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Highway funding ideas include taxes on hybrids

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Comments

  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I agree, as far as taxes go the gas tax, in its present form, is probably the fairest one we have. The fact that the low mpg vehicle pays more for road construction and maintenance than the high mpg vehicle is something that was self imposed, which makes it hard to be sympathetic.

    I personally don't see us getting away from the current system any time soon. Eventually a change in our highway funding will have to come about. I think that within the next 10 years there will be a resurgence in electric vehicles, that will pay zero in gas taxes. This will force a re-examination of this whole gas tax approach. Maybe it will be through more toll roads but I find that system to have too much overhead. I'd like to see residential streets funded through local property taxes, state highways funded through the state's sales tax and adopt a federal sales tax that not only went to interstate highway maintenance but deficit reduction and social security/medicaid solvency.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I would still say that the rich defense company owners are makeing alot more money per capita then the employees."

    Yes. But then it is the "rich...owners" that created the jobs in the first place. If it weren't for the 'rich owners' those jobs probably wouldn't exist.

    "The government could spend money in many other ways and create jobs."

    You're better off looking to private industry to create jobs rather than the government.

    "However my main argument is that simply whining that the rich pay too much taxes and this is unfair. Totally underscores the complexity of the issue."

    ???

    My problem is with whining about the rich in general as though no one has the right to be rich and that no matter HOW much they pay in taxes, it ain't enough. Totally ignores the complexity of the issue.

    "I think for most people the gas tax is rather fair and doesn't require any sort of intrusive devices like a tax on the amount of miles travelled."

    Ahhhh, finally back to the topic. Most people don't even THINK about whether or not the gas tax is 'fair' or not. Frankly, I think the people in here claiming the current setup is 'fair' are simply those who don't want to see it changed because they realize that ANY move to make it more 'fair' will mean they are paying a higher proportion of the taxes.

    Why should a tax on miles traveled by intrusive? Given current technology, it shouldn't be difficult to develope a means for the pump to read the mileage since the last gas purchase without going to GPS.
  • >> You're better off looking to private industry to create jobs rather than the government.

    Yes, I was just saying that there are many industries the government could and does pump money into.

    >> My problem is with whining about the rich in general as though no one has the right to be rich and that no matter HOW much they pay in taxes, it ain't enough. Totally ignores the complexity of the issue.

    The rich in the US really have very little to complain about. The US offers some of the best opportunities to get rich out of anywhere else in the world and some of the lowest taxes for the rich. I have no sympathy for those rich complaining about taxes, they are spoiled children that don't realize how good they have it, and/or they are just so greedy that nothing will ever satisfy them. Personally I'm greatefull for all I have and the opportunities provided for me. Taxes aren't all bad, they buy you and me civilization. It's quite a bargain.

    >> move to make it more 'fair' will mean they are paying a higher proportion of the taxes.

    I doubt it. Most of the taxes proposed charge more for heavier vehicles(it makes sense those vehicles wear the roads alot more).

    My problem is that other taxes tend to be far more intrusive.

    >> Given current technology, it shouldn't be difficult to develope a means for the pump to read the mileage since the last gas purchase without going to GPS.

    And what happens when your odometer breaks? What happens if you put alot of miles down on a dyno. Why should you pay taxes in one state for miles travelled in another. Yeah the current system isn't better but the intrusiveness of the government watching you using GPS is not something I trust. Excuse me for not trusting the government to not abuse the newfound powers it would gain.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "And what happens when your odometer breaks?"

    Don't use the odometer. Mileage data goes into on-board computer in RAM, is read by the pump, and then reset. Pump could also read vehicle GVWR stored in ROM and adjust the tax rate according to vehicle weight (since heavier vehicles theoretically cause more wear/tear).

    "What happens if you put alot of miles down on a dyno."

    Good point. Just last week, I put another 35 miles on a dyno........you WERE kidding with this excuse, right?

    "Why should you pay taxes in one state for miles travelled in another."

    Uh, doesn't this happen with the current gas tax?

    I'll reiterate, a tax based on vehicle mileage CAN be implemented without going to GPS. Why should it be more intrusive for the government to know how FAR you drove vs. how much gas you used?
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    "I have no sympathy for those rich complaining about taxes, they are spoiled children that don't realize how good they have it, and/or they are just so greedy that nothing will ever satisfy them."

    That's a pretty common sentiment in our society. It seems most people are both envious and resentful of those that make a lot of money. The top 5% of income earners pay just under 55% of all income taxes. Let's start with the premise that these people are probably wealthy enough to stop working or at least stop getting paid. Now let's get a little Ayn Randish. What if this top 5% said to the other 95% that they are tired of this resentment and are going to stop making money. How is the government going to handle this 55% shortfall in income tax revenue? My guess is that the average Joe would pretty quickly realize that it is the rich that are pulling the wagon and maybe they should stop their whining.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Remember - there are Lottery winners EVERY DAY. Someday you might be the rich guy/gal.

    Don't begrudge them their money, lest you want to be treated that way yourself soemday.
  • >> Don't use the odometer. Mileage data goes into on-board computer in RAM, is read by the pump, and then reset.

    Yeah some fancy computer, that'll be more reliable than an odometer. >>>> "Why should you pay taxes in one state for miles travelled in another."

    >> Uh, doesn't this happen with the current gas tax?

    Only if you live close to the border. Not on a typical vacation. For this system to work reasonably it would need to be federal or somehow figure when you are going out of state to get a fillup.

    >> I'll reiterate, a tax based on vehicle mileage CAN be implemented without going to GPS.

    Anything CAN be implemented but it wouldn't work. First fraud becoe way to easy Odometer rollback, computer flash. Then you have to install this system onto everyone's car, intrusive as hell. I'm not going to put a computer into my classic.

    >> Mileage data goes into on-board computer in RAM, is read by the pump, and then reset.

    Yeah, my gas can is going to record mileage.

    This system will never fly and it's lunacy that tax payer dollars are currently being wasted on investigating it.
  • >> What if this top 5% said to the other 95% that they are tired of this resentment and are going to stop making money.

    Yeah, and what if pigs fly out of my [non-permissible content removed]. The point is that the rich in the US have it good. No amount of poorly fabricated scenarios or analogies are going to change that.

    The king may complain that he has it tough, but you don't see him applying for the job of a peasant.
  • >> Remember - there are Lottery winners EVERY DAY. Someday you might be the rich guy/gal.

    Now there's a tax on people bad at math ;)

    >> Don't begrudge them their money, lest you want to be treated that way yourself soemday.

    They are treated better here than anywhere else. I'm fine with that.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    You're not making sense to me.....it must be me.

    "Yeah some fancy computer, that'll be more reliable than an odometer."

    All I'm saying is a means could be provided to record mileage over a tank of gas besides just the odometer. You ARE aware that many vehicles ALREADY have a 'black box' to record some criteria (speed, throttle/brake position, etc.) which can be used in accident reconstruction? Is there any reason to assume that this same technology couldn't also be used to record vehicle mileage and then this number be reset by the pump?

    Why the fascination with whether or not the taxes would be equitibly divied up if you drive across state lines? This apparently isn't a problem now; why is it all of a sudden a concern if we go to a mileage-based user-pays tax system?

    Personally, this whole argument against a mileage-based system is beginnging to sound like "The ONLY WAY to make this system work is using GPS, and that is WAY TOO intrusive and Big Brotherish so we should not even be CONSIDERING a mileage-based system".

    No, you wouldn't have to install this system in everyone's car, nor worry about if your gas can recorded mileage. The pump would still charge a gas tax if you DIDN'T use the mileage reading, OR it would charge a mileage tax if your car were so equipped. The government could then bump up the gas tax to encourage drivers to use the mileage-based system instead.

    "I'm not going to put a computer into my classic."

    Good. And I wouldn't dream of installing a computer in my '66 Mustang fastback either. I would just pay the gas tax INSTEAD.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "The point is that the rich in the US have it good."

    Yes. And we have one of the strongest economies in the world. And generally speaking, when we tax the rich less, our economy does better; when we tax the rich more, our economy tends to get worse.

    Coincidence? JFK thought not.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "NY Legislature is possibly thinking of taxing skinny people MORE because they buy less taxable sweets and fast food. Ya see... in Manhattan everyone is on this health kick and NYC has discovered that tax revenues from fast food/sweets etc have been diminishing."

    Actually a funny post (yes, I realize it is sarcasm), because in reality a recent study found that New Yorkers are actually heavier than the national average - but they think they are lighter.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "Not all states are equal. Alaska only charges 8 cents per gallon. It would be interesting to see if the states that charge the most have the best roads."

    Well, that should cover the 8 miles or so of roads in Alaska.

    No, seriously, they don't have nearly as many miles of roads as most of the lower 48 states. Maybe they can tax bush pilots by the number of miles they fly? Sounds fair to me...
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "Having lived in Ireland, I can tell you the result of this. They calculate the tax based on # of liters. This results in 1.98 liter engines (to stay below 2.0) with turbos."

    True, but how many 6.0 liter V10 engines do you have over there? Rewarding smaller engines does work to reduce consumption.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "Would you care to tell us what tax breaks are available to big SUV's?"

    Over 6000 lbs, they can be deducted off of a business income tax return with accelerated depreciation. It was supposed to help out the small farmers (who need heavy duty pickups and similar vehicles), but it covers any heavy vehicle. Same reason that over 6000 lbs is not subject to CAFE, and you can only buy new diesel engines in CA for vehicles over 6000 lbs. So you can get that thirsty 6.0 liter Turbodiesel Excursion, but not a highly efficient 2.0 liter VW diesel.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    All I'm saying is a means could be provided to record mileage over a tank of gas besides just the odometer.

    It is really quite simple. If it is on a state by state basis. When you are out of state the tax per gallon can be set at about a buck. If your electronic device is broke or you don't have one, you pay the higher per gallon tax. I believe that is the solution Oregon is going with. Your going to pay one way or another.

    When all the rich folks follow the example set by George Soros. They will have all their money in overseas accounts that are impossible to tax. Most of the rich in this country are providing jobs for the rest of us.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    I believe that was only through 2004 tax year. It is back to a normal 5 year depreciation. You can write off any business vehicle over 5 years. That was a one time deal to stimulate truck sales. I think it worked. Big SUVs that fit the truck weight were included and got all the negative press, Surprise!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "I believe that was only through 2004 tax year. It is back to a normal 5 year depreciation. You can write off any business vehicle over 5 years. That was a one time deal to stimulate truck sales. I think it worked. Big SUVs that fit the truck weight were included and got all the negative press, Surprise!"

    Ah, I hadn't heard is was limited in length.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    Has anyone read how the tax by mile is going in Oregon? It went on line about a year ago.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    Government will have no choice but to change the taxation methods, as the MPG goes up. It is not really a "hybrid tax", but rather a matter ensuring the roads are maintained.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    Coming to a State near you, SOON!

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Lee Younglove is motoring about town in a way that could be the future of driving in America: A state-installed Global Positioning System in his Subaru Outback counts every mile he's logging, and a transmitter in the car will tell the pump at one of two Portland gas stations how many miles he's traveled.

    Soon, as part of a state experiment, he'll be paying 1.2 cents for every mile but won't be charged the state's 24-cents-a-gallon gas tax.

    That's because Oregon sees little future in its gas tax, which has been at the same level since 1993. Voters don't want to raise it, inflation has eaten much of its value and fuel-efficient cars such as hybrids are reducing collections.

    As an alternative, the state is experimenting with a virtual-tollway system in which a road-user fee would replace the gas tax.

    Later this year, the state will stop collecting the gas tax at the pump for some of them and start charging the mileage fee. Another group will pay 10 cents a mile during rush hour and fourth-tenths of a cent for each mile at other times. The fees are for in-state travel only. A third set of participants will still pay the gas tax.

    Results of the yearlong experiment, along with recommendations, will be presented to the Legislature in three years so lawmakers can decide whether to impose the nation's first statewide user-fee system, aided by satellites.

    Oregon has a history of trailblazing with motoring revenues.

    In 1919, it became the first state to impose a gas tax, and its trial with a road-user fee system is being watched around the nation as other states struggle with transportation budget shortfalls, officials said.


    Tax by the mile
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    This system will be installed in MY CAR when a deputy is standing there holding a .45 to my temple. No other way.

    I did the math.

    For 15,000 miles a year, the above Oregonian will pay $180 in per mile charges, but at 24 cents a gallon gas tax, only $100 in gas tax for a 36 mpg vehicle.

    Not only that, what happens when he leaves Oregon on a driving vacation? Do they only charge for INSTATE miles?

    It's going to be impossible to make this happen nationwide.

    Oregonian Hybrid Owners - start e-mailing and calling your state reps NOW before it's too late. Don't put up with tht crap !! They're ripping you off !!!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    Not only that, what happens when he leaves Oregon on a driving vacation? Do they only charge for INSTATE miles?

    It says you only pay for instate miles. That means they are tracking your whereabouts. Also did you notice it is 10 cents per mile during rush hour. I think that would get people to car pool faster than anything. We can thank the hybrid owners for this kind of intrusion. It was never an issue until they started selling hybrids that skew the tax revenues. I still think it would be easiest to just read your odometer when you license and pay so much per mile on your renewal. I don't like the idea of them tracking us around. I know that GM has put a black box in most of their vehicles since about 1998. My 1999 Suburban had one. It ties to the Onstar system. Just another piece of worthless electronics in our vehicles.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I don't care if they track me. Maybe they'll get the info to Sam's Club that says I go there a lot and Sam's will mail me a BIG FAT coupon !! :)

    What I do care about is a system which is unfairly adding a tax on people who are addressing the over-consumption of oil and the dirty air in this country.

    The best way is to just increase the gas tax for EVERYONE and force the drivers of the 15 MPG beasts into a smaller vehicle. Preferably a hybrid. :)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    The best way is to just increase the gas tax for EVERYONE and force the drivers of the 15 MPG beasts into a smaller vehicle. Preferably a hybrid.

    That is hard to do with current political views. I think that taxing by the mile is the most fair. Just difficult to administer. It is easier to add more tax to the gas. I don't think it will happen. We are dealing with more than one entity of our state and federal government. You have the people that are trying to clean up the air and cut fossil fuel usage. They manage to push through tax incentives for hybrids. This makes folks think the government is in favor of us using less gas. Wrong, you have the part of the government that has to keep the roads and bridges in good shape. How to deal with the people that bought hybrids and can afford to drive more miles each year. Try to add more taxes and it never gets on the table. Throw in the lobbyists who get things rolling by donating money to our Congress and political parties. It is not as simple as you make it out to be. Oregon is considered one of the most progressive states for cleaning up the air and water. They are trying to preserve their infrastructure the fairest way possible. I think they are going to be the leader in the field. As soon as other states see that money rolling in for every mile that every vehicle travels. They WILL jump on the bandwagon. It will affect diesel cars that are sold in Oregon as well. So it is not just aimed at hybrids. As I have said many times Hybrids especially the Prius are so in your face that they get people look. And that is what Oregon is doing. Looking at ways to pay for their road maintenance.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    As long as it's applied to EVERY CAR, then a per mile tax REPLACING the gas tax is fair.

    As long as not only high mpg cars are targeted, then fine.

    As my example showed, they will almost DOUBLE the taxes collected on a 36 MPG vehicle.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    As long as it's applied to EVERY CAR, then a per mile tax REPLACING the gas tax is fair.

    As far as I can tell that is the plan. All treated equally at 1.2 cents per mile. The kicker is the 10 cents during peak hours. That should take its toll.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    IMO, a tax per mile scheme is inevitable and it is fair. However, I can also see it from the other point of view. You have people in low mpg vehicles feeling like they are paying more than their share in gas taxes. And you have people in fuel efficient vehicles feeling like they are having to pay more for gas because some are using more than their share.

    It's definitely a contentious issue and the best way to deal with it is when a driver renews his registration. If you have a uniform charge based on miles driven no one is going to be too upset. If you start imposing a surcharge at the pump for drivers of fuel efficient vehicles that is not going to go over very well.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    the best way to deal with it is when a driver renews his registration

    I agree. It would be simpler all the way around. If they wanted to charge a little more for a big honkin SUV that would be easier to do at registration time also.

    If you drive 15,000 miles a year at 1.25 cents per mile it would make your license mileage fee $187.50. The state would then remove their share of the gas tax or at least cut it to a minimum. For those that conserve and do not drive as much such as the senior citizens it would be a very small amount to pay. And folks with high mileage cars would still be paying less federal gas tax.
  • All vehicles driving down a road do slight damage to the road. The more heavy a vehicle is, the more damage it does to the road surface. This damage goes up exponentially with weight. A 1600 pound geo metro should not be charged as much for road maintenance as A 6000 pound SUV that does about 20 times as much damage to the road per mile driven. This is in no way even remotely fair!
This discussion has been closed.