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Taxing your mileage instead of taxing gas

With cars getting better fuel mileage, and all electrics cars using no gas means less tax revenue. As a result some states are kicking around the idea of taxing mileage. Thoughts and opinions, here is the story,2933,475507,00.html

yeah, that will encourage fuel economy.

There should be an easy way to reasonably account for the road tax on gasoline used in lawnmowers, chain saws, boats, generators, some farm machinery etc. This gasoline may find its way into auto fuel tanks. Another possibility is to base, to some extent, the yearly registration fee on value up to the vehicle age of 10 years and the EPA mileage number. I say, encourage the fuel sippers and leave things as they are but raise the tax for everyone as needed for good roads.

I already pay by the mile… the gas I use in my big SUV is more so I pay more per mile. My small cars use less and pay less per mile driven. Hybrids even less. Electrics pay taxes through their utilities but not road use taxes. Good for them, they need all the help they can get. They still pay tolls though.

So our greedy tax sucking government WANTS us to use less gas and now that we DO they want to find a way to tax us MORE just to make it up? Just raise the gas tax but actually USE the money collected to pay for the roads! This is a very bad idea fraught with problems. Take the easy, but not politically expedient way by raising the tax on each gallon sold.

The per-gallon tax does such a good job of encouraging people to get better-mpg cars I’d hate to get rid of it. It should be increased enough to cover the cost of maintaining the roads, taking it up by about $.20/gallon, it’s been YEARS since it’s been raised.

This still leaves plug-in EVs as a major loophole. With all the computer controls and monitoring already built into them, it would seem simpler to figure out how to tax them appropriately, say at a 100 mpg rate.

So our greedy tax sucking government WANTS us to use less gas and now that we DO they want to find a way to tax us MORE just to make it up?

Of course they are. However before you get mad, remember that all that money the government is getting is what pays for the roads you are driving on.

If you want to have a face to face talk with the government, just look in a mirror.

@JosephEMeehan, I’m mad (already) because politicians want to take the politically expedient path because they don’t want to take the heat for raising the gas tax to pay for the roads I use. I look in the mirror, but the men and women that got my vote aren’t supporting this silliness.

Bottom line is if you want roads you have to pay for them one way or the other. As mileage goes up, tax collected goes down, so its just a way being talked about to even it out. I’d like to see mass transit taken out of the picture though-its been a major drain on road funds.

Interesting that our former Minnesota governor, Timmy Paulenty fought an increase in road tax like crazy. He was agin’ it as too expensive but the people voted it in. His speakers fee now is a minimum of $25,000 plus expenses. He didn’t care if we plowed the roads or not but sure likes his speaking fees. So beware what you are being told.

Gas tax accomplishes two things that a mileage tax wouldn’t. It encourages more efficient vehicles, and in general, it keeps pace with road repair with heavier vehicles causing the most damage. They are usually the least efficient. Why change. It IS a user fee.

The fear that a Prius will damage the road as much as a gas powered truck towing a huge boat is a tad absurd, When both travel the same number of miles, this move is ludicrous, short sighted, regressive and counter productive. ( and anything else I can think up on short notice)

I though the idea was to encourage more efficient vehicles. Guess I was sleeping when that was discussed.

You running low on funds ? Just increase the rate. Maybe that’s too simple ! I don’t see any of those free loading EV’s out there crushing the road with their weight. Long haul bicycles are next. I thought that a few other states had a preminum on backward thinking. I am embarrassed to see a fellow northern state with such a dumb idea. Maybe the western relaxation on pot laws has started to take effect.

For the time being Oregon, don’t worry about the 6 plug in hybrids on your road paying nothing. You don’t have to breath their polution. That should be worth something. Snouldn’t it ? Just DUMB.

Not to argue but the purpose of a tax SHOULD be to raise revenue not change behavior. That’s where I think we have gotten way out of kilter. So people are fat and some genius wants to tax sugar. Its a long winding road when you move into the behavioral tax and I think government should stay out of it and we’d be far better off. Calculating social costs of certain behaviors is at best a guess and certainly not for the beauracrats to get into. I was around when they first started with this stuff and the people pushing it were no mental giants or ones you wanted your son or daughter involved with. Rant over. Just collect the money and leave me alone to eat, drink, hunt, saw, or whatever.

In theory @bing, I completely agree !

In practice, saying for example that the additional tax proceeds on cigarettes would go for well intended programs may have merit. And, just putting a tax on gas consumption does influences behavior like all of us who want to avoid them can attest to.
But, just taxing for the sole purpose of making it painful is tough to argue with, as all taxes are painful and all taxes affect behavior. We did it to stimulate the economy, promote investments and so on. We are a pain avoidance society and govt. ( you and I ) has a way taking advantage of it. The nature of the beast.

I might argue that some behaviors like polluting the environment at the determent of the rest of us should be painful to those who do it. I guess that makes me behavioral tax advocate…If the behavior has no determental affects on the rest of us and needs no financial compensation to live with…I completely agree. But, things like second hand smoke and damaging our roads and environment are prone to taxation to change behavior.

Health insurance companies may have different rates or may even refuse to insure smokers. There is movement as well in this direction relative to obesity too. So, to tighten controls on high fructose corn syrup, like arsenic in smoking , whose sole purpose is to stimulate addiction and yes, tax the consumer and perpetrator as the rest of us pay for their healthcare costs with our OTHER taxes…doesn’t seem as unfair as it used to be.

And, taxing my mileage instead of gas, still has an effect on my mobility, making it more painful, even if I do it in a socially responsible way…ride my bike with an odometer ? No thanks.

Taxes have always been to modify peoples behavior. One of he earliest taxes is the excise tax, designed to promote local businesses and goods over foreign.

Enlighten me please,how does an excise tax promote local business,when you are in construction work it seems everything you need has a excise tax on it-Kevin

trying to squeeze blood from a turnip

I wouldn’t be affected very much from the proposed tax, I barely put 3500 miles on my car a year. Now the person putting 35,000 or 50,000 miles a year on their car would be paying out the wazoo. Many people are suffering financially as it is, now the Cliff has caused taxes to go up and they won’t be getting as much each pay check as they were. For some, even that little bit extra from the increase might mean skipping a meal or two a week.

ken, right now China enjoys favored nation status so the excise tax is very low. Most construction materials are coming from China right now, but there are US made materials available.

3/4 of the goods we consume are manufactured where ? You guessed wrong if you said anywhere but the good old U S of A. Because we are car and electronic driven bunch of consumers here, we do get a little overly concerned. We do need to be when the goods are strategic to our own security. In that case, I’m in favor of strategic taxation to encourage that end.

The problem stems from the early days. Fuel is taxed by the gallon, not a percentage. So as fuel economy gets better, the amunt of money raised decreases.

The solution is to change the way the tax is calculated. Use a percentage.

Unfortunately gas tax presents a greater burden the lower your income.

At this point, EVs are so much more expensive, that I would not impose a mileage tax or turn every highway into a toll road. We should increase gasoline taxes, though. Tolls might be a good idea for HOV lanes or new highway construction. MD-200 is a new road with steep tolls ($4 to go about 20 miles). I see people getting on it every day as I travel down I-95 to work.

“I can’t back out of my driveway without someone in a hat who wants 50 cents”
-George Carlin on driving in New Jersey(the Toll booth capital of the USA, as he called it)