Gas Tax or Mileage Tax?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by InTheLight, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    I expect this issue to gain traction in the coming months. The idea is that instead of paying a per gallon gas tax the tax would be in the form of a mileage tax. There would be a component of the tax tied to vehicle weight. The rationale is that the fuel tax is earmarked for road construction and repair so those consumers that use the road the most should pay more for its use.

    Therefore, heavy vehicles that rack up mileage would pay more than economy cars that drive few miles. In other words the Cadillac Escalade driver that travels 15,000 miles per year would pay more than the Honda Accord driver that travels 10,000 miles per year. The actual fuel economy of the vehicle would not directly enter into the equations.

    The fuel tax per gallon would be removed and a tax per weight/mile driven would replace it. This means that gas prices would be lowered since the tax would no longer be collected at the pump.

    However, the devil is in the details. How do you monitor miles driven? There would either need to be a tamperproof device installed in vehicles to monitor miles driven or else mandatory odometer inspections.

    So, in theory I would favor replacing the per gallon fuel tax with a mileage tax, but I'd reserve judgment until I see how it would be administered.

    Comments?
     
  2. menageriekeeper

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    Umm, I don't see the reason for the change except Obama wanted change and this is one, lol.

    People who drive heavier cars more miles ALREADY pay more in gas taxes because heavier vehicles require more gas to get from point A to point B. People who drive smaller, lighter cars already pay less, because smaller, lighter cars require less gas to get from point A to point B.

    The only thing I can see this affecting are the people who drive hybrid cars which take even less gas than usual. Maybe mileage taxes would even out the tax credits the gov gives to folk who drive hybrids? :rolleyes:
     
  3. exscentric

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    "However, the devil is in the details. How do you monitor miles driven?"

    OR tested some units several years ago that would do this. They were for automatically ticketing for tolls but easily could do miles. Others have indicated a sensor at all gas stations (and now power stations) that would read things electronically to show the miles driven.
     
  4. billwald

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    It is the big trucks and studded tires (where legal) that tear up the highways. An under 3000 pound car without studs probably produces no measurable wear on a road built to freeway standards.

    I've talked to highway engineers who say that road repair costs could be cut in half if studded tires were banned. The ruts in freeway lanes in Washington State are caused by studded tires on cars, NOT commercial trucks. The spacing is to narrow to be trucks.
     
  5. InTheLight

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    Yes, I was thinking of those EasyPass electronic toll road devices that people have in their vehicles to zip through the toll gates. Another option would be a simple GPS device that would use satellites to calculate miles driven.
     
  6. InTheLight

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    But the idea is since the fuel tax is (mostly) dedicated to road construction and repair, heavier vehicles wear out the road more quickly as do more miles driven.
     
  7. targus

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    Don't you think that there is already enough government intrusion into our lives as it is without adding tracking systems to our cars for the government to record our every coming and going.

    How long will it take to get from your proposed system to laws that limit how many miles one may drive and for what purposes?
     
  8. Bro. Curtis

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    Rte 90 averages about 3500' in elevation, in Washington. And I can think of three passes between Lookout Pass, and Snoqualmie. I often drive near Cheney, in -25 weather. I have seen 40 below and ten feet of snow up near Derrington.You could ban them after March, maybe, but it snowed here today.You just cannot take care of roads in those conditions. I don't think it's practical to require everyone to pull over & put chains on everytime the road gets icy. I agree they damage the road, but not allowing them to be used will kill a lot of folks.
     
  9. poncho

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    Why not have both?
     
    #9 poncho, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2011
  10. hillclimber1

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    I can see no fairer or equitable way to force drivers to pay for roads than the current per gallon tax. It encourages people to conserve fuel, and even buy more fuel efficient vehicles.

    This new scheme introduces another level of the invasion of privacy by the fed.. Every car will have to have some device to report or record mileage.

    The current system simply cannot be beaten if we use rational thought..
     
  11. poncho

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    Why not lease or sell our roads to foreign companies? They could do all the upkeep and pay for it all with tolls.

    A public private partnership. I hear their all the rage now.
     
  12. billwald

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    >Rte 90 averages about 3500' in elevation, in Washington. And I can think of three passes between Lookout Pass, and Snoqualmie. I often drive near Cheney, in -25 weather.

    Snoqualimie pass is 3022 ft. Stevens Pass is 4061 ft.

    Snow is not slippery at -25. Studded tires have worse traction than regular tires on wet pavement. Most all cars are front wheel drive or all wheel drive. If front wheel drive and snow tires isn't good enough a person should stay home.
     
  13. Bro. Curtis

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    Thanx for the stats. But if I don't travel, I don't eat. I have to go Wallace, tomorrow. There is no way I would go over Lookout pass right now, without studs. It's not my fault the state wants a vibrant arts scene, at the expense of the roads.. I imagine it's the same in looney left Washington. No money for road repair, but plenty for "women's health", and other garbage.
     
  14. billwald

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    No one went over Lookout Pass in the winter before studs were invented? <G>
     

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