T Nation

California GPS-Tracking Mileage Tax

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs/post--california-trying-gps-tracking-mileage-tax-for-2016?icid=autos_5601
No one’s getting a GPS anywhere on my car… I don’t understand why the GPS would even be needed. Every single car has an odometer. This sounds like something out of 1984… I’ll be attending San Diego State in the fall… So if this goes through, I’ll be there to witness it sadly.

In the next 10-20 years every car will have a GPS built in…

I agree, the tax is bullshit as usual.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
In the next 10-20 years every car will have a GPS built in…

I agree, the tax is bullshit as usual. [/quote]

I assume we can already be tracked through our cell phones, or almost any new electronic device. I guess the idea of knowing there’s a GPS in your car is very odd to say the least. Next thing you know, we’ll all have devices that check the calories we burned and be taxed based on if we’re meeting the exercise requirements set by the government. It’s all just very scary.

I am for this at first glance. Right now I drive a 16 year old truck getting 15mpg and I’ve got a really short commute. But because we pay our taxes at the pump I actually pay more than some bitch in a Prius who has a much longer commute. In effect I’m subsidizing her commute just because she drives a car that gets better gas mileage. I see this as a pay for use tax and it’s more fair than a tax at the pump.

james

[quote]atypical1 wrote:
I am for this at first glance. Right now I drive a 16 year old truck getting 15mpg and I’ve got a really short commute. But because we pay our taxes at the pump I actually pay more than some bitch in a Prius who has a much longer commute. In effect I’m subsidizing her commute just because she drives a car that gets better gas mileage. I see this as a pay for use tax and it’s more fair than a tax at the pump.

james[/quote]

How are you subsidizing her commute? You pay tax on the gas you use. She pays tax on the gas she uses. It just so happens, by choice you have to fill up more often.

If you go out and buy a Prius are you now subsidizing her commute because you barely drive anywhere and she drives a lot further?

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
How are you subsidizing her commute? You pay tax on the gas you use. She pays tax on the gas she uses. It just so happens, by choice you have to fill up more often.

If you go out and buy a Prius are you now subsidizing her commute because you barely drive anywhere and she drives a lot further?
[/quote]

We pay something along the order of $0.53 a gallon and part of that is to pay for roads. If you’re driving a Tesla, Leaf, or Prius then you’re paying much less for maintaining those roads (or maybe you’re paying nothing at all). But you’re using those roads. I don’t take the freeway to work (I’m like the only person in SoCal who doesn’t) but because my truck doesn’t get good mileage I have to pay more than them for something I’m not using.

I think this is stemming from money being earmarked for roads being siphoned off to other areas of our budget.

I’d have to sit down and do the math to see if I would end up better or worse with this system though.

james

[quote]atypical1 wrote:
I have to pay more than them for something I’m not using.

[/quote]

Taxation in a nutshell, lol.

[quote]atypical1 wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
How are you subsidizing her commute? You pay tax on the gas you use. She pays tax on the gas she uses. It just so happens, by choice you have to fill up more often.

If you go out and buy a Prius are you now subsidizing her commute because you barely drive anywhere and she drives a lot further?
[/quote]

We pay something along the order of $0.53 a gallon and part of that is to pay for roads. If you’re driving a Tesla, Leaf, or Prius then you’re paying much less for maintaining those roads (or maybe you’re paying nothing at all). But you’re using those roads. I don’t take the freeway to work (I’m like the only person in SoCal who doesn’t) but because my truck doesn’t get good mileage I have to pay more than them for something I’m not using.

I think this is stemming from money being earmarked for roads being siphoned off to other areas of our budget.

I’d have to sit down and do the math to see if I would end up better or worse with this system though.

james
[/quote]

I mean, I think I understand your logic, but I think you’re doing some mental gymnastics here.

The gas tax is a consumption tax and you consume more gas than the Prius owner. Is the tax specifically to pay for roads? If so, then you might have a point.

It sounds to me like you basically want to penalize people that buy cars that save them money in gas because you’re vehicle doesn’t get good gas mileage, which means you have to fill up more often and pay more in tax (maybe).

You effectively want the drivers of high mpg cars to subsidize your choice of vehicle.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]atypical1 wrote:
I have to pay more than them for something I’m not using.

[/quote]

Taxation in a nutshell, lol. [/quote]

And the alternative is what they call a free market.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]atypical1 wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
How are you subsidizing her commute? You pay tax on the gas you use. She pays tax on the gas she uses. It just so happens, by choice you have to fill up more often.

If you go out and buy a Prius are you now subsidizing her commute because you barely drive anywhere and she drives a lot further?
[/quote]

We pay something along the order of $0.53 a gallon and part of that is to pay for roads. If you’re driving a Tesla, Leaf, or Prius then you’re paying much less for maintaining those roads (or maybe you’re paying nothing at all). But you’re using those roads. I don’t take the freeway to work (I’m like the only person in SoCal who doesn’t) but because my truck doesn’t get good mileage I have to pay more than them for something I’m not using.

I think this is stemming from money being earmarked for roads being siphoned off to other areas of our budget.

I’d have to sit down and do the math to see if I would end up better or worse with this system though.

james
[/quote]

I mean, I think I understand your logic, but I think you’re doing some mental gymnastics here.

The gas tax is a consumption tax and you consume more gas than the Prius owner. Is the tax specifically to pay for roads? If so, then you might have a point.

It sounds to me like you basically want to penalize people that buy cars that save them money in gas because you’re vehicle doesn’t get good gas mileage, which means you have to fill up more often and pay more in tax (maybe).

You effectively want the drivers of high mpg cars to subsidize your choice of vehicle. [/quote]

Typically gas tax is supposed to be used for DOT stuff. That being said, vehicles that have a higher MPG typically result in higher wear and tear on the roads so it kind of evens itself out.

What’s happening is that with the requirement in increased MPG by our Presidents and Congress, States are seeing their gas tax revenues nose dive. North Carolina is looking to charge people like $0.005/mile.

But if this is going to be the case, why not get rid of the gas tax, make all roads toll roads, and damn it, they all better be in the best shape of a road I’ve ever seen at all times.

[quote]atypical1 wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
How are you subsidizing her commute? You pay tax on the gas you use. She pays tax on the gas she uses. It just so happens, by choice you have to fill up more often.

If you go out and buy a Prius are you now subsidizing her commute because you barely drive anywhere and she drives a lot further?
[/quote]

We pay something along the order of $0.53 a gallon and part of that is to pay for roads. If you’re driving a Tesla, Leaf, or Prius then you’re paying much less for maintaining those roads (or maybe you’re paying nothing at all). But you’re using those roads. I don’t take the freeway to work (I’m like the only person in SoCal who doesn’t) but because my truck doesn’t get good mileage I have to pay more than them for something I’m not using.

I think this is stemming from money being earmarked for roads being siphoned off to other areas of our budget.

I’d have to sit down and do the math to see if I would end up better or worse with this system though.

james
[/quote]

The gas tax is SUPPOSED to pay for the roads, here in Cali it’s not. It’s going to Union pensions, benefits, and healthcare. So are $75 expired meter tickets, $600 red light camera tickets, and $250 jaywalking tickets.

You can get a

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]atypical1 wrote:
I have to pay more than them for something I’m not using.

[/quote]

Taxation in a nutshell, lol. [/quote]

And the alternative is what they call a free market.[/quote]

We certainly don’t want to start down that road-all of the most oppressive societies in history have used free markets. (*I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’ve learned that.)

Hey James,

Dems in Hackramento are already throwing around the idea of making Prop 30 permanent.

“If we have $10 billion in reserve, how do we go to the voters in two or three years and say we have to extend their (Prop. 30) tax increase?” he said."

Mark Leno - D (San Fran)

I would be cool with toll roads too. If they remove the gas surcharge and charge by the mile then I pay for my gas use not for the use of roads that I don’t use. I’ll gladly pay Chevron for the gas. I don’t want to pay extra to the state for it. I can idle all day long and be charged for roads I’m not using.

And it’s not like our roads are being maintained here in any case.

James

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Hey James,

Dems in Hackramento are already throwing around the idea of making Prop 30 permanent.

“If we have $10 billion in reserve, how do we go to the voters in two or three years and say we have to extend their (Prop. 30) tax increase?” he said."

Mark Leno - D (San Fran)

Great. Tax money is not what is needed. If I’m spending $1000 a day on hookers and blow I don’t need a better job. I need rehab.

James

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
I mean, I think I understand your logic, but I think you’re doing some mental gymnastics here.

The gas tax is a consumption tax and you consume more gas than the Prius owner. Is the tax specifically to pay for roads? If so, then you might have a point.

It sounds to me like you basically want to penalize people that buy cars that save them money in gas because you’re vehicle doesn’t get good gas mileage, which means you have to fill up more often and pay more in tax (maybe).

You effectively want the drivers of high mpg cars to subsidize your choice of vehicle. [/quote]

I think this is lost in translation because you don’t live here in California. We pay an excise tax on gas here. It’s supposed to be earmarked for roads (of course it’s going other places). The assumption is that the more gas you use the more time on the roads you’re spending. But that’s not the case anymore and certainly not for drivers of electric cars. So people are driving on the roads but not paying for it. I’m paying for roads I’m not using simply because I get worse fuel economy. And those clowns in Nissan Leafs aren’t paying for their road use at all.

james

This problem has come up in Norway as well, where gas costs 2.6 times more than the US average, largely due to tax. Currently electric cars get free parking, free charging (except at home), get to drive in the bus lane (leading to a 20 minute commute instead of 2 hour commute to the capital), and they dont have to pay the new car tax that has earlier led to Norway having the oldest car park in Europe. After Tesla model S came, suddenly lots of people with good economy bought it. This has led to a lot of discussion. GPS has not been mentioned yet though.
With a gas driven car I pay 135$ a week with a 45minute commute.

[quote]ZJStrope wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]atypical1 wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
How are you subsidizing her commute? You pay tax on the gas you use. She pays tax on the gas she uses. It just so happens, by choice you have to fill up more often.

If you go out and buy a Prius are you now subsidizing her commute because you barely drive anywhere and she drives a lot further?
[/quote]

We pay something along the order of $0.53 a gallon and part of that is to pay for roads. If you’re driving a Tesla, Leaf, or Prius then you’re paying much less for maintaining those roads (or maybe you’re paying nothing at all). But you’re using those roads. I don’t take the freeway to work (I’m like the only person in SoCal who doesn’t) but because my truck doesn’t get good mileage I have to pay more than them for something I’m not using.

I think this is stemming from money being earmarked for roads being siphoned off to other areas of our budget.

I’d have to sit down and do the math to see if I would end up better or worse with this system though.

james
[/quote]

I mean, I think I understand your logic, but I think you’re doing some mental gymnastics here.

The gas tax is a consumption tax and you consume more gas than the Prius owner. Is the tax specifically to pay for roads? If so, then you might have a point.

It sounds to me like you basically want to penalize people that buy cars that save them money in gas because you’re vehicle doesn’t get good gas mileage, which means you have to fill up more often and pay more in tax (maybe).

You effectively want the drivers of high mpg cars to subsidize your choice of vehicle. [/quote]

Typically gas tax is supposed to be used for DOT stuff. That being said, vehicles that have a higher MPG typically result in higher wear and tear on the roads so it kind of evens itself out.

What’s happening is that with the requirement in increased MPG by our Presidents and Congress, States are seeing their gas tax revenues nose dive. North Carolina is looking to charge people like $0.005/mile.

But if this is going to be the case, why not get rid of the gas tax, make all roads toll roads, and damn it, they all better be in the best shape of a road I’ve ever seen at all times.[/quote]

Ya, I understand where the states are coming from.

[quote]atypical1 wrote:

I think this is lost in translation because you don’t live here in California. We pay an excise tax on gas here. It’s supposed to be earmarked for roads (of course it’s going other places). The assumption is that the more gas you use the more time on the roads you’re spending. But that’s not the case anymore and certainly not for drivers of electric cars. So people are driving on the roads but not paying for it. I’m paying for roads I’m not using simply because I get worse fuel economy. And those clowns in Nissan Leafs aren’t paying for their road use at all.

james
[/quote]

I think most states have a gas tax earmarked for roads. Michigans is .19 cents per gallon and we have some really shitty roads.

The only problem I have with this plan is that is much more painful to pay once a year than a little every week.

Our dumbass governor wanted to double registration fees and triple the gas tax.

I’d argue that it depends on how the state (democratically) intends to proportionally levy the tax burden.

If the intent is to fund highway maintenance solely using a mpg usage tax that is levied based on a uniform percentage on each gallon of gas that is sold at the pump, sort of a flat tax of sorts, then it is unfair to keep the status quo as it is, as the higher mileage vehicles are indeed netting their owners a lesser tax burden.

However, if the intent is to levy the tax based on the type of vehicle operated on the roadway, potentially being punitive for lower mileage vehicles due to perceived environmental concerns, or is otherwise based on the premise that higher mileage vehicles necessitate more wear and tear on the highways, etc., then the current system is set up as intended, but it is going to continue to net dwindling revenues as more and more vehicles of all classes become increasingly more fuel efficient.

Hence, if the goal is to keep revenue percentages static or even boost them, the states are going to need to find an alternative taxation method. I am not convinced GPS logs mandated in vehicles are the answer, but I won’t be surprised to see some sort of ‘mileage driven’ tax implemented in some states in the near future.