Oregon proposal:Tax miles vs gallons

truman

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Gas tax on miles, not gallons, tested

PORTLAND, Ore., March 25 (UPI) -- Oregon is testing the idea of collecting highway funds through a tax on miles driven, rather than gasoline consumed.
Eighty percent of Oregon's highway money comes from its 24-cents-per-gallon gas tax. If the state promotes reducing gasoline consumption and consumers tend to buy the fuel-efficient vehicles, including hybrids, highway revenues would take a hit, The New York Times reported.
The test program uses a global positioning system to track miles driven, using a black box to calculate how many miles are clocked in-state, out of state and during rush hour.
The experiment is designed to increase state revenue for road maintenance without raising gasoline taxes, but critics say collecting GPS records poses new privacy issues.
"The existence of such a database, which would, for the first time in history, allow for the creation of detailed daily itineraries of every driver, raises obvious privacy concerns," said David L. Sobel, general counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties group in Washington.
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I suppose along the same line of thinking, that it would make sense to tax bike riders the same as Excusions? Is the crack problem that bad in Oregon?
 

JamesBa

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A friend forwarded the link to this article.

How ridiculous! It gives no incentive to be more conservative with consumption.
 

supton

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I agree--ridiculous! This may be applicable in the future, but right now, it'd be better to take the hit and deal with loss of funds.

Side note: they are idiots. Why bother with gps? I mean, we all have to register our cars every year; most of us have to deal with a vehicle inspection. Just record the darn mileage!

Idiots!
 

MrMopar

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supton said:
Side note: they are idiots. Why bother with gps? I mean, we all have to register our cars every year; most of us have to deal with a vehicle inspection. Just record the darn mileage!
Then you don't know how many of those miles were driven outside the borders of Oregon. Would you like to be in a career where you drive cross country, and pay Oregon taxes all the way while at the same time you pay fuel taxes for whatever state you actually happen to be driving in?
 

supton

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Fair enough point; I didn't think of that. But why does it seem that this level of tracking and record keeping is going to undermine the income, unless if they are really going to put the screws to you?

Besides, *I* wouldn't pay the cost of cross country travel, my employer would. And if they tried to pass that cost on to me, well, I wouldn't be working there anymore. So that's an business issue, not something that I'd be concerned with.

As for people working in a different state than they live in, well, they already get screwed on taxes anyhow (if not cost then complexity), so it'd be just yet another reason to live closer to work (or at least in the same county).
 

Oil_Burner

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Those communist Peoples Republic of Oregon bastards would have to KILL me before I'd accept that kind of BS! There will be riots in the streets here I Washington if our IDIOT politicians try something like this!
 
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MrMopar

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Oil_Burner said:
Those communist Peoples Republic of Oregon bastards would have to KILL me before I'd accept that kind of BS! There will be riots in the streets here I Washington if our IDIOT politicians try something like this!
They already do something like this in parts of some states - they're called tollways.

Tollways exist because certain roads are far more heavily traveled than others in the state, and there didn't exist a proper split of the gasoline tax revenue to cover the greater maintainence on these roads. So politicians put up tollbooths to charge a fair price for usage of these roads. The two problems with tollways are:

1.) You end up paying more than the fair price for usage of the road because the tollway has to support their overhead - paying toll collectors, accountants, and people that physically schlep the quarters from the point of collection to the banks. The Illinois Tollway has wanted to stop collecting pennies for the past few years because they take up an unusually large share of their cash handling costs. That's why when I take the Illinois Tollway anywhere in Chicago, if I pay tolls I always get rolls of pennies from the bank - my little way of sticking it to the man.

2. You end up paying even more than the fair price for usage of the road because the tollways don't rebate your motor fuel taxes. Motor fuel taxes are paid to drive on public roadways. Tollways collect cash payments to drive on a "private" road. By that distinction, anyone driving on the tollway would have the right to use untaxed motor fuels. So when you fill up at the fuel station and then drive on a tollway, you get to pay for use of the tollway and at the same time pay for all other public roads.
 

bradfa

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And here in wonderful NY, they use toll money from the thruway to fund things not even related to roads. . . :mad:

I personally think that the fuel taxes paid at the pump are a good thing, any other ideas are bad. It gives a perk to those using higher fuel economy cars, such as TDIs and hybrids. Why should these people (like us) be paying as much in taxes when we are using less?

Even though we drive as much, we aren't driving heavy huge vehicles that damage the roads quickly, we are driving mostly smaller vehicles that do minimal damage to the roads.

I understand that once they have an income, the tolls / taxes / OR gps tracking system, they are not going to want to let go of the income. But still, why can't we reward people who do good things? like save fuel?
 

Random

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This one's been up before in Oregon in years past. Totally nuts, and open for abuse (although if any state could pull it off without abusing it, it would be Oregon.) Can you imagine what the highway patrol will do when they get their hands on this data? Ooops, you were speeding...fine...Ran a stop-sign...fine...court? No way, who's going to argue with GPS?!?

When I left Oregon in 1995, a 10 MPH over the speed limit was $250.00 and 15 over cost $400.00. Then again, it was like $40 to register your new vehicle for four years.

This bill is moronic.

Random
 

jrivers804

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It's amazing, politicians at all levels bemoan our dependence on foreign oil and then they want to propose a tax on miles? Don't these idiots know the basic rule, "you get what you subsidize?" Few people indeed buy cars with good mileage, what incentive, other than the wallet, do those who don't look past their own nose have for giving up the gas guzzler?
Do these idiot politicians in Oregon want to use more fuel or less fuel? They can get more money by raising the gas tax which might encourage people to think about what they drive, how they drive, and when they drive. But I guess they can't see past how much confiscated money will be available for them to spend.
 

nicklockard

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Oil_Burner said:
Those communist Peoples Republic of Oregon bastards would have to KILL me before I'd accept that kind of BS! There will be riots in the streets here I Washington if our IDIOT politicians try something like this!
Watch the smack-talking about Oregon dude. Our quality of life is 5X yours, so **razzberries**. I bet you spend 3 hours in traffic every day :p :p :p
 

NFSTDI

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I say stick with the current system and let the Hummer driving crowd foot the bill for the econobox owners. Oh, right you probably don't have many H2s in OR but I bet you have a few pickup trucks.....
 

nicklockard

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Last December we had a 2 day snow storm which pretty much shut the town down (steep hills.) Here in Tigard this guy in his yellow H2 kept driving back and forth over the same roads all day long...mostly to show off that he wasn't stuck I guess. Wish he would have pulled into my apartment parking lot, the smarmy bastard...he would have never gotten out:D
 

robnitro

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Wouldn't a vehicle that uses more fuel, like a truck, or a SUV wear the roads more than a light, low rolling resistance hybrid?

Man, we have some stupid politicians!
 

Kiwi_ME

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Here, downunder, diesel is taxed by miles driven while gasoline is taxed at the pump.

I have to buy 5,000 kilometers for US$100 in addition to paying US$2.68 per US gallon. If I get stopped, the tax sticker in the windshield better cover the reading on my odometer, or else. Heavy transport users pay a higher rate, by weight.

At 33mpg in my small SUV the fully-taxed equivalent price per gal is $3.72, about the same as the pump price of gasoline. It's not a coincidence that's its nearly the same. The problem is that the oil companies take advantage of the comparatively-lower diesel pump prices to squeeze everything they can out of diesel buyers. The only advantage I have left is the higher fuel economy and that may not last either.

My feeling is that all taxes should be present at the pump price simply to make oil companies look as guilty as possible about their massive profits.
 
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