How do you feel about this ?

kdubs215's picture

"WASHINGTON - Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he wants to consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive rather than how much gasoline they burn — an idea that has angered drivers in some states where it has been proposed."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29298315/

neilpuck's picture

I don't think I'm in favor

I don't think I'm in favor of it. Increase the gas tax instead. When you think about it, it does the same thing, those who drive more miles tend to use more fuel. However, it ends up favoring those people who use more efficient vehicles. Which also supports other initiatives of this administration.

jmminarik's picture

This scares me. And I'm not

This scares me. And I'm not being snarky.

2014 susquehanna's picture

Wages are trending down and

Wages are trending down and it seems that taxes for everything are going up. NOT GOOD

stein's picture

encouraging people to live

encouraging people to live closer to where they work is a good thing. current car culture is not sustainable. Also, these taxes should go to supporting public transportation.

that being said, GPS and transponders or whatever is a terribly inefficient way of doing it. I agree with the gas tax. you can roll back an odometer or otherwise screw with 'transponders' but you can't get around the need for gas, at least not now.

as for wages trending down, they should limit management's total compensation to some multiple of the lowest paid employee in the company (and include the employees of companies contracted out to do work in the company). the stagnation of wages has not been do the lack of expansion in the economy. its time to ensure that rising tides actually raise all boats.

Carlucci's picture

How can they effectively

How can they effectively determine how many miles you drive? Sounds ridiculous.

roma258's picture

Frankly, I think it's a

Frankly, I think it's a terrible idea. Why take away the incentive to drive fuel efficient cars or alternative fuel fehicles? Just man up and raise the gas taxes already.

neilpuck's picture

Well, some of it, like the

Well, some of it, like the impending stimulus bill are designed to ultimately create jobs. If by raising the gas tax, more money is generated to improve our crumbling infrastructure, it will mean hiring workers to rebuild the roadways, bridges etc. The collateral benefits to that more people are out working, they patronize the businesses near the jobsites. Think bigger picture. It sounds like a redistribution of wealth, but that's what will start the flow of cash. As counterintuitive as it sounds, the worst thing that could be done is for everyone to stop spending and dump everything into savings.

Kat's picture

No good for me. I drive 45

No good for me. I drive 45 miles one way and no matter how hard I try I cannot get a job closer to home.

dan's picture

Please remember...do NOT

Please remember...do NOT copy & paste full articles!
Quote a little, and then link to the full article.

kdubs215's picture

Increasing the tax would be

Increasing the tax would be the smarter thing i guess its the world we live in now . So if this bozo gets his way with the charge on drivers that means the GOV will have to install GPS in everyones car and have people monitoring it ??? Thats just plain stupid !!!!

TECH's picture

This idea is being put out

This idea is being put out because people are using less gas, so now gas tax revenues are down. Now alternate ways of picking peoples pockets are being looked at. To do this cars would have to be fitted with GPS devises, which I totally oppose, or have odomiter readings at inspection times be used.

ronchito's picture

i'm on the fence about this

i'm on the fence about this one. putting the insane logistical aspect aside for now...on one hand, i can see how this goes against some of the incentives for purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles. on the other hand, even though most hybrids and such are indeed better on gas, emissions, etc., they still cause roughly the same level of "friction footprint" for each mile driven on the roads as other less-fuel-efficient vehicles. so, as the range of fuel efficiency levels widens amongst consumers, gas consumption becomes a less linear/accurate measure of miles driven (and, thus, impact on infrastructure). the fuel-efficient consumer would still see a benefit in that their overall gas expenditures for driving the same amount of miles as a less-efficient driver will be lower.

ps: ursinus college named me the least interested/talented economics major in their history, so i'm happy to be proven wrong about any of this.

stein's picture

I suspect that the extra

I suspect that the extra weight of big hummer still leads a bigger impact on the lifetime of a roadway than a prius, so maybe the "friction footprint" aren't approximately equal?

Tom Hillman's picture

This plan seems misguided at

This plan seems misguided at best . Lets layer more and more red tape on the citizens when raising the gas tax would accomplish the same thing more effectively . Any plan that would reduce gas consumption, dependence on foreign oil, pollution would be good , right ? The era of the internal combustion automobile is coming to an end like it or not . Tele-commuting, moving closer to workplaces, alternative fuel vehicles, walking, biking all will become the norm in the future . Unfortunately since the end of WWII every development for infrastructure in the US has been based on the car culture . This is unsustainable. We need to rethink how things will be done in the future . I like that the ideas coming from the new administration seems to be embracing the coming change, not the same old tired ideas, some may be good and some like this one may be bad but they are throwing it all out there spreading the idea and getting feedback and trying to move to a sustainable future. I recently saw a lecture on TED.COM (if you are not familiar with TED check it out it will make you smarter) and the speaker had a great line discussing the current crisis, he said “we must always keep our eyes on the future even when we are dancing in the flames” his point was things certainly are bad now but Americas future is still bright in areas like bio-genetics, green technology, robotics and others that will lead us out of this crisis . If the desired effect is to raise more money for debt relief / government spending here are two ideas : lets raise the retirement age, if you are 60 plus then you can retire at 65 , if you are 50 to 60 we will ask that you work 2 more years to 67, if you are 40 -50 you will work to 70 , and so on . When the notion of retirement and social security was born people retired at 65 and died at 72 we are living much longer and healthier lives so we can all work a little longer . The second idea would be to implement a luxury tax, have a second or third home you will pay a luxury tax want a wristwatch that costs $3000.00 - luxury tax or a car that is over say 100k luxury tax . Some may argue this is class warfare I would argue that those in the position to afford these things have made their fortune as a direct result of the hard work of their employees / investors / customers . Just my 2 cents .

dan's picture

While I see the "user fee"

While I see the "user fee" logic of taxing people for what they use, the bottom line for me is that this is yet another new tax taking our money and (even worse) complicating our life and building more unnecessary bureaucracy. Somebody is going to have to record mileage, calculate the tax, and collect the tax.

The "big brother" aspect of a GPS tracking your driving is bad. An annual odometer reading at inspection is not quite as bad (although what about states that have no inspection, or biannual inspection?), but still adds a burden of recording and reporting (and perhaps even collection and payment) to auto shops.

Plus, it's one more case where the cheat can get out of it while the honest person gets stuck paying even more.

Cajunmoon's picture

In a nutshell it amounts to

In a nutshell it amounts to nothing less than Big Brother watching over folks and their movements. The idea of a tracking device being placed in vehicles to monitor our movements under the guise of a mileage fee is unconscionable.

This is also another pitch for the public to pick up the tab for years of government mismanagement.

frankdatank's picture

I think anyone that uses

I think anyone that uses EZPASS, is already being tracked by Big Brother. It may be a rumor, but I remember hearing about a guy who got a speeding ticket because he got from the AC toll to the Egg Harbor toll in half the time it would take if he were going the speed limit. Any validity to this?

stein's picture

EZPASS can only record when

EZPASS can only record when you pass through tollbooths so its not nearly so big-brother-ish as GPS devices. Theoretically they can be used to enforce speed limits (or rather to issue citations for speeding), though as far as i know its just an urban legend. that being said if someone was going twice the speed limit (120-130mph on average over the length of the route from AC to egg harbor) on a tolled highway they are driving dangerously and should have gotten something.

jmminarik's picture

stein wrote:EZPASS can only

stein wrote:

EZPASS can only record when you pass through tollbooths so its not nearly so big-brother-ish as GPS devices.

It's also 100% voluntary at this point.

stein's picture

True, but it is worth it in

True, but it is worth it in terms of convenience. At least it is if you drive on tolled roads/bridges semi-regularly.

tudor's picture

Carlucci wrote:How can they

Carlucci wrote:

How can they effectively determine how many miles you drive? Sounds ridiculous.

This will definitely increase employment for people who can fix odometers.

roma258's picture

Another non-issue:

Another non-issue: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090220/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/lahood_vehicle_mileage_tax

Though the suggestions from the Blue Ribbon report are kind of ominous. I do think it's funny people freak out at the idea of higher taxes. There are only a few options on the table right now, as far as how to deal with huge debt we're accumulating. Raise revenue through taxes. Keep printing money and suffer from huge inflation. Or pretend everything is ladida and hope the creditors forgive the dept or something. Ronchito, you wanna chime in here, since you're the resident economist? Am I missing something?

dan's picture

frankdatank wrote:I remember

frankdatank wrote:

I remember hearing about a guy who got a speeding ticket because he got from the AC toll to the Egg Harbor toll in half the time it would take if he were going the speed limit. Any validity to this?

no.
they don't use EZ Pass to detect or impose speeding penalties.