New California DMV Director Likes Tracking And Taxing Of Drivers

from the fun-fun-fun dept

A year and a half ago, Oregon began considering a plan to put GPS equipment in cars and charge people a tax based on how far they drove. This idea got a lot of attention, mostly from people freaked out about the government watching where they went. Now, it looks like California’s new DMV Director is interested in pushing for a similar plan here in California. As we noted last year about Oregon, this is a really backwards plan. It’s way too intrusive on the privacy front and, unlike a gas tax, gives people no incentive to drive more fuel efficient cars. However, so far, it looks like our well known Governor is still “thinking” about the proposal. Assuming the outcry is loud enough (and it likely will be), he’ll probably decide against moving forward with it.

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Comments on “New California DMV Director Likes Tracking And Taxing Of Drivers”

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Steve Mueller (user link) says:

It Might Not Be So Bad

While replacing the gas tax with a mileage tax wouldn’t encourage fuel efficient cars, it would encourage taking mass transportation. Depending on your feelings about mass trans, that could be a good or bad thing. I think it’s better than taxing parking spaces, though.

As for the privacy issue, I think it could be handled in a way that wouldn’t affect privacy much. Instead of GPS units (which would somehow need to communicate with something), just use odometer readings. Most people probably have to get smog checks every two years, so those odometer readings could be transmitted to California and billed as part of your car registration. The state would know how much you drove, but not where, which seems reasonable (lots of people already record odometer readings).

For people who don’t have to get smog checks, they might have to go every couple of years to an official smog check station anyway to get their mileage recorded. If so, the state should reimburse the smog check stations for that (in other words, there shouldn’t be a new fee to drivers).

Lars Eriksen says:

Re: It Might Not Be So Bad

The question you need to ask yourself then is why didn`t they present the idea of an odometer reading instead, its the easiest and cheapest way to do it (Still against that to though).
The two options you end up with is that they are either stupid or evil (in the sense that they want to control your every step). I`m leaning more and more towards the last one.

gkdada says:

Spend $990 to earn a tax of $1000?

I feel GPS tracking will mean spending a whole lot more to earn those tax dollars and this eventually mean we will be PAYING a whole lot more dollars in taxes to compensate the govt for it. It is an extremely foolish to say the least. The only more foolish thing I can think of is to assign another person in a car to follow me to note down the number of miles I drove in California. Then again, I don’t think this new DMV director is beyond that.

james says:

More Big Brother and the answer to it!!!!!

This is nothing more hten tracking people. There are easier and cheaper ways of doing this as already stated by many others. What we need to do now is attack back!!! When stuff like this comes out email them and tell everyone else you know and cares .02 to email and make tons of noise. Tell them how you feel and that your not useing there service etc. If you get enough people and or organizations fighting this they wont follow threw. It works for PETA. Use there tactics of bugging the corp. Remember the Revolution that fought for this once great country was won by 5-10%. You dont need a majority to win anything. There is going to be a new revolution soon im sure.

Tony says:

Mileage Tax Already Works in Oregon

Originally, most people in Oregon opposed the mileage tax but now over 90% prefer it. It isn’t used by everyone–those who opt out pay the gas tax, which can be a little higher. If a multiplier is used for the weight of the vehicle, low mileage vehicles (SUVs and trucks) pay a higher tax for the greater amount of wear and tear that their vehicles have on the roads. With the multiplier, this use tax is ultimately the fairest method of taxation. Oh yes, the GPS system sends only your mileage and alternatively the times of day your car accummulated the miles–there is no record of where you went. If this scares you, you pay the gas tax instead of the mileage tax. It’s simple, it works, it encourages people to drive less, and the roads get paid for. If the multiplier is not included, I’ll opt out and will pay the gas tax for my Prius.

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