Driving While Intaxicated

from the modern-taxation dept

The state of Oregon is considering a new scheme to generate state taxes. Instead of adding a “gas tax” on how much gasoline is bought, they’re looking at taxing people based on how much they drive. They actually want to use GPS to follow how much you drive, and then add a per-mile tax on to your gas bill (the GPS system would transmit your distance info to the gas pump). Of course, there are some problems with this. First of all, the privacy implications are a pretty big deal. If the state can track where you are at any given time, it certainly raises some questions. The designers of the system claim that they’ve thought this through – and the system will only record total distance traveled. However, privacy advocates suggest that the system will clearly be used to record additional information. Also, the gas tax at least encourages people to buy more fuel efficient cars. A “road tax” wouldn’t have the same impact. The article also says that the system could get more advanced – increasing taxes for those who travel during rush hour, for instance. This might be seen as adding insult to injury. Many people, of course, have jobs that require them to drive during rush hour (that’s why it’s rush hour). Now, making them pay more to sit in traffic isn’t exactly going to sit well with many people.

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Comments on “Driving While Intaxicated”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

GPS Ain't Cheap

So, just out of curiosity, how much are they predicting each car’s GPS unit will cost, how much will the gas pump add-ons cost, etc.
How many months or years of mileage taxes will have to be collected before they start to show a profit?

More importantly, who’s going to pay for these gadgets? Who’s going to install them?

I would personally prefer to see the gas tax go up than have to come up with a one time lump sum payment of $300+ (just a guess) to buy and install a GPS system in my car. I would be very disappointed with any Representatives or Senator who voted to force me to spend me my money on a gadget that I don’t think will solve the problem AND will let the government track my movements.

I’m gonna further guess that cars can’t be sold without the gadgets pre-installed after a certain date, which means that auto dealerships are going to have to add that to the total cost of every vehicle they sell, and since car dealerships always tack on ridiculous amounts for the simplest things (oh, you want floor mats? no problem, those are only $800 extra) I’m sure this will drive car prices up which will mean there are more older, less fuel efficient cars on the road.

Edwin Armstrong says:

The Politicians in Oregon are idiots. It wouldn’t tax people from outside Oregon and why shouldn’t people who buy more efficient cars get the full discount possible from their purchase. Fuel efficient cars cost enough…

It certainly would never be implemented if it was put of a state ballot. I say they should just increase the gas sales tax and forget this compicated and unpopular method.

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