• Dec 31st 2008 at 7:29AM
  • 76
The gasoline tax has long been the method of choice for raising money for public road upkeep, but more fuel efficient cars are slowly eroding funds from the public coffers. Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski wants to keep road repair money flowing, so he's proposing the dreaded mileage tax. Opponents of the idea see a GPS-based solution as being an invasion of privacy, giving the government the ability to track where tax-payers go. However, the proposed system in Oregon doesn't track any travel points. Mileage is instead read whenever drivers fuel up, and a 1.2 cent per mile tax is levied. The program was tested in 2006 and 2007 with 300 motorists participating in the experiment.
Someone driving 12,000 miles per year would pay $144 in mileage tax. For comparison's sake, a 25 mpg vehicle driving 12,000 miles would pay $115 based on Oregon's current 0.24 cent per gallon tax. Kulongoski has no power to enforce a mileage tax, so he's relying on the Oregon legislature to make the tax law. Since it will take time to get all vehicles on the road equipped with a GPS device, the standard gas tax would remain in effect for the foreseeable future, with a possible two cent increase. Commuters equipped with a GPS system would receive a refund for gas taxes paid.

[Source: Gazette Times]


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  • 76 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Our governor is a HOMO!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think you have him confused with the mayor.
      Tony G.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh fer crissakes.

      Just outlaw cars, personal freedom and stuff us all into communes (well, whoever's left after the reeducation camps)

      At least that's what I get from the envirofreaks.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The governor wants to keep road repair funds coming in? I live in Oregon, and I rarely see any evidence of money being spent on road repair. I do see money being spent on light rail choo-choo train systems that are a bottomless pit of red ink, bicycle paths that rarely have bicycle riders using them, and on it goes. I would like to stuff a gps up the governor's ass just to see how he spends his day.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Funny Bill, I live in Portland and I see plenty of people using bike lines and light rail. Where in Oregon do *you* live?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ditto that.... I live in Oregon and using light rail when gas was $4.25/gallon was a lot cheaper than driving my car to work.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Big brother. Watching you.

      You'll pay your asinine carbon tax one way or another, especially after bailing out banks, to whom no one owes a favour.

      Situations like this underscore that we're in trouble in America, and a lot of us are completely asleep, unaware at just how intrusive the Government (be it State or Federal) has become in our lives.

      The citizens or the Great State of Oregon need to make sure that their reps know that they have no intention of cooperating with this new way to be monitored and taxed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Once a Tax, Never a repeal- Dont let them add more, not only will they never reduce or eliminate the tax at the pump, but they will count on a difficult refund method for GPS users after you have already been charged, all the more ways to deplete your cofferes into the general fund.

      I want good roads, but new taxes are not the way to go, besides, if you hike or create new now, what happens when drivers return to the roads in a better economy, does anyone think they will reduce or pay back the monies when gas/GPS taxes are sending in double the amounts they are today?

      Happy New Tax Year - by the way, my state already has a tax on your individual vehicle, the more toys you own, the more expensive or newer- the more you pay to your town every year.
        • 6 Years Ago
        A true tax revolt will eventually occur. If people do NOT cooperate, they cannot be taxed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would gladly adopt this tax, then I could cover or jam the GPS receiver so it could not figure out where the heck it is! I drove 10 miles last year yet I filled up 400 times! Sorry this is going to lose The Peoples Republic of Oregon more money than hybrids abusing the poor gas tax.

      • 6 Years Ago
      It seems silly to me that we are wedded to a charge per gallon of gasoline rather than a percentage tax like a sales tax. That way price of gasoline goes up, driving goes down, purchases of gasoline go down, but revenue from gasoline sales might actually increase. For example, gasoline in Oregon is $0.24 a gallon when gasoline is $2 a gallon--the gas is $1.76 and the tax 24 cents. Make the tax about 14% and it will yield the same revenue, 24 cents on a gallon costing $2. When gas hits $4, the 14% tax will yield 48 cents per gallon sold, or double the revenue per gallon. Would--or did--usage drop by 50%? It also would address maintaining a higher overall cost for gasoline that would encourage people to purchase, and thus companies make, more fuel efficient vehicles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Most insurance companies already offer nice discounts if you drive less than 7,500 miles per year.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Make that 6k miles at State Farm. Perfect for me because I drive my Miata most of half the year, my Mazda6 wagon the rest.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So where does all the money come for all the GPS receivers in everyone's cars? That would be a hefty cost. And what if you just unplug the GPS receiver while driving? How would all of this be enforced? This sounds retarded with zero thinking actually put behind it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah, the way to collect more taxes is by installing devices in millions of vehicles. Meaning that the tax you pay becomes less for fixing roads and more for paying for gadgets.

      I worked with a guy who's son in law was an accountant for the Illinois toll authority. He said that only 40 cents of every dollar collected went back to fix the toll roads, the other 60 cents was for administration (old Rod B probably skimmed millions off that enterprise too).

      Everytime I pass through the IPASS lane I feel the desire to flip off the cameras that are there to ding you if you go through without the IPASS because I know they're ripping me off each time.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I bet they charge you for the ugly ass thing as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sir Patrick I agree... I will go one better, what about a refund for us who have never had kids, I've been paying for kids I don't have for the past 35 years, Life isn't Fair... Its like life time of alimony...

      Ted Ks plan discriminates against people living in Oregon, people who travel thru would pay nothing...

      Oregon loves its pet projects like The Max train... It would be cheaper to give everyone in Portland a car or cab...
      • 6 Years Ago
      In the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse, state DoT's have been rushing around and checking bridges and many have been closed or load restrictions put in place as state government tries to figure out how to pay for repair or replacement.

      There is no free lunch, the money to maintain infrastructure needs to come from somewhere. A mileage tax, essentially a use tax, is much fairer, though it could be improved by adding a weight factor.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How about it come form some other government program that can be cancelled. If it is so dire that all our bridges are about to collapse maybe the entire expenditure of government needs to be realigned. Why is the first answer always to raise taxes? Start by reducing the size and pay of legislature. Next cut any and all discretionary spending, pet projects and the soft stuff.
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