• Jan 4th 2009 at 10:54AM
  • 43
Oregon ran a pilot program in 2006 and 2007 that fitted 300 cars with GPS receivers, which kept track of the cars' mileage. The receivers also kept records of when the cars were on the road, noting whether they traveled during rush hour or not. When the drivers went to several specially-equipped gas stations, they paid a mileage tax based on how far they had driven and when they drove, rush hour being more expensive than the wee hours.
Taxing mileage -- as opposed to trying to raise fuel taxes -- is an idea that's not only raising eyebrows, it's also raising interest. Seven other states are reported to be interested in finding a publicly-palatable way to tax mileage. A panel in North Carolina even recommended that drivers be charged a quarter-cent-per-mile for their year's driving. In such a scenario, after 15,000 miles you'd owe the state $37.50.

Naturally, the hurdles are many and it will be years before we see anything like this happening -- but beware: it's gone beyond "Let's think about it" to "Let's look into this." States envision working with manufacturers to get the standardized mileage-reporting technology installed in cars. In addition to the substantial privacy issues that would raised by such a move, there's a question of whether a flat mileage tax would blunt the move to energy-efficient vehicles -- the gent in the Prius might not be happy about paying the same as the gent in the F-250 Super Duty.

[Source: Yahoo!]


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  • 43 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      ....I'm confused here. A quarter of a cent tax per mile driven, so 37.50 a year in tax IF you drive 15,000 miles in one year. Ummm, Why are you all complaining? I'm not exactly wanting to pay more $$ for wasteful spending, and a gas tax would be more effective (both in reducing consumption AND in raising funds), but this isn't a horrible idea. If you don't drive, you don't pay. If they don't raise the gas tax, but include this tax, then Prius owners still save at the pump, and idiots that drive Excursions while taking their one kid to soccer practice, pay out the ass at the pump. Really though, ruffly $40 tax on your car for using the roads, isn't exactly horrible. Most people spend significantly more than that on the food they eat in a meal eaten out.

      As long as its GPS free, or any other form of tracking, and they just write down my mileage, give me a bill, and then send me on my way, I don't see an issue.

      $37.50.... just doesn't seem like an outrageous amount to me, but then again we have personal property tax on all registered vehicles. Now THAT is an unfair tax.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ...damn... how did I miss the GPS thing right at the beginning... wow.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is one part spineless legislators, one part apathetic voters and two parts stupidity. Once stirred, this will become an explosive mixture. But not until the state has spent the money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here in SoCal we are constantly offered "trials" of one sort or another, mostly medical. Those signing up do something, or take something for which they are payed a sum at the end of the trial.

      A couple of months ago a new trial was being offered. Sponsored by the University of Iowa people were asked to put GPS receivers in their cars to "monitor driving habits." The trial was to last some period of time and "trialees" would be given $900 or so to do this.

      I have no idea who was behind this, the feds or a state.

      Does anyone else think this whole monitor driving habits/road tax thing has big brother written all over it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, no big brother issue at all. I mean, it's not like Ez-Pass, or any of the other type of automated toll paying devices's records were ever used in something as stilly as a Civil case, say a divorce...


        Oh wait...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm against this for reasons of privacy most of all.

      I'm also against variable pricing based on rush hour times. Unless all businesses, banks, shippers, and postal service included, move to a 24 hour model, I don't see the majority of businesses changing their hours to help their employees avoid peak driving time charges. Most companies operate during the hours that banks and their vendors are also open.

      The most fair way to tax vehicles is on some combination of the vehicle's weight and the miles it travels. This could be done on a curb weight tax + annual mileage. Or it could be done on curb weight plus the fuel taxes we have now. I could see curb weight done at the time of annual registration. This could be done in place of how states currently collect vehicle taxes.

      Curb weight is fair because the weight of your vehicle directly affects the impact you have on the longevity of our roads. A motorcycle treads much more lightly on the road than a Prius. That same Prius treads more lightly than an Escalade. The Escalade has less impact than an 18 wheeler. When it comes to highway and road maintenance, this scenario charges people for what they actually use.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I live in The LV. I agree with you. How would anyone be able to decide what peak hours are in a 24 hour city?

        And as to you cFoo(l), _______ you. North Americans are what makes the world go 'round. save your hate for the countries where your freedom of speech is censored.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Has anyone thought about whether or not this will void certain vehicles warranties?

      Oregon already has a vehicle inspection program in place, why not just tax them when they get their inspection done? Why do we have to overcomplicate everything with GPS and fancy hardware? What happens when I want to move away? Why is this system even on the books? Oregon should do 1 of two things.

      A: Tax Gas!
      B: Tax milage when they come in for inspection. There, work done.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Awesome, so since I own 5 cars and work from home, I basically would be exempt from this tax? Best tax I have heard of so far.

      And on a serious note, your all correct about raising taxes during a recession and big brother on this. At some point our lovely government needs to start listening to the people again because these guy are simply just not that bright.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "rndmnme 1:01PM (1/04/2009)
        Wonder what all those people who elected Obama thought was going to happen?"


        what does Obama have to do with Oregon state taxes? that's a mighty leap in logic. i'd love a clarification... i'm sure it will be intellectually riveting.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe they can hold an referendum like they do in Switzerland.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wonder what all those people who elected Obama thought was going to happen?

        Let's increase income tax returns, increase state and federal job programs, increase social welfare programs, and have a national healthcare plan.

        Where did they think this money was coming from?

        Oh yeah, the "rich people."

        (PS, alot of those "rich people" are in congress, you do the math)
      • 6 Years Ago
      A revolution is coming, and soon...
      • 6 Years Ago
      "the gent in the Prius might not be happy about paying the same as the gent in the F-250 Super Duty."

      Nobody driving an F-250 Super Duty could be called a "gent".
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is asinine. Taxing mileage doesn't adjust for how heavy a vehicle is or how much gas it uses.

      Tax gas and diesel. Drive more and pay more in tax. Drive SUVs and pay more in tax. Drive a guzzling 500HP sports sedan and pay more in tax. Therefore, gas taxation gets people to drive less, gets them to drive more efficient vehicles.

      I'm all for a fluctuating gas tax that basically keeps gas at around $4-5 a gallon. If oil prices skyrocket, the tax is reduced. If gas prices tank (like today), then the tax is high. In the end, the gas prices paid by consumers will be relatively stable and we'll see less cars on the road and the ones we do see will be more efficient.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't see the point of this crap. A flat raise in the gas tax makes much more sense. I'm even against that, since our country takes in more than enough money to pay for everything. They should be forced to refine their spending and stop stupid crap like this. Honestly, its sickening how fat and corrupt Washington is.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think it is a first step to track better. The predator uav was just for reconnaissance initially, with emphasis that it would not be armed. After people got used to it, missiles were added. I am sure that was the intention from the beginning. The could have been significant objection if the predator started out armed. To me it was a good idea have it armed.

        As for GPS tracking I completely disagree. If taxing by mileage is really needed, just have the odometers checked when you have your license renewed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Next you will be getting Speeding Tickets in the mail from the GPS unit in the car.

      This stuff is SCARY!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just a thought: Floating gas tax and a fixed gas price of $3.00 per gallon which was the average price for the year before the last "gas price crisis". $3/gallon is more in line with world prices and not the burden of $4/gallon. People could budget their cost of driving without the stress of crude price fluctuations. $3/gallon is high enough to encourage drivers to plan their trips and reduce overall consumption thus keeping the crude oil cost down. Initially $3/gallon would allow almost $1.50 per gallon increase of tax revenue for a massive infusion to our desperate economy and deteriorating infrastructure. $3/gallon would keep the pressure on the auto industry AND consumer to support more efficient (lighter & smaller) vehicles. Engine efficiency is improving across the board regardless. Remember that prime variable in fuel consumption is vehicle weight which directly effects the rate of deterioration of our infrastructure (roads and bridges). Mileage tax requires a whole new and costly infrastructure (equipment and administration) which will reduce tax revenues before it ever produces any gains. Gas tax infrastructure is already in place and a fixed price would certainly help efforts to stabilize our precarious economy.

      I'm just sayin' is all. GC
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