• Jul 19th 2012 at 3:00PM
  • 486

A California transportation agency recently proposed what could become the most unpopular tax of all time: A tax for simply driving your car.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission of San Francisco is behind the idea and has said that the tax would work by installing GPS units into cars to track the miles that they travel. The vehicle owners would then be charged accordingly, with low-income drivers exempted.

The hope is that a VMT (vehicle miles traveled) tax would cut down on pollution and traffic congestion, while raising funds for things like road construction and surface repair.

Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the MTC, said that the group knew the proposal could be a longshot and could take a long time to implement. Theoretically, it could take up to a decade before the plan would be rolled out in full force.

"I don't want to say it's pie in the sky. A VMT charge is really an option for the future to be looked at and considered," he said.

Given the very low popularity gas taxes have been met with in the past, the proposed driving tax seems like a very bold move. Consumers hate frequently being reminded of taxes when they gas up, but this VMT charge would take that to a whole new level.

The Association of Bay Area Governments is slated to analyze a study of the proposal on Thursday.

California residents are sure to watch this one closely.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      If this ever gets passed into law you will see the biggest exodus from California. It will be left to the libs. If a bill gets to Gov Moonbeam's desk, I have no doubt the idiot would sign it. God help us, please.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Never going to pass in California. Those people worship their cars and freedom to drive them. They'd rather give up breathing air than their cars. Forget about this one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      LOL... it will NOT happen- just like cops wanted that over here in Oregon- it's NOT going to be 100% used for the reasons they list- it VIOLATES any person's right to privacy and it's a tracking device anyone with half a brain knows they cops, insurance companies and whoever else will choose to do that when they see fit- and NOT be honest about it- it's like search warrants- gotta have one and good reason- don't get to just follow someone around, wait till you see them go in their home and pounce. There's ZERO legit unbiased reason for anyone other than the OWNER of the vehicle to have a gps unit- that simple. You want some type of tracking device on legit citizens but you have millions of illegals at free will you don't give a rat's ass about coming and going left and right and disrespecting our laws and more here in America- UNBELIEVABLE!
      • 3 Years Ago
      USA Infrastructure and JOBS The USA is now 230 year old and many of our cities, towns, and villages were built decades, if not a century or so ago. The materials used for water pipes, natural gas piping, sewers, electrical services, public buildings, public roads and bridges, dams, power generation and distribution, airport runways, railroad tracks, etc., is getting very old, corroding, disintegrating, and otherwise showing the effects of decades of weathering, usage, and pollution destruction. This means to you that more and more utilities will be failing, more roads will become nothing more than potholes, and more buildings will be in need of structural repair. The water line and natural gas line breaks are becoming commonplace and cities like Philadelphia that used wood for its water lines need tens of billions in repairs and replacements. New York City and its multilevel underground of water pipes, gas pipes, steam pipes, electrical lines, and subway rails is just one example of the millions of miles of infrastructure that needs a full end to end inspection and in many instances a full end to end replacement. Our water based power, i.e., hydroelectric dams are now approaching or have exceeded the century mark in age and the dams that hold the water, contain the generators, and in many instances provide transportation routes, recreational boating, swimming, rafting, and fishing are weakening, and many will fail if not reinforced. Also, the deep water behind many of these dams is filling with decades of silt that is creating major problems, as are the changes in weather that have or are drying up many of the headwater sources. Add to this the environmental concerns to the eco-structure and the fishing industries and we need to do something, and do it fast. Many areas of the country are now doing or considering complete teardowns of the dams and replacement of the lost power generation with wind and solar power.. The upper areas of the Columbia River in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington states is one such area that has spend billions in re-thinking the way the river and its dams should be interacting.. Our Electrical grid for the Northeastern United States is at jeopardy of complete failure, and indeed has failed from as little as a single tree branch taking down a power line. This event in rural Ohio, triggered a series of overloads that went from Ohio to Canada to New York to the entire Northeastern Coast, and it disrupted millions of businesses and tens of millions of households. This can and will happen more and more as we continue to load down power lines that were built and installed in the 1930's or so for homes that were wired for 30 amp maximum service, and which today have 100 to 200 amp service as the normal. Our water piping systems were built for handling a few hundred homes and intermittent water use throughout the day; today we have washing machines, swimming pools, dishwashers, gardens, flower beds, lawns, and we use water at
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its call a fuel tax and we already have it. What a moronic idea.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I still say, give California back to Mexico and while we are at it Arizona too.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this subject has been brought up before, maybe not in trendy CA, but in other areas of the country, and got shot down. If CA passes this, then possibly other states will follow suit. I know here in MN where I live, it was brought up and nothing happened after it was met with solid refusal by the populace here. Every senator and representative in the state got a landslide of anti VMT mail and knew their jobs were in jeopardy. It never was brought up again.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Local tax, state tax, federal tax, tolls to use highways, sales tax, etc., etc., and now an additional automobile use tax that other states are sure to pick up on! Where is my representation? Tell the representatives to get their hands out of the til and get to work. Didn't we fight war on North American soil to end unjust taxes already?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Next they will tax us for being alive.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, if we all didn't hate California already, here's a great reason to start! (However, I heard this was proposed in Oregon a couple of years ago and thrown out...gee, I wonder why!) If this doesn't make you think of "Big Brother", nothing will!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it's time for the San Andreas fault to open up and dispose of California.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just another reason NOT to live in California!
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