States want to "tax by the mile"


zelmo

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
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Mac since 7.5
Isn't this what the already exhorbitant gasoline tax is for?
OK, maybe hybrid car owners don't pay as much per mile as the average SUV, but so what? Mileage varies between all models, not just hybrid vehicles. And isn't there still a gas guzzler tax on new vehicles with really poor mpg numbers? Sounds like the candle wants to burn at both ends. :rolleyes:
 

DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
2,198
286
Raleigh, NC
Well my thinking was, here they are saying they aren't getting enough money yet they think they can afford to put tracking devices into all the cars in California?? Why not take that money and put it toward the roads? Problem solved! :rolleyes:
 

zelmo

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
1
Mac since 7.5
DavidLeblond said:
Apparently hybrid car owners are paying too little gas tax. So in order to get back the money, the state governments want to put a GPS tracking device into every car and tax you based on how far you drive.

What's wrong with this picture?
Hey, they could make even more money if they just implanted a chip in every person at birth. Then, they could charge tax regardless of whether you walked, rode a bike, or drove. And, they could get tax for each person in a vehicle rather than just for the vehicle.

Sayyyy...I think I'm on to something here.... :rolleyes:

This is just ludicrous enough to have a chance at happening, all in the name of public safety of course.
 

DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
2,198
286
Raleigh, NC
powermac666 said:
Hey, they could make even more money if they just implanted a chip in every person at birth. Then, they could charge tax regardless of whether you walked, rode a bike, or drove. And, they could get tax for each person in a vehicle rather than just for the vehicle.

Sayyyy...I think I'm on to something here.... :rolleyes:

This is just ludicrous enough to have a chance at happening, all in the name of public safety of course.
The new 2005 "Body Use-Tax"

They could charge you based on how much you weigh, because obviously the heavier you are the more wear and tear you put on the sidewalk.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
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Colly-fornia
Less efficient vehicles also tend to be heavier and do more damage to the roadways than lighter ones. Not always true of course, a Ferrari is lighter than a Navigator, but nobody said the gas tax is perfect. But it sure beats per-mile taxation.
 

DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
2,198
286
Raleigh, NC
mactastic said:
Less efficient vehicles also tend to be heavier and do more damage to the roadways than lighter ones. Not always true of course, a Ferrari is lighter than a Navigator, but nobody said the gas tax is perfect. But it sure beats per-mile taxation.
I heard (although I don't know for sure) that the hybrid cars are pretty heavy because of all the batteries in them. Anyone know?
 

Lyle

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2003
1,874
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Madison, Alabama
DavidLeblond said:
Well my thinking was, here they are saying they aren't getting enough money yet they think they can afford to put tracking devices into all the cars in California? Why not take that money and put it toward the roads?
I know that you're probably being sardonic, but if things actually went so far as the law mandating these tracking devices, it would be you (and not "they") who'd be paying for them -- either directly, or indirectly (if it were absorbed into the cost of new automobiles).
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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Colly-fornia
DavidLeblond said:
I heard (although I don't know for sure) that the hybrid cars are pretty heavy because of all the batteries in them. Anyone know?
Well yes and no. Yes they are heavier, but not by much over a comparable vehicle. For instance it looks like the Honda Civic EX is listed with a curb weight of 2579 lbs. The Civic Hybrid weighs in at 2732 lbs, an increase of about 150 lbs. But an Escalade weighs in at 5367 lbs.
 

KCK

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2003
121
0
Oakland, CA
If the state is taking in less money I guess the though of cutting back spending never cross the minds of anyone in Sacramento.

Is there no end to the ways the CA government can come up with to separate us from our hard earned money?
 

Drgnhntr

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2004
101
0
San Diego
KCK said:
If the state is taking in less money I guess the though of cutting back spending never cross the minds of anyone in Sacramento.

Is there no end to the ways the CA government can come up with to separate us from our hard earned money?
I agree that the CA government is quite creative in seperating us from our money. I am not sure they can reduce spending on the roadways though.

There are just so many things wrong with this idea. Why use GPS? Why not as part of your smog inspection (another waste of money) check your odometer and add fees to your registration fees (again, parting of money). I just see this as a big discouragement for purchasing a fuel efficient vehicles. Are there really that many on the road to be a threat to gas taxes? Also, if there is less gas tax revenue wouldn't that mean that people are buying less gas. Less demand, shouldn't gas prices be falling? :mad:
 

CorvusCamenarum

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,231
1
Birmingham, AL
<common sense>
Gasoline is sold by the gallon (or other unit of volume depends on locale).
Taxes are added to each unit of volume sold (roughly 33 cents here in AL).
Unless there's a hybrid vehicle discount on gasoline that I'm unaware of, the correct amount of tax is being paid.
</common sense>
 

KCK

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2003
121
0
Oakland, CA
Drgnhntr said:
I agree that the CA government is quite creative in seperating us from our money. I am not sure they can reduce spending on the roadways though.
Part of the problem is that the state government keeps taking gas tax money, that is suppose to be used for roads and transportation, and they spend this money on other things that should be paid out of the general fund. If they didn't keep taking the gas tax money to pay for non-transportation issues then there would be plenty of money for roads as is.
 

Mr_Ed

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2004
443
8
North and east of Mickeyland
mactastic said:
Less efficient vehicles also tend to be heavier and do more damage to the roadways than lighter ones. Not always true of course, ...
The problem I see is that this is becoming increasingly false as more "hybrid" vehicles are introduced into the market because they tend to be heavier than their "conventional" counterparts. Examples: Civic Hybrid is heavier than conventional Civic. Accord Hybrid is not only heavier than the conventional Accord, it is heavier than a conventional Ford Escape XLT SUV by a couple of hundred pounds.

I still think the mileage based tax is a dumb idea, though. Does that taxation take into account what many pay to use toll roads already? Screw that!
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
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Colly-fornia
Mr_Ed said:
The problem I see is that this is becoming increasingly false as more "hybrid" vehicles are introduced into the market because they tend to be heavier than their "conventional" counterparts.
Yes, by a few hundred pounds.

Examples: Civic Hybrid is heavier than conventional Civic.
No, really?
mactastic said:
For instance it looks like the Honda Civic EX is listed with a curb weight of 2579 lbs. The Civic Hybrid weighs in at 2732 lbs, an increase of about 150 lbs.
Mr_Ed said:
Accord Hybrid is not only heavier than the conventional Accord, it is heavier than a conventional Ford Escape XLT SUV by a couple of hundred pounds.
I found some numbers that claim the Accord hybrid is indeed heavier than an Escape XLT, but only be 23 pounds. And that's comparing apples to oranges.

I still think the mileage based tax is a dumb idea, though. Does that taxation take into account what many pay to use toll roads already? Screw that!
Hybridization doesn't seem to add more than 5% or so to the weight of an existing vehicle. But, perhaps in an ideal world we could modify the gas tax by the weight of your vehicle as well. It just seems like the cost of administering any effort to oversee the curb weight of your individual vehicle would eat up any potential savings.
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
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iowa
Well this is a tough one. Of course, gas tax is intended to fund road building and repairs, as a use-based fee. You put more wear/tear on the roads, you're obviously using more gasoline, right? Hybrids do still put wear and tear on the roadways, so they should pay the same user fees to ride them. This just demonstrates that fuel-based taxes will not work in the long-run, I mean they can (and will) tax Hydrogen and car-specific electricity, but when a car recaptures energy, it can't be gauged for road wear.

But then, GPS tracking or anything similar would be an invasion of privacy... We have all of these high-tech methods that would be perfect for tracking public roadway usage, but they would also track you, which isn't cool. Do we simply tax based on odometer readings, which would penalize people who drive on their own property (especially farmers)? Trust the government to discard vector-based GPS data and use only distance? I don't have an answer...
 

jsalzer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2004
607
0
The answers to all of life's problems

I have all the answer, but it takes a group as smart as Mac users to get it.

1. All revenue needed by a taxing body needs to be taken in the form of an income tax. NO other taxes. No sales tax. No tolls. No property tax. If it means income tax goes from 30-some percent to 50-percent, so be it.

2. "Punitive damages" - why the heck is that going to the plaintiff and the lawyers? Punitive damage money needs to go to one of several funds in the area of wrong-doing (health care, education, etc.) Lawyers and plaintiffs only get the direct award.

3. Import drugs from Canada? Why? Why not just do what they did to get the lower prices - outlaw direct marketing of drugs to consumers. No marketing costs = lower prices.

4. FCC - hello, we need to ban the sounds of emergency vehicle sirens, honks, and car crashes from the radio. They cause more accidents than Janet Jackson or cell phones.

5. A school district should be one high school, its feeder middle schools, and their feeder elementary schools. Let's give those elementary people a reason to teach students for the long term. Having the answers in 2nd grade is much less important than laying a solid foundation for what you're going to learn in 7th.

6. Under no condition should I receive money for something that happened to a relative. Can I sue for punitive damages? Sure, but see #2 above.

7. Tickets and fines. Let's face it - a $400 ticket or fine means one thing to me, quite another to someone who makes that in a month, and something else to someone who makes it in an hour. Tickets need to be issued as a percentage. Parking ticket? That'll be .2 percent of your salary, please. Speeding ticket? That'll be .4 percent. Fork it over. Now that's *real* equal justice.
 

craigdawg

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2004
360
0
Sactown
KCK said:
Part of the problem is that the state government keeps taking gas tax money, that is suppose to be used for roads and transportation, and they spend this money on other things that should be paid out of the general fund.
Actually I think that is the problem. Find a way to prevent the transportation slush fund from being raided instead of spending millions to rig up some GPS/RFID network that someone will figure out how to circumvent.

I mean, unless I can order pizza with it or something cool that that. :)