guy to invest. But what do they do. Screw the one good investment opportunity for the little guy and allow the big guys to take all the deductions they want.

So what we will see is a bunch of exceptions to eliminate the tax for most people how make over 100K, while those who need a car just to get to work and buy food for the kids will be taxed, because frankly, they don't care.

Re:Don't get too excited (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038412)

correct, the house is too busy not passing any job bills.

From TFA: (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038002)

“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.”

Not quite the same as the summary...

Re:From TFA: (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038208)

Why do I get mod points only on even-numbered days?

Are we rationing them now?

Re:From TFA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038270)

Miles driven is not a good indicator for anything. It doesn't give you revenue proportional to either the road damage done by the vehicle or to the actual usage of the roads. If they want to have a FAIR tax based on actual road damage done by different vehicles, do a tax based on

    MILES * AXLE WEIGHT^4 * # axles

Yes, damage on the road goes as the 4th power of the weight.

Basically, US and many other nations have HEAVILY subsidized road transportation while saying that rail is "inefficient". Rail, in comparison, gets very little infrastructure money. If all vehicles would have to pay for their actual road damage, then semi trucks would have to pay significant taxes, followed by some taxes by heavy vehicles like trucks and SUVs. Cars would end up paying the least and motorcycles almost no road tax.

No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038008)

I'll walk. Or will they tax me for every step I take?

Re:No thanks (5, Funny)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038070)

No. But they'll be watching you.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038116)

nice!

Tax on walking... (2)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038094)

Unless you're walking on unpaved dirt road, otherwise I would think you're inflicting minute damage to the pavement and thus be subjected to a use tax on the pavement.
Yeah, as if that makes a lot of sense. But alas we've seen things done by the government that made even less sense before...

Re:Tax on walking... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038262)

>Unless you're walking on unpaved dirt road

What? you think grading and dust control are free?

We pave roads because it reduces cost, for sufficient traffic levels.

Re:No thanks (1)

Marvin_Runyon (513878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038366)

Paying taxes is patriotic! Why do you hate America?

Land of The Free^H^H^H^HTaxed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038010)

Land of The Taxed! This is way more correct =)

how bout (2)

knightsbore (1788744) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038026)

How about you fix the tax loopholes, get rid of oil subsidies, and force the oil companies that for every cent above 2 dollars they charge per gallon, the US government gets 2 cents of it. Bet you it will make more than this plan and oil will miraculously go down to 2 dollars again!

Re:how bout (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038112)

Why stop at $2? Make it $1. Or $0.50. Or $0.25!

Re:how bout (1)

knightsbore (1788744) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038142)

You gotta leave em at least 100% profit left to tax!

Re:how bout (3, Informative)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038188)

"force the oil companies that for every cent above 2 dollars they charge per gallon, the US government gets 2 cents of it"

Am I parsing this wrong? The government would get 2 cents for every 1 cent?

Re:how bout (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038282)

Meaning the consumer is charged 3 cents. I'm guessing he means the charge per gallon bulk. Before taxes.

Re:how bout (1)

knightsbore (1788744) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038390)

No its incentive, the more they try and overcharge the consumer, the more it hurts them. I know it would never ever work in practice but I like to dream.

Re:how bout (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038242)

But we don't WANT gasoline to go down to 2 dollars. We want it to keep going up at this point. We need to keep raising incentives for people to buy more efficient cars. If gas becomes cheap again, people will just keep buying bigger SUVs.

Re:how bout (1)

tbgreve (857544) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038246)

The Oil Company's only get 2% of every gallon as it is. The Government, currently, gets 14% and they get theirs first. Talk about profit....... Who is the bigger thief?

Re:how bout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038252)

We only charge 2 dollar per gallon, we just have a 4 dollar(incl tax) per gallon pumping fee. You can suck on the hose if you don't want to pay that additional fee.

Re:how bout (1)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038392)

What oil subsidies and tax loopholes do you refer too? Oh, maybe its the accelerated depreciation and manufacturers tax credits....something just about all corporations who produce something can get. Of course Oil does not get Per unit subsidies like Wind, Solar, etc.

Or maybe your referring to foreign oil companies in Brazil and Columbia who are getting subsidies to aid in their production and refining of oil.

Also, remember that the Government already gets more in taxes then the oil companies make in profit per gallon of gas.

But... (1, Troll)

Hangin10 (704729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038028)

Obama would probably use the money to socialize auto insurance. Or the legislation also makes everyone pay insurance by the mile.

Re:But... (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038388)

No kidding. Before you know it, they'll make auto-insurance required by law, just like health insurance!

The only way to cut the deficit is to raise taxes. (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038048)

Republicans want to have their cake and eat it too. They know, knew, and understand that you cannot fix a deficit or reduce the national debt without raising taxes. So all their talk about cutting and tax reduction is impossible on paper, basic math will tell you less revenue in means less to spend with. Less input = less output. The only question is who is going to pay the taxes when implemented.

It's going to take some taxes like this, and unfortunately driving is a luxury. Just so long as we don't get taxed for the bus, the train, the plane or group transportation. I mean this tax probably will suck and be annoying but its this or we lose social security, education, healthcare, and we get to watch grandma die.because you couldn't afford her medicine or treatment.

Creative taxation is the best move Obama could have made. As a libertarian I don't like taxes, but I do like having healthcare so let's be realistic, unless you are a libertarian millionaire or billionaire, you will rely on the government at some point in life whether it be financial aid, healthcare, or something else. And the Walton's and Koch bro's are not going to save grandma, they aren't going to help you pay for your education, and they wont give you money to survive so you don't become a criminal hooligan when unemployed or laid off. The government is the only check and balance against the corporation. The government in theory exists to defend human rights, and even if it doesn't do the job in practice, it is at least supposed to. The corporation doesn't care about human rights, isn't designed to be capable of caring, and doesn't care about the national interest or otherwise. Even if the national interest is GDP and other measures which equally benefit all Americans, corporations don't even care what happens to America because they have offices around the globe, so think about that corporatist liberatians. Think about the private prisons, the sweat shops, the outright sex slaves being trafficked, and tell me what corporations have done about it.

Re:The only way to cut the deficit is to raise tax (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038138)

I have a really hard time believing you are a libertarian. C'mon admit it, you're a socialist.

Re:The only way to cut the deficit is to raise tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038360)

Why is it whenever anyone says anything about corporations being controlled, the label "socialist" is trotted out immediately?

Let me explain something to you - letting corporations do whatever they want has ruined things before. For citations, see the history of Industrialization in the West (The U.S. circa 1900) and the recent housing bubble crash as well as the (ongoing) global recession.

Still think it's a good idea to let corporations do whatever they want? It would be tribalism on so many different levels that I can't believe anyone really thinks that's a desirable objective.

Re:The only way to cut the deficit is to raise tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038190)

If taxes were 100%, nobody would work and tax revenue would be zero. If taxes were 0%, tax revenue would also be zero. At some point in between, it is experimentally known that tax revenue is greater than zero. From this, we can prove mathematically that the tax rate that maximizes tax revenue is less than 100%. You haven't shown that our taxes are below that rate.

Re:The only way to cut the deficit is to raise tax (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038336)

Nobody is advocating taxing 100%. I don't know where you got that idea. Just like nobody is advocating we cut 100% of the government. The goal of a libertarian nationalist is to both shrink the cost of government while also increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of government.

This does not mean cutting programs. This means keeping all the programs which provide benefit to the people, and streamlining them to maximal efficiency per dollar. This means you keep social security, you can have universal healthcare, but there have to be some taxes instituted to pay for it. A Junk food or sugar tax would be a perfect example of a tax which could reduce the cost of universal healthcare while also bringing in money to help pay for it.

So you don't necessarily just need a higher tax rate, or to cut costs, but you need smarter or more intelligent taxation, and more streamlined government processes. Moving to high tech to help improve productivity in the government, and making the government employee more efficient and productive than the private sector could be a start. Government could benefit greatly from just upgrading their computers, automating tasks, or outsourcing the unimportant tasks such as answering the telephone.

But of course there are problems with efficiency, because politics play such a role in government. And of course you have people who don't ever want to raise taxes even when it reduces costs and improve efficiency in the long term. A gas tax, pollution tax, junk food tax, all increase efficiency and productivity in the long term. Do you want to cut the deficit or complain about taxes? You can't do both at the same time and expect to accomplish much.

Re:The only way to cut the deficit is to raise tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038206)

Have you ever heard of "cutting spending"?

Re:The only way to cut the deficit is to raise tax (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038348)

Yes, and then what? Then you raise taxes.

Re:The only way to cut the deficit is to raise tax (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038240)

driving is a luxury

What planet are you on? 95% of the year I do for work.

Re:The only way to cut the deficit is to raise tax (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038290)

Republicans also know the deficit is a canard but the math is too complicated for their base to figure the ruse out.

Re:The only way to cut the deficit is to raise tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038408)

You may want to read these page

http://www.lp.org/issues/taxes [lp.org]

http://www.lp.org/issues/healthcare [lp.org]

on the Libertarian Party's website. I don't think you understand what a Libertarian is.

Fuel Tax Works Fine (5, Insightful)

ink (4325) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038058)

What is the difference between this and the already-in-place fuel tax? The fuel tax is even better at metering costs to those that chew up roads (heavy vehicles). This sounds like a solution looking for a cause to me.

Re:Fuel Tax Works Fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038130)

What happens if all of the nation's gasoline-based cars are replaced by all-electric cars?

Re:Fuel Tax Works Fine (1)

ink (4325) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038164)

Let's worry about that when it happens.

Re:Fuel Tax Works Fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038198)

Pigs will have learned to fly ... we can use turbines to harness the wind produced by their porcine wings.

Re:Fuel Tax Works Fine (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038226)

Change the tax code to adapt rather than double taxing the current drivers?

Re:Fuel Tax Works Fine (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038364)

That's exactly what this bill is proposing to do! All-electric vehicles are the future, but the roads will still need maintenance in that future, so this bill is adapting to that. Would you rather that we wait until roads and bridges start crumbling and falling down due to lack of funds to change the means of revenue generation which accounts for all-electric vehicles?

You're right, there's no mention of repealing the gasoline tax, so this would result in double taxation of gasoline-powered vehicles. But by double-taxing gasoline consumers, maybe that will shift the economics more in favor of all-electric vehicles (to avoid the double tax), which I'm pretty sure most people would say is a good thing. Two benefits from a single bill.

Re:Fuel Tax Works Fine (4, Insightful)

BigDXLT (1218924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038148)

They're worried about big heavy electric powered vehicles not paying them taxes. Not a problem right now obviously, but ya gotta think ahead just in case this electric thing takes off ya'know!

Re:Fuel Tax Works Fine (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038222)

Electric vehicles and increasing fuel economy, it's become politically unacceptable for some reason to increase the fuel tax rate which means revenue has been dropping and the drop is likely to accelerate even as our need to overhaul or transportation infrastructure is increasing (average age of bridges in the US is 50+ years even though most were designed for 40 year lifespans and for half the traffic they support today).

Re:Fuel Tax Works Fine (1)

Ruke (857276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038264)

This sounds like a solution looking for a cause to me.

Who wants to bet that the manufacturers of the odometer-attachment technology is the one who helped draft the bill?

Never going to happen (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038060)

It would destroy the trucking industry, would raise prices on everything, crush those in rural areas which are usually poor, push us back into a recession and even the few of our senators with a brain can figure this out and make sure it never happens.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038298)

Trucks are already tax exempt. Ever pass a big truck stop and they have the diesel prices listed and under it "Tax Exempt Only".

Yet another per-mile tax (2)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038084)

At least the gasoline taxes encourage driving more fuel-efficient vehicles. This is simply a regressive tax that discourages driving. I guess Standard Oil, Firestone and GM aren't behind this one.

Roads don't build themselves. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038150)

So unless we are going to somehow use androids or robots to repair and build roads, we probably should consider taxing by the mile.

Basically there is a deficit, it has to be cut and the national debt has to be reduced. Social security has to be saved as well. This means only one option, we must raise taxes or die.

Re:Roads don't build themselves. (4, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038248)

Basically there is a deficit, it has to be cut and the national debt has to be reduced. Social security has to be saved as well. This means only one option, we must raise taxes or die.

So then close all the corporate tax loopholes and have them pay their fair share. Stop letting companies like Google [gizmodo.com] , Microsoft, IBM, etc get away with playing shell games to avoid taxes.

Re:Roads don't build themselves. (2)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038268)

There's no need to further tax the middle class though when the rich and wealthy have plenty of money we can tax. Same with the oil companies like Exxon who pays $0 to the US but pays taxes in every other country they operate in.

Just tax the rich because I'm not rich and probably never will be, so yeah screw them. Maybe the government can give me some of that money so I can do things like go to the doctor. I know, radical right?

Re:Roads don't build themselves. (1)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038372)

So unless we are going to somehow use androids or robots to repair and build roads, we probably should consider taxing by the mile.

We already charge by the mile via gasoline taxes; is there evidence to show that the current level of taxes is insufficient to cover the cost of road building and repair? Or is the problem that a large portion of such taxes is siphoned off to pay for mass transit, bicycle paths, transportation-related museums and other programs that are only tangentially related to road building and repair?

Tax luxury. (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038092)

New car? Tax.
Inheritance? Tax.
Stock profit? Tax.
Porn? Tax.
Movie? Tax.
Game? Tax.
Cigar? Tax.
Coffee? Tax.
Junk Food? Tax.
Sugar/HFCS? Tax.
Transfat? Tax.
Liquor? Tax.
(Legalize Marijuana?) Tax.
Pets (Pet food?) ? Tax.
Internet (Depending on what you do...)? Tax.
Gambling? Tax.
Ipod? Tax.
Big Screen TV? Tax.
Sporting event? Tax.
Concert? Tax.

This would apply to a wide range of people. Then it can be specialized, so that violent games or movies are taxed more for example.
Tax all the luxuries that people buy but can live without or don't really need. Keep the social services that people need. Cut taxes on stuff people need like food.

Re:Tax luxury. (1)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038276)

"Then it can be specialized, so that violent games or movies are taxed more for example."

Why? Since when should taxes be used to essentially create a form of censorship through price fixing?

Transportation Opportunities Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038146)

Opportunities for snoops, nannies and a new jobs program that a simple increase to the gas tax could never accomplish.

It's true... (1)

W1sdOm_tOOth (1152881) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038168)

It's true what they say: Obama administration and automobile drivers don't mix. It's like eating a spoonful of Drano. Sure, it'll clean you out, but it'll leave you hollow inside...

Tax levels (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038172)

As long as my compact car would be taxed at a lower rate than, say, an Excursion, Hummer, or 18-wheeler as my car would do exponentially less damage to the road, I wouldn't be completely against the idea.

Also, as long as they tax at time of registration or inspection and don't force me to install and/or pay for a GPS unit to track my movements.

yeah right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038178)

The purpose of this is to track and control the citizens of the United States.
If this law does pass then I will wrap my car in a Faraday cage and refuse to undergo what ever inspection it is that dumps the database to the "Homeland security" inspection process.
The people will have whatever tyranny they allow to exist.

One Condition For Me To Support It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038186)

If they include in the language to pass it a limitation, I would support it. If they guarantee that 100% of the money raised from this goes to build and support infrastructure for the vehicles that are taxed, I would support it. But, the chances of that are slim and none.

Taxes (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038200)

What about the taxes we already pay to the state for DOT maintenance? What about the income taxes we already pay? What about the vehicle taxes we already pay for 'regular yearly use' (at least in NC we do). What about the inspection fees we have to pay? What about tax-title-tag fees when we buy a vehicle? What about the taxes added to gasoline and diesel prices?

I understand the need to ween America off of foreign oil, but is placing heavy taxes on vehicular use really going to do it? Would this policy exempt electronic vehicles? Ethanol/Corn Derivatives? Motorcycles? Scooters?

How about cutting the defense budget, isn't that where roughly 50% of our federal discretionary budget goes? I understand the whole with taxes I buy civilization thing, but even if you taxed 100% of every single person's income, it still would not balance the budget and all the deficit spending.

So I am being punished... (1)

Gohtar (1829140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038204)

For saving the environment and for not saving the environment... Makes perfect sense.

It's already being pushed by the civil servants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038212)

The last government in the UK had a similar plan. No doubt other governments around Europe are also considering it. It would be a nice way to bring in monitoring of all vehicles so that you could never travel anonymously again.

The companies with the technology want to bring it in because it means money for them. The civil servants want it because it simplifies their job. The government wants it because it gives them more control over the population.

Don't want to be monitored? Tough. It's coming whether you like it or not. There's no use moaning about it.

Why the gas tax has to go (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038218)

They need to replace the gas tax because cars now get better gas mileage, effectively reducing the amoung of revenue brought in. To compound the problem revenue is predicated on activity, meaning when gas prices rise and people drive less less revenue comes in, but the wages and costs of maintaining the roads stays the same, thereby creating a deficit.

For my money, I'd rather see them make toll roads of all major interstate highways than create more non value added administrative jobs.

This is not particularly good policy. (2)

UriahZ (952170) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038224)

Why would you want to tax vehicle miles instead of gas used? Taxing gas promotes fuel efficiency AND carpooling, public transit, living closer to work, etc. It amounts to the same thing, yet I get the distinct feeling the ONLY reason this proposal is being floated is because an actual gas tax is seen as politically untenable, despite being more effective, less onerous (would you rather an extra $5 each time you fill up or pay $250 at the end of the year?), and proven to be effective in dozens of other nations with vastly more efficient vehicles than are popular here. One more example of Democrats crippling themselves for sake of appeasing a 'political reality' that is at odds with doing what is necessary to preserve our nation's economy in the face of perpetually rising oil prices. Of course, that assumes that the Democrats actually cared about anything but securing enough corporate donations to win re-election.

Perfectly reasonable but is it necessary? (4, Funny)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038234)

Perhaps the answer is to tax cars by calculation of fuel economy, weight, engine size, tank size etc. and stick them in various bands, e.g. A-F with A being most efficient, F being worst. Don't tax anyone in A and punitively raise the tax from bands B-F. People will buy more fuel efficient vehicles just to avoid the hassle of paying taxes on them.

It just won't work (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038250)

If they deploy an in car sensor, it will be hacked within days, they will have a high rate of "breaking" on their own, and they will be removed and kept at home. If they require it in new cars, it will kill car sales and boost the used car market.

Public acceptance will never happen. GPS tracking is out, the recent iPhone debacle showed that people won't stand for it. Every other method will be defrauded on a massive scale (Disable speedo/odometer, use cell phone GPS for speedometer, for example.)

Re:It just won't work (1)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038380)

Please disabling the speedo is so...boorish.

Just run a way larger size tire than OEM.

PLEASE!!!! (1)

spstrong (175063) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038256)

Just give us $12.00 (USD) per gallon gas!
We don't need another IRS.
Then the people with money and no sense would continue to drive their Hummers and the creative among us would build vehicles that make our world work without oil.....
And the rest of us will continue to ride our bicycles.

easy (1)

aquabat (724032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038280)

Toll booths on all major routes.

expect a bunch of comments (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038306)

forgetting the costs associated with automobile use. on our air quality, our security (al qaeda is funded by petrodollars), on our quality of life (aren't traffic jams and long commutes wonderful?), etc

and also expect a bunch of comments bloviating about socialism and communism, when the costs we already have (air quality, security, etc) are socialized: you pay for them, in group ways rather than individual ways. it's a socialized cost, and its a more abstract, nonmonetary cost. so because such costs don't appear as line items on a tax statement, but instead in lung cancer rates, terrorist bombings, and lost hours commuting, certain minds that can't see the bigger more abstract picture will of course see the federal government imposing unfair costs on them for no reason (or contrived, propagandistic reasons)

this is simply a reflection that certain subpar minds can't engage in more subtle thinking. they can only hammer home oversimplifications in issues like this tax, and many other issues. unfortunately, such shrill narrow minds are always the loudest voices in the room

Only good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038316)

...if you get rid of other infrastructure taxes.

How about we tax stupid proposals? (1)

hilldog (656513) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038338)

Each time some morons in Washington get together to cook up a way to screw us they get slapped with an idiot tax.

Gas tax is better (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038342)

Easier to implement, harder to cheat on, and it rewards using fuel efficient cars.

What technology? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038346)

I know here in Pennsylvania we have to get our cars inspected annually; why not just check the odometer then and issue a tax receipt to the owner and to the IRS? No additional technology necessary.

Of course, I'm avoiding the argument as to whether this is necessary or a good idea in any way (which it's probably not) but if they're going to do it, it should be really, really easy to implement.

This is not about a tax! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038384)

The system will be GPS and cell based. They will be able to track your position history (to determine miles traveled and where). The cell companies that transport the data will get richer!

I can't decide between a Prius and Chevy Volt (1)

stopacop (2042526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038398)

The Prius randomly accelerates and the Chevy Volt's steering wheel comes off while driving, hopefully before it burns my garage down from it's batteries.

buzzpenny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038402)

I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, BuzzPenny.com

Great way to cover your ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36038404)

1. Outline a proposal many people find problematic
2. If people object say 'these people are rash and stupid; it's only a proposal'
3. If people don't object then make it happen, and if people later object say 'these people are slow and stupid, they should have raised this when I gave them a chance'
win/win for whoever is in power

Shouldn't be too hard (1)

codesherpa (2025264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038416)

I don’t see why everyone thinks this would be so hard to implement. Instead of monitoring cars remotely or tracking them from road sensors, just develop a distance sensitive material that degrades at a somewhat linear rate to the efficiency of your car. The driver would be required to buy this object in order to use the car and the object should have a lifespan of less than 500 miles. The added benefit of this system is that you can then enforce all kinds of environmental rules. If you drive a ‘gas guzzler’, you’d be required to buy the version that degrades more quickly. If you drive a turbo-diesel or small hybrid, you could buy the version that degrades at a slower rate.

Already contacted my congressman (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038420)

I contacted my congressman before complaining here on /.

Mileage tax that doesn't work with electric cars (2)

erice (13380) | more than 3 years ago | (#36038424)

From TFA:

The proposed “Transportation Opportunities Act” would mandate a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax that’s calculated by installing electronic equipment on each car and at filling stations. VMT calculation and payment would take place electronically every time you buy gas at the pump.

It won't be soon but, at some point, enough cars will be electric that we will need an alternative to the fuel tax. But electric cars don't go to filling stations which makes a mileage tax based on visits to filling stations kind of pointless. It's a lot more complex than the fuel tax and it is even less accurate. Fuel taxes account for the fact that larger vehicles, which cause more damage to the roads per mile, also burn more fuel per mile.

As others have said, it is a lot simpler to just raise the fuel tax. Actually, I don't understand why the fuel tax is a fixed value anyway. If it were a % of the purchase price like ordinary sales taxes, then revenue should stay fairly level as prices rise and usage drops.

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