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Federal Gasoline Tax - Increase or Replace?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Federal Gasoline Tax – Increase or Replace?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 111 total)
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  • #82854
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Mileage tax suggested to replace gasoline tax

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    BY DOUG CARUSO

    The Columbus Dispatch

    For decades, paying for roads has been fairly straightforward. Motorists pay at the pump through gasoline taxes. It’s more or less fair, too: The more you drive, the more you pay.

    But more and more, people involved in transportation planning and construction say that model is breaking down as many vehicles get better gas mileage or don’t use gasoline.

    They say that the federal and state governments eventually should switch to a system that charges a tax based on how many miles you drive, not how many gallons you consume.

    READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/08/01/gas-tax-mileage-pay-for-roads.html?sid=101

    #392736

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    I’m not opposed to the idea in principle. However, I absolutely positively will not support a system that uses GPS tracking. Such a system is bound to be costly, difficult to implement, and ripe for abuse by law enforcement or unscrupulous hackers.

    All they need to do is have you drive by your local BMV once per year and have somebody look at the odometer on your dashboard. Simple, and no privacy problems.

    #392737
    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans
    Keymaster

    That would be a pretty big bill though, right?

    #392738

    cc
    Member

    I think a mileage based system is the fairest solution. I wonder though if they would then have to get rid of gas taxes. It would make gas 46 cents cheaper per gallon. They might make a gas sin tax…

    just a quick conservative estimate

    .46 cents / 22 mpg (thinking suv) = .02 cents tax per mile

    12,000 miles per year * .02 tax = $240

    that doesn’t seem too crazy.

    The one very good thing about the gas tax is that it is very hard to dodge. I see a lot of waste or tax dodging in alternative methods.

    #392739
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    I have to wonder though… if the taxes are re-balanced through mileage, wouldn’t that take away some of the incentive of owning a fuel-efficient car?

    Also, if the taxes at the pump are removed and gasoline prices are lowered, it would also disincentivize public support for public transit. No one wants to ride or pay for buses or rail when driving is cheap. I think we’d run the risk of setting back those efforts by removing the tax from gasoline.

    #392740

    cc
    Member

    That is my point. I would think they will add a sin tax on gasoline.

    #392741

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Tax mileage AND gas! (and charge those dang bicyclists mileage, too!-with their spandex shorts and their yellow jerseys…)

    #392742

    Tenzo
    Participant

    Well this would certainly benefit Hummer owners and cost Volt owners.

    Which I don’t relly care about that much.

    But from past experiance we will end up with both taxes.
    Kind of like the state lottery. They promise that the lottery revenue will go toward schools. (cool, think the taxpayers, that is a good cause.) But what they dont say is that they pull the other budget money from the schools and let the lottery money replace it.
    So we have a net gain of zero for the schools even though millions are coming in.

    #392743

    Twixlen
    Participant

    I’m trying to remember exactly how it worked, but when I lived in NC, there was a “state tax” on vehicles, based on the blue book cost of that vehicle. They had taxes at the pump, but I believe the largest part of the road tax came from this extra vehicle tax.

    At the time I had a GMC Sierra XLT pickup – when it was a year old, my tax bill was $230.

    #392744

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    Analogue Kid wrote >>
    I’m not opposed to the idea in principle. However, I absolutely positively will not support a system that uses GPS tracking. Such a system is bound to be costly, difficult to implement, and ripe for abuse by law enforcement or unscrupulous hackers.
    All they need to do is have you drive by your local BMV once per year and have somebody look at the odometer on your dashboard. Simple, and no privacy problems.

    I don’t know much about unscrupulous hackers, but Oregon has already successfully piloted a GPS-based VMT fee system:
    http://trb.metapress.com/content/8qu1824x5408xk14/

    I’d personally rather have GPS than have to go to the BMV more often.

    #392745

    Tenzo
    Participant

    Analogue Kid wrote >>

    I don’t know much about unscrupulous hackers, but Oregon has already successfully piloted a GPS-based VMT fee system:
    http://trb.metapress.com/content/8qu1824x5408xk14/
    I’d personally rather have GPS than have to go to the BMV more often.

    Depends upon your definition of ‘successfully’
    The report you linked to says that;
    1) The technology is not there yet, both in accuracy and even availability.
    2) It was the most costly method. Both for the consumer and at the data collection points.
    3) There were significant consumer concerns.

    If this is your idea of a ‘successful’ project, can you be my new boss?

    #392746

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    Tenzo wrote >>

    Analogue Kid wrote >>
    I don’t know much about unscrupulous hackers, but Oregon has already successfully piloted a GPS-based VMT fee system:
    http://trb.metapress.com/content/8qu1824x5408xk14/
    I’d personally rather have GPS than have to go to the BMV more often.

    Depends upon your definition of ‘successfully’
    The report you linked to says that;
    1) The technology is not there yet, both in accuracy and even availability.
    2) It was the most costly method. Both for the consumer and at the data collection points.
    3) There were significant consumer concerns.
    If this is your idea of a ‘successful’ project, can you be my new boss?

    You’re right. It looks like that report was from 2002 before the pilot was completed. I have read more favorable reports since. Let me see if I can find the more recent report.

    Here we go, from 2007:
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/OIPP/docs/OSU_VMT_Final_Report_WEB.pdf?ga=t

    Results Summary Key Findings:
    -The concept is viable.
    -Paying at the pump works.
    -The mileage fee can be phased in.
    -Can be integrated with current system.
    -Congestion and other pricing options are viable.
    -Privacy is protected.
    -Minimal impact on businesses.
    -Potential for evasion is minimal.
    -Cost of implementation and administration is low.

    Yes, I would be happy to interview you for a position as my assistant.

    #392747

    berdawn
    Member

    This is a terrible idea…it penalizes those citizens who live in a rural area while doing nothing to address the issue of consumption.

    #392748

    cc
    Member

    That is a very good point. In the end there will probably be some double taxing, but the more rural poor would end up at with the short end of the stick.

    #392749

    cr0m
    Member

    In the case of mileage tax, I would think that there needs to be a reward for those that commute responsibly (using fuel efficient cars for example). Or, implement RAIL (like Cinci) so that commuters have even more choices to get around the city. I guess a mileage tax could ease funding gaps and incent people to commute using alternative methods. However, what about those who commute and have no alternate choice? How do we prevent them from being adversely affected? Car pooling with strangers?

    Personally, I still want a tax increase on fast food. Maybe that will incent people to eat better and thus affect health premiums in a more positive way. Maybe we could use “doctor’s offices” like the gas stations mentioned in this article. Those that come in for checkups have to pay a tax on poor health due to unhealthy living practices? No?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 111 total)

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