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California Considers Tracking Your Car

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the know-where-you-go dept.

Privacy 902

dan_sdot writes "California's budget problem has led the state to consider desperate measures: taxing you based on how much you drive. The only problem is the way they propose to do it. California is now proposing to put GPS devices on all new cars to track how far people drive and tax them accordingly."

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adrger (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848330)

eargaer

Dont they already do this? (2, Insightful)

slash-tard (689130) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848331)

Via the very large tax on gas?

Re:Dont they already do this? (5, Informative)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848391)

Did you read the article? oh wait, I'm not new here, so no, you didn't.

Since a prius will drive much further on a tank than a person in an H2, if both individuals drive 100 miles, the person in the H2 pays significantly more in taxes. They're proposing to change the system so that its based on how far you drive, not how much gas you use.

Wait a sec ... (4, Insightful)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848479)

Shouldn't efficient cars be encouraged ?

This proposal will have the opposite effect

Re:Dont they already do this? (1)

squidinkcalligraphy (558677) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848488)

So they're changing things to make it better to be less energy efficient? Makes sense to me...

Re:Dont they already do this? (1, Redundant)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848532)

So, they're going to start charging responsible people (i.e., Prius drivers) the same as rich assholes? Doesn't that strike anybody else as really really stupid, especially for California?

Re:Dont they already do this? (4, Funny)

Rufus88 (748752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848404)

No, see, the problem with this suggestion is that it fails to take into account differences in fuel economy. The gas tax unfairly favors those who drive energy-efficient cars, and unfairly burdens the folks who exercise their god-given right to drive Hummers and SUVs. We need a mileage tax that levels the playing field.

Re:Dont they already do this? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848511)

You drive a big expensive car and your complaining about running costs?

Perhaps you should be speaking to your car dealer to get something more fuel efficient.

Re:Dont they already do this? (3, Informative)

ke6 (96078) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848406)

The way it was said on the morning radio, KROQ's Kevin and Bean, was that this was coming about because too many fuel efficient cars meant the amount of monies recieved from gas taxes was reduced. So by taxing the number of miles driven a year, they can more accuratly pay for the roads.

Re:Dont they already do this? (2, Insightful)

LemonFire (514342) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848432)

It would be so easy to adjust the tax rate on gas as the usage of gas goes down to compensate for this.

Re:Dont they already do this? (5, Insightful)

dbond (591005) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848408)

Talk about overengineering! If gas/petrol was taxed higher, they could avoid this completely. I suspect what they really want to know is who's where when and how fast they are going. So the can fine you. 'Cos you speed. Just like everyone else. David

Except that this would target green cars, too (2, Insightful)

benhocking (724439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848431)

A tax based on how far you drive does make a certain amount of sense (ignoring the method used), in that tax-payer money goes to building and maintaining roads. However, as someone who drives a high MPG car (Honda Civic), I admit that I prefer methods that target gas guzzlers disproportionately. Of course, one could also argue that gas guzzlers tend to do more harm to the environment, etc., and should pay more, but then that kind of sounds like they're buying the right to poison us.

Of course, what it really boils down to is a new tax that they can add on to existing taxes to pay for even more government programs, preferably to benefit people who made large contributions to the winners' campaigns.

Re:Except that this would target green cars, too (4, Funny)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848496)

They really need to embed these trackers into shoes, so they can also tax those bastards who walk or ride the bus instead of driving themselves.

ROAD WARRIOR (1)

loid_void (740416) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848436)

I'm going out right now and renting Road Warrior.

Re:Dont they already do this? (2, Insightful)

fossa (212602) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848446)

Exactly. And if they really wanted to tax "time on the road" rather than "fuel burned", couldn't they ask you to report your vehicle's mileage on a yearly basis? Areas with emissions testing (California?) already report mileage; it shows up in online VIN reports. Sounds somewhat less intrusive.

Re:Dont they already do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848470)

Heh, you think you pay a very large tax on gas? Take a look at this comparison for some other countries: Fuel Tax Rates comparison. [dot.gov]

Re:Dont they already do this? (2, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848474)

Via the very large tax on gas?

Not nearly enough, from what I see. California is supposed to be one of the most expensive places to live, with housing and taxes, but don't believe all of it.

I judge whether the price of gas is high or not by the number of big-ass trucks and SUV's I see cruising the roads and they're still hot sellers, so the price of gas isn't too high, yet.

In terms of taxes, Californians aren't taxed any more, on average then the rest of the country. Actually, all together taxes are fairly low in the state. Biggest problem is the way it's spent, or more importantly not spent. Schools in Cal, which were once top notch are in the bottom third nationally in terms of funding. Consider that a teacher has to be paid fairly high on average to live here (housing mostly) and you can see there's little left for school upkeep, instruction, programs, etc.

I'm keenly aware of this as I now work for a school district in an area which has some of the richest and poorest of Californians in the same district.

Re:Dont they already do this? (1)

Traa (158207) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848499)

I am originally from the Netherlands but live in California and I can tell you that the California tax on gas is nowhere near as large as it can get. The Dutch pay at least twice as much for gas at the pump and that has not stopped them from driving. The situation is far from the same but once the state of California figures that they can get about as much tax income as they need by increasing the gas tax I bet they will. Protest will be limited to the usual grumbling and yelling on and offline without any major consequences.

Re:Dont they already do this? (1)

LemonFire (514342) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848520)

Well living in California I can tell you this, any guvernor candidate offering to repeal this new tax will get elected.

If Arnie doesn't realize that the main reason why he got elected was because he repealed the tax on car tags he'll be ousted just as fast. Any candidate promising to repeal this new car tax will win.

We Californians love our cars a little bit too much than is good for us.

-- Vote for Cowboy Neal, say NO to taxes on SIGs...

Oregon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848335)

Oregon has considered this as well. California is not unique in that respect.

Mm, air! (0, Flamebait)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848340)

Next think you know, Mr. Calleeforneeya will want to put a tax on air. And to properly measure the amount of air you intake, chips will be implanted in every citizen. As a side effect, the feds know where you are at all times.

I support the Caleeforneyan AIR TAX!

Shouldn't that be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848368)

... I support the Caleeforneyan AIR TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAX! ?

Re:Mm, air! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848439)

Do you not realize that you are making a mockery of the man because of his accent? He was born in Austria, and his accent stuck with him. Get over it.

Gentlemen, start your engines! (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848342)

Time to get the fuck out of DodgeCalifornia.

Re:Gentlemen, start your engines! (2, Insightful)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848441)

And, damnit, I JUST moved to Cali a few months ago. But, I seriously doubt they can get everyone to have government installed GPS in their car due to privacy concerns. If whatever-car-rental company can't give me a speeding ticked based on GPS because that is invasion of privacy, this method will not fly.

Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848343)

Now I have to drive only in tunnels & under thick trees.

I blame Proposition 71. (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848344)

I will never understand why we passed Proposition 71 which calls for three billion in bonds over the next few years to fund stem cell reasearch given that our state is broke. Ah well, I dont drive so I guess I dont much care.

Re:I blame Proposition 71. (3, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848477)

OH, but you should care. Pretty soon they'll be tracking your computer to see how much the heat generated by it affects global warming. Okay...that's a bit far-fetched, but I'm sure you get the idea. The more power you let them have, the more they'll try to take. They act like a bunch of drug addicts, high on authority.

Re:I blame Proposition 71. (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848486)

Bicycles and public transportation should be included and taxed at the same rate as cars. Same goes for your sneakers.

Re:I blame Proposition 71. (2, Insightful)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848528)

That was all about people expressing that they believe in Stem Cell Reseach. Most people were under the impression that the President Bush was outlawing stem cell research. When instead, he was limiting federal funding based on right to life concerns.

I'm all for stem cell reasearch, but highly aginst pork-barrel research programs which seem to be concerned with garnering more research money.

Cue GPS hackers... (4, Interesting)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848346)

Right. Then we'll get a few smart people to develope a means of faking the mileage and paying next to nil. Not only will it not work, but it's not fair. I live in CA and am frankly sick of all the car-related restrictions that we have to abide by!

Re:Cue GPS hackers... (1)

GreatBollocksOfFire (830180) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848403)

As your first act of civil disobedience, I suggest that you disable your automotive emission controls - http://robrobinette.com/egr.htm [robrobinette.com]

Re:Cue GPS hackers... (4, Funny)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848475)

And in 5 years when you trade in your car.
Dealership: Your odometer says you have 100k miles.
You: Yea, so appraise me for 100k mile then.
Dealer: But your in-car GPS reports 20k mi.
You: oh cra...oh, blame the aftermarket wheels. screwed up the circuference.

Yeah, I already got the letter about this one... (5, Funny)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848347)

Yeah, I got a letter about this one a few days ago:

--------

State of California
1 Aahnold St.
Sacramento, CA

Dear Skyshadow,

While we in the state of California appreciate your interest in our state and the contributions you've made while living here the last fours years, it has become increasingly apparent that you're not getting the message. So, let us be direct:

Get the hell out.

Frankly, all of you refugees from Jesusland are seriously overpopulating our state, and we can't afford it anymore. We figured you might have gotten the hint after we destroyed our public school system with Prop 13. We thought you would have put it together when we started referring to pet owners as "guardians" like they were our fucking kids or something. And, really, we're stunned that electing the guy from "Commando" as our governor didn't make you reassess living here.

C'mon, how much is nice weather, a neat bridge and decent wine really worth? A crappy 900 sq. ft. house in Walnut Creek with a postage-stamp sized yard is a steal at $400k because of all you idiots flooding in! Go home!

Anyhow, by now we're sure you've read about our plan to implant a GPS tracker on your car and tax you for every mile you drive. We're proud of that one -- we know you're driving an hour each way to and from work because of the sky-high housing prices around the Bay Area (again: your fault), and we figure that nicely conveys our point. And frankly, if this doesn't get our message across, we're going to have to resort to simply grabbing you out of your bed in the middle of the night and feeding your to that Great White we have on display down in Monterey. Don't think we won't. Hell, we'll feed her your goddamn cheesehead cats, too. Try us.

Move back to Wisconsin. We're not kidding.

Love, California

Re:Yeah, I already got the letter about this one.. (1)

.milfox (75510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848430)

<3 <3 <3

Someone mod him up! :P

Seriously, though.. as a californian, I can't disagree. Even though I'm stationed out of state, I still pay my CA taxes because I <3 CA. But the influx of refugees, well.. Don't worry, we'll outsource to your state eventually.

Re:Yeah, I already got the letter about this one.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848503)

we know you're driving an hour each way to and from work because of the sky-high housing prices around the Bay Area (again: your fault),

Boy, are they wrong about that one! It's actually San Andrea's fault.

Re:Yeah, I already got the letter about this one.. (1)

ttyp0 (33384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848505)

Nice. I grew up in Walnut Creek. We since moved to Arizona that is less than half the cost of living and still have nice weather. In fact, Arizona has seen a large influx of new residents (mostly from CA)

What's next,.... (4, Interesting)

GestaltPhoenix (821190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848348)

taxing walking to cover pavement depreciation? this kind of stuff scares me...

Re:What's next,.... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848514)

I would rather not have pavement at all in that case.

space age taxes (1)

loid_void (740416) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848349)

It is government measures like this that will continue to drive the traffic to the internet, but of course, the tax man will eventually find his way here, unless...

Re:space age taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848445)

"the tax man will eventually find his way here, unless..."
[PAYMENT OVERDUE: CONNECTION TERMINATED]

Re:space age taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848465)

It is government measures like this that will continue to drive the traffic to the internet, but of course, the tax man will eventually find his way here, unless...

We shoot the tax man?

They were poking around trying to get it here (1)

mr_jrt (676485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848352)

...in the UK. Not sure where that one went actually.

Re:They were poking around trying to get it here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848428)

Wait till after the election next year. Tony & Gordon will hit us with all their "radical" ideas after that. Gotta get as much money as possible out of the proles, see..
Ain't socialist government great?

GPS Blackbox (3, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848353)

Wouldn't it be easier and less privacy-intruding if there's a blackbox in the car with GPS, which determines if the car has crossed a state line, and record mileage accordingly?

This way car owners can go to a fee-station any time to pay whatever tax whatever state wants to charge per mile travelled.

Must be... (1)

RayDude (798709) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848355)

Time to Move to Nevada. Tahoe here I come! Raydude

GPS antennas? (1)

GreatBollocksOfFire (830180) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848358)

How susceptible are GPS antennas to interference and multi-path effects these days? My handheld GPS can't do much when I'm in the trees, but maybe a bigger unit is better? Anyone know? What happens if the unit can't relay your movement data for a while?

Re:GPS antennas? (1)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848481)

What happens if you "accidentally" break the antenna off, and don't realize it's gone for a year?

Can you spell.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848363)

"Hey, can you reset my "taxometer""

"Yeah no problem, just leave the car in the garage..."

New Revenue Source ... For Me (5, Funny)

Mad Martigan (166976) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848364)

So, does that mean that if I run my car in reverse, the state will start sending me checks? Hmm, no ... that doesn't sound right ...

Re:New Revenue Source ... For Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848500)

GPS has no concept of "reverse".

how many square feet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848365)

of tinfoil will the average californian driver require for their car?

Hrmmm... (2, Insightful)

spin2cool (651536) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848367)

Shouldn't this one be filed under "Your Rights Offline?

Just saying is all...

Funny prank idea (3, Funny)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848369)

A good prank would be to somehow remove the GPS device from your friend's car, pack it in your bag, and go tour the world and fly to places like Europe or Asia. Uncle Sam would be mucho happy :D

For once... (3, Insightful)

poofyhairguy82 (635386) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848371)

I was happy I live in Texas instead of California. At least here, we only obsessively track our children. [slashdot.org]

Re:For once... (1)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848534)

I highly doubt such a thing will happen anyway. The ACLU, EFF, Libertarian Party and about 20 other groups will sue, and win, a lawsuit to stop this based on privacy issues.

Still, I would rather live here in Austin Texas than in almost anywhere in California. No income tax, I am only paying $1.70/gallon for unleaded righ now, and I own a nice 1700 sq ft house and paid less that $125k. I live about 45 minutes for more live music per square mile than anyplace on the planet, and have a good job in a somewhat healthy local tech economy. I am not a native Texan so I don't have that "Don't mess with Texas" attitude. However, I think it is a much better place to live than much of Cali. There are parts of Cali I really like (just visited the redwoods - awesome!). But this would seriously be a reason for me to leave the state if I lived there.

That's the way California... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848372)

Drop your support for Electric Vehicles, zero emission vehicles and the like... and instead put GPS units on all new vehicles so the Governator can find Sarah Connor at will.

What cali needs to solve its problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848373)

Dramatic increases in puffy pants taxes. And a new tax on being Austrian.

Odometer (5, Insightful)

Rufus88 (748752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848374)

Why not just report your odometer reading each year? It could even by done by the service station that performs your annual inspection.

Re:Odometer (2, Informative)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848444)

Because they only want to bill you for the miles you actually drove within California, not the trip you took to New York...

Re:Odometer (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848494)

They already do that. But then people would not get their cars inspected if they did not have the money to pay.

Re:Odometer (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848501)

Isn't it no inspection for the first 5 years?

I think...

Then insurance companies are always happy to give your info away, if the law (which now does) says they have to.

Re:Odometer (2, Informative)

physicsnerd (607860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848509)

Because that assumes that you only drive in California. Which isn't a bad assumption for most people in California. However, a good chunk of my driving is cross country. I may put 5,000 miles on my car in california and another 10,000 miles out of state in a year. I'm sure that there are many other people in my situation.

Re:Odometer (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848529)

> Why not just report your odometer reading each year? It could even by done by the service station that performs your annual inspection.

California is only entitled to tax you for miles you drive in the state of California. The minute you cross the border into Nevada, Oregon, or Mexico, you can't be taxed.

Therefore - if you're going to tax by the mile, you must use a GPS tracking device to ensure that only miles taxable within your jurisdiction are taxed. Otherwise you're one judge's gavel away from having your tax law thrown out. Don't fuck with the Interstate Commerce Clause.

Of course, taxing by the mile is an asstastic idea to begin with - but even in the "green" People's Republic of Kalifornia, it doesn't matter how green the idea of "tax the H2 more than the Prius" might be... the only green that matters to a politician is the color of his subjects' money. (and/or the money of the GPS device manufacturers' lobby :)

Another tax on the working class (5, Insightful)

wembley (81899) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848376)

Who has to drive the furthest? People who can't afford to live in the houses they clean. People who run small businesses and have to deliver product themselves. People who deliver pizzas.

This really won't bother your Hummer drivers. They are already getting hit with gas-guzzler taxes.

Distance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848381)

Heck, charge them by the ammount of time they spend in their car, they could tripple the ammount of tax income through this! Note I said in their car, not driving. Driving would indicate motion.

I remember "Privacy"... (1)

TechNit (448230) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848389)

I remember back in the day when "Privacy" actually MEANT something!!!!

Simpler and Cheaper Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848393)

I don't live in California, but I'm going to operate under the assumption that they require yearly car inspections. Why not just have the your milage recorded on every inspection?

It seems like it'd be a rather expensive hassle to get all cars in Cali equipped with this GPS.

Could somebody explain this to me? (4, Interesting)

Jonas the Bold (701271) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848394)

California being in debt is a huge problem, gets lots of attention, in need of desperate measures and so on, but the federal government being MASSIVELY in debt isn't.

Is there a reason for this or is it just because republicans haven't been successful with the federal budget? (not trolling)

Tried that over here (2, Insightful)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848395)

In the Netherlands they tried something similar a few years back. It stranded long before implementation. And since the American populace loves to drive and loves their cheap gass price, I don't think that the government will be able to do this successfully. (Pardon my typos and possible bad grammar, I'm dutch, so english isn't my first language)

Wow... (5, Funny)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848397)

Can they figure out any OTHER way to try to drive out business out of this state?

We have some of the highest sales tax, the highest standards of living, permits are required to do anything short of wiping my ass and whacking off.

I propose a tax on ravers. We have enough of them. San Francisco could wipe out our debt in and of itself. It's simple to do it too: if the number of dead glowsticks in your apartment/mom's basement weigh more than your furniture, you get taxed. They certainly have the money for it. If they can afford those E hits....

Just a thought,

Joe

In Russia (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848398)

...cars track you!

First "Get Over It" Post (0)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848409)

Put on your Tin foil hats.

Nobody interested in you and where you go.

Only criminals would need to worry.

Get over yourself.

Get a life.

Re:First "Get Over It" Post (1)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848516)

Nobody interested in you and where you go. Right. Like my wife isn't going to scan the GPS database every week to see if it contains the coordinates of any strip clubs... or as if I won't use it to check if she's been buying shoes and purses behind my back again!

Perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848410)

1. Tax automobile use.
2. ???
3. Profit!

Odometer? (2, Insightful)

RaguMS (149511) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848413)

Why not just use odometer readings? There are already laws and measures in place to prevent tampering.

Two other problems (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848415)

One problem, if you RTFA, is that such a plan is actually heading into a trial run in Oregon, while it's just a proposal in California.

The other is that, as the FA notes, a gasoline tax also taxes mileage, in probably a better way. The complaint is that the lower tax per mile on a Prius than an Explorer is good from an environmental point of view but unfair in terms of road wear -- I'm no expert on asphalt but wouldn't an SUV with knobby tires (because you need them to drive to the mall, you know) be running up greater road damage roughly in proportion to its greater fuel consumption?

Re:Two other problems (1)

TwicK80 (828808) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848493)

"Hybrids are great. They use less fuel but take up exactly the same space on the road as a Hummer"
Well they seem to think all vehicles are the same, even though you can fit like 3 hybrids inside a hummer. The hybrids probably weigh about 1/3 as much as the hummer also. Might as well tax the guy riding his bicycle on the street, those take up just as much space as a hummer also.....

Arnold will tax (2, Insightful)

grolaw (670747) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848419)

how far you drive, how long you f**K and anything else he can. How nice that the democrats aren't to blame for this abomination.

Time to expose the 13-car owner 'govner for what he is - aggressively hostile to everything the average guy or gal needs.

Tinfoil hat (1)

nerd256 (794968) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848429)

Great... now I have to fit a tinfoil cap for my car

(yes I know the car is already made of metal)

Sort of (4, Insightful)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848437)

Taxing people based on how much they drive is a good idea (because as it stands, the costs of driving are highly externalized -- e.g. the people getting the benefit from driving more are not necessarily the ones paying for it), but there's no reason the mechanism for tracking needs to store any personal info. It's entirely possible to come up with a system for tracking how much you drive, without tracking where you drive.

Nonetheless, rather than tracking your mileage, I'd much rather see gas taxes increased so that the more you drive, the more money the state gets for road maintenance, mass transit, etc. Right now, gas taxes are a fixed number, rather than a percentage of the gas price. You could also include the cost of auto insurance in the gas price, so that everyone's automatically insured to some required minimum, and then you could get more insurance on top of that if you wanted it, rather than the situation now, where it's illegal to drive without insurance (in California) but millions of people, mostly immigrants, do it anyway.

This would also put more of the burden on vehicles that get worse gas mileage, which also tend to be larger, heavier, cause more road wear, are more dangerous to other vehicles, and emit more pollutants.

And of course, people in the U.S. (and especially Southern California, where I live) are so obsessed with being able to drive wherever you want, whenever you want, and not having to pay for it (even though someone has to pay for it!), that they fight gas taxes tooth and nail even though proper application would reduce traffic (by providing more transit options). Europe has the right idea.

Time to go ballistic (1)

kuriharu (756937) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848438)

I don't think this will ever pass the state legislature. If it does, I think Gov. Schwarzenegger will veto it. Thank God it's not Grey Davis in there anymore. He'd be sitting in his office with the pen already drawn waiting to sign this. I don't think it's a means of earning revenue. I think it's a veiled attempt to force CA into public transit. Another reason why I hope it will fail. If it does pass, I think I'm gonna have to build a bazooka or something and go nuts. Any / .ters know how to build a bazooka? One that preferrably shoots out glue or something sticky would be nice....

Ep. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848440)

much as Windows corPor4tions

They tried that over here (2, Informative)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848447)

In the Netherlands they tried something similar a few years back.

It stranded long before implementation.
And since the American populace loves to drive and loves their cheap gass price, I don't think that the government will be able to do this successfully.

(Pardon my typos and possible bad grammar, I'm dutch, so english isn't my first language)

wouldn't it be easier... (3, Insightful)

bradley_earl (802268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848450)

wouldn't it be easier to just tax gas at the pump at a higher rate? while it wouldn't would equate to equal taxes per mile per person (because of mileage variations), it would seem a lot less obtrusive. given the price of gas these days, who'd even notice a few pennies difference anyways? if we absolutely had to spend some money to make money- we could always build toll booths. same function, some of the same privacy issues (a la EZ pass etc.) but would hurt the pizza delivery drivers a lot less hard.

1984, anyone? (3, Insightful)

flamechocobo (792168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848451)

HUGE privacy issue. There is no telling what can be done with these devices. Plus, GPS unit's don't JUST measure distance traveled. Most also track where you are at all times.

Privacy (1)

spdt (828671) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848452)

Before anyone starts up a big ruckus about privacy, FTA:

James Whitty, who heads the Oregon pilot project for the state's transportation department, maintains the GPS would detect only whether the car is inside or outside of Oregon and how many miles it has traveled in state - not its every movement.

"There are people who hear 'GPS,' and they think it's some exotic military device," said Whitty, who said the state will not have the ability, or desire, to monitor drivers' traveling habits. The Oregon device would be a "glorified compass," he said.

Joan Borucki, chief deputy director at the California Transportation Commission and a member of the California Performance Review team that made the recommendation here, insists the device could not track residents' whereabouts.

"The bottom line is, they couldn't tell where these people have been. That's just not going to be there," she said.

Imagine the possibilities! (1)

Kent Brewster (324037) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848453)

I note with interest the presence of an onboard speedometer in the Oregon graphic. If they're not very careful to protect individual rights, the government of California is going to wind up with an extremely efficient method for collecting revenue in the form of traffic tickets.

Next logical steps: centrally-controlled speed governors, ignition cutoffs, and Breathalyzers. What fun! ;)

Burgerflickle (2, Funny)

evangellydonut (203778) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848457)

This is a Travesty, a Sham, and a Mockery, a Traveshamockery!

You can already do this (1)

biggerboy (512438) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848463)

It's called, uh, a toll road.

Just break up the road into multiple sections and have $$ deducted via your Fastrak.

Tolls? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10848466)

You know, back when I lived in New York state, we had a toll system on our main highway (New York State Thruway). WTF would be wrong with just installing toll booths and (gasp) hiring workers to man them?

Generates revenue based on miles driven (roughly), preserves privacy, creates jobs. Low- and high-skill, I might add, as modern transportation systems tend to have electronic monitoring systems. I know the LA area has a centralized traffic monitoring and control system; someone had to program and design all that.

Odometer? (1)

bhaskin (80159) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848469)

What's the matter with the already existing measuring device in every vehicle?

It's already a crime to mess with it anyway. So why can't it just be used for whatever other purpose they want to measure the distance a car is driven?

Brian

Defrauding the System (3, Funny)

delta_avi_delta (813412) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848492)

This would be seriously easy to crack: GPS receivers must have a clear view of the sky. This gives you a limited amount of obvious places to mount the device. Now cover with a tasteful home-made faraday cage (made from recycled cans or some-such, this being California) and voila, no tax.

So in effect this is a tax on people who flunked physics 101. Just like lottery is a tax on people who failed Math.

Call it the "Hummer Tax Cut" (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848498)

Is Arnold still getting payments from AM General for promoting the Hummer?

So many problems with this (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848506)

1. You're removing the right to privacy, and who says they won't track you for other purposes?

2. What happens if someone removes it?

3. See number 1.

4. See number 3.

Solution: Simply increase the gas tax, or raise the price of tabs.

Going back to Cali (NOT) (1)

CountrySon (832124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848519)

As at least one poster has already noted, this would be particularly brutal for the low- and medium-wage folks living in the Central Valley that're driving their poor selves miles 'n miles to the Bay Area every day 'cause... they're already close to the edge financially. It would be more just (relatively, anyway) to tax water consumption in Atherton and Hillsborough. (Not that I'd go there, at least not as a matter of principle...)

Death to California dealerships... (1)

evangellydonut (203778) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848522)

So, all I have to do is go to Arizona or Nevada to buy a car, and I'll still benefit from the $0.18 of tax break per gallon of gas? ALRITE!

Governmental mixed messages (2, Interesting)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848524)

They build the roads, but get mad when we drive on them.

They subsidize the roads with tax dollars, then wonder why we don't take the bus.

They tax gas to keep us from buying it, then complain they have budget problems.

The State taxes me so I don't drive, but the Feds let me take it off my (business) taxes.

They want jobs, but they can't stand it when we make money.

What's a self-employed nerd to do?

I work in Cali and "live" in Nevada (1)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848533)

That's my story, and i'm fscking sticking to it.

i'll rent an apartment with 10 other friends, and we'll all just register our cars at that location.... and get our Driver's licenses out there too.

everything you try to do to fsck us over, we WILL work around it, assholes.

Then I don't have to pay for your stuff... (1)

gizmonic (302697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848537)

See, we all pay taxes, and some use the road more, some use it less, but it all comes out in the wash. If I get taxed more for driving more, then I want people with kids to pay more property tax than me. Since I don't have kids, why should I pay for your kid's education, if you don't give me the reach around and pay for my roads?

If we all pay we all benefit. If we want to start paying based on use, then suddenly I can make a strong case against a lot of taxes that I pay for services that I NEVER use. Why go through that hassel? I'll pay the same property tax, you pay the same gas tax, and everyone's happy.
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