"We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." - Aesop

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Categories Unreal Headlines Oregon to test pay-per-mile idea as replacement for gas tax
“Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive.

The program is meant to help the state raise more revenue to pay for road and bridge projects at a time when money generated from gasoline taxes are declining across the country, in part, because of greater fuel efficiency and the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars.

Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how much they have driven and where. The volunteers will agree to pay 1.5 cents for each mile traveled on public roads within Oregon, instead of the tax now added when filling up at the pump.”

Having engaged against the madness of Vehicle Miles Traveled taxes (VMT), it seems nothing keeps bad ideas from progressing. The cost of the equipment necessary to track your vehicle's every move, is about $1000 (supporters suggest that cost would drop IF everyone HAD to buy the equipment). The cost to administer the collection and audit of taxes derived from the total miles driven is between 20% and 30% of the tax dollar collected compared to the current, less than 1%, administrative cost overhead of the gas/fuel tax, AND (this is a killer in the business community) with the data associated with every mile and stop experienced by a vehicle, hackers will be able to review where and when various business activities are being engaged. Further, VMT experiments in Minnesota, even when folks were being paid to participate, found VMT-drivers cheating the system through disabling the equipment, resulting in less revenues being collected --- IF MANDATORY, whatta think? Will APPs be developed or other electronic devices created to beat the system? The best course of action entails raising the gas and fuel tax - continue enjoying the administrative cost overhang of less than 1%, and index the gas and fuel taxes to fuel economy gains. But this solutions is way too simple for our professional politicians and career bureaucrats -

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