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FlyDeltaJets87
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Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:44 pm

"As if fuel taxes and rising gas prices weren't causing enough pain at the pump, Democrats seeking to raise new revenues to support federal spending on highway maintenance are considering taxing motorists for the number of miles they drive.

The Congressional Budget Office lent credence to the idea in a detailed report released this week, saying that taxes on vehicle-miles traveled -- or VMT taxes -- would be a fair way to charge motorists for the real cost of using the nation's highways and would encourage more efficient use of the highways than fuel taxes."

Fully Story:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/25/uncle-sam-considers-taxing-motorists-miles-driven/

And for those of you who hate Fox News:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110325/cm_ac/8144954_senator_kent_conrad_mulls_vehicle_miles_traveled_tax

All I can say is - what a load of crap. Where to begin -
A) Will the federal government drop the current federal taxes on gasoline to offset this? Speculation of course, but doubtful.
B) Do Democrats honestly believe this will increase revenue? The cost for everything will go up - the shipping of food and goods, driving to work, driving to school, etc. Doing anything really will see an increase in cost.
C) This takes away part of the incentive to drive more fuel efficient cars, because you'll see less savings at the pump, which was of course, part of your reason for buying a more fuel-efficient car.
D) I love this quote. "Such a system would maximize the efficiency of highway use by discouraging trips for which costs exceed benefits." So when I decide not to drive 10 miles to go to my favorite ice cream shop or go to dinner because I know I'm getting taxed on the drive over there, the Democrats see that as a good thing for business? Nice to know that if this passes and I want to go see my family down in Cincinnati, which is about a 60 mile drive from where I am in Dayton, that thanks to the Democrats, I'll have to factor in how much more I'll have to pay in taxes because of it.   
E) I guess I'd never let anyone borrow my car again. Currently, if I borrow someone's car, I will put gas in their tank to make up for what I used. This reimburses the owner for the gas I used as well as makes sure that the taxes I paid when buying the gas covered the wear and tear I caused. Now the owner of the car will be responsible for all miles, regardless of who actually drives the vehicle.
F) And of course, I also love this - the way they'll track it. We'll be required to install devices on our car to track our mileage, which I'm sure we'll have to pay out of our pocket to install so the government can keep an eye on us. Why do I feel like my 4th Amendment Rights are being violated?   
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:04 pm

Hey, I'm all for it as long:
-taxes on fuel are illiminated
-tolls are eliminated
-registration fees are limited to the administrative expense of registering the vehicle
-the money collected be placed in a fund for the exclusive use of the DOT for maintaining the roads.

If I think hard enough I can come up with more restrictions before I sign on to this invasion of privacy and attermpt to limit my freedom.'

Big Brother at work.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:22 pm

Sounds like a plan to me. Its a use it - pay for it concept.

Abolish gas taxes which seem to have plateaued and likely not going to be a good revenue source as efficiency grows in society.

As far the tracking, with increasing number of cars equipped with technologies like GPS already, seems like a rather simple way to track usage. Already here in CA we now have two insurance companies that will charge you based on miles driven directly with verification done either electronically or an annual vehicle inspection at a participating garage.
 
FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:24 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
-taxes on fuel are illiminated
-tolls are eliminated
-registration fees are limited to the administrative expense of registering the vehicle

The problem is
1) I don't see the current federal taxes on gas being cut. From the Yahoo article: "One hardly knows where to begin. First, as Senator Kent Conrad admits, the VMT tax is going to be assessed on top of the gasoline tax."
2) To my knowledge, tolls and vehicle registration fees are implemented by the state and paid to the state (or maybe even in the case of tolls, local). The only way this becomes possible is if the states implement a similar policy. Otherwise tolls and registration fees are here to stay. But let's say they do implement it at the state level. What about driving I do in other states? The system would be either the state the vehicle the state is registered in gets all the money or GPS would be required to track just how much driving was done in what state(s), and then "Big Brother" really comes into play.
3) Playing off the above, what about miles I drive in a foreign country? Would I still have to pay US taxes for that mileage, despite not doing any wear and tear on US roads during that mileage?

[Edited 2011-03-25 15:30:35]
 
dragon6172
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:31 pm

I am ok with it as long as:
-the money is used for DOT road maintenance and construction only.
-the mileage is read during vehicle registration, not by some installed tracking device
-the mileage rate is tiered based on vehicle weight

I would even be ok with keeping the fuel tax if the money was shifted into a fund that was used purely for the advancement of technologies that got us off the oil habit.
 
lowrider
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:52 pm

Let me get this right, we gave tax subsidies to fuel efficient cars so people will buy them. Then they end up paying less fuel tax, so we want to tax them by the mile as well?

All this will do is make it more expensive to do business, and discourage economic growth. Which will cause a decline in tax receipts. Which will cause them to raise taxes on or find something new to tax.
 
Mir
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:57 pm

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
C) This takes away part of the incentive to drive more fuel efficient cars, because you'll see less savings at the pump, which was of course, part of your reason for buying a more fuel-efficient car.

Which is why I think this is a bad idea. That's right, I'm a liberal who normally doesn't have a problem with taxes, and I don't like this one.

If they need extra revenue (which I'd understand), I'd rather see them bump up the gas tax than implement this.

Quoting dragon6172 (Reply 4):
-the money is used for DOT road maintenance and construction only.
-the mileage is read during vehicle registration, not by some installed tracking device
-the mileage rate is tiered based on vehicle weight

If it is to be done, then this is how I'd want it. I certainly don't want some tracking device in my car - my toll transponder is already bad enough. Problem is, though, that though my car is registered in NY, most of my driving is done in NJ, so it'll be NY getting my money when I'm actually using NJ's roads.

It's also worth considering that lighter cars will tend to be more efficient, and thus fuel taxes automatically provide some discrimination based on weight.

-Mir
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:20 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Sounds like a plan to me. Its a use it - pay for it concept.

No, because I may not always be the one driving my car.

Furthermore, punishing people for commuting to work is not a very good policy in an economic environment in which there are enough barriers to employment as it is. In fact, the poor often need to travel further to work than the wealthy, so this tax will disproportionately affect those at a lower SES.

In addition, the last thing we need is something to further complicate matters.

GE was PAID over $3Bn by the IRS this year in spite of having paid no taxes. They basically do creative accounting and this pay no taxes at all.

How about the Dems and GOP go after the corporations that are stiffing the government tens of billions (probably hundreds of billions) of dollars with their tax evasion?
 
PPVRA
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:11 am

Completely replace the current gas tax and use a prepaid-tax system like it is used on some express lanes/turnpikes and then I'll support it. Every time you drive under a toll, it ticks off the balance in a little box you keep in your car, and the government recognizes that as tax revenue.

It's a start.
 
BMI727
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:22 am

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
Democrats seeking to raise new revenues to support federal spending on highway maintenance are considering taxing motorists for the number of miles they drive.

Do they not understand how current taxes work?

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
"Such a system would maximize the efficiency of highway use by discouraging trips for which costs exceed benefits."

It's nobody's business but mine where I drive and why I drive there. If I want to drive around just for the fun of it, it makes no difference to anyone else.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Already here in CA we now have two insurance companies that will charge you based on miles driven directly with verification done either electronically or an annual vehicle inspection at a participating garage.

That's fine, because it's completely optional.
 
Mir
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:07 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
It's nobody's business but mine where I drive and why I drive there. If I want to drive around just for the fun of it, it makes no difference to anyone else.

It's not my business where you go, but it is my business how far you go, since you'll be putting more wear and tear on the roads, and my tax money goes to repair that. But like I said, I feel the current plan of a tax on fuel is the most sensible way to charge you more if you decide to use the roads more. If the tax rate needs to be pushed up a bit, fine, but going to a mileage-based system is going to cause more problems than it will solve, IMO.

-Mir
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:21 am

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
F) And of course, I also love this - the way they'll track it. We'll be required to install devices on our car to track our mileage, which I'm sure we'll have to pay out of our pocket to install so the government can keep an eye on us. Why do I feel like my 4th Amendment Rights are being violated?

And they can even send you a speeding ticket every time your GPS reports that you've exceeded the local speed limit.

I find the concept highly unamerican. A direct tax on distance traveled? What if you live out in the boonies and you spend most of your miles on dirt roads?

In France you pay a mileage fee on the motorways. I can understand that. You can avoid the tax by taking the side roads - You pay the tax if you want to get there in less time. Given that French highways are of a high standard, you are paying to use a specific service. But to pay the fee for every mile, whether on the Interstate or on farm roads, forget it.
 
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GuitrThree
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:39 am

You wanna see just about everything increase in cost? Agree to this stupid plan. You might not even own a car, but everything you buy is shipped on a truck at some point. UPS, FedEx, grocery stores, everyone, will have their prices increase to cover these costs. You people who believe this is a good idea will be the ones also paying the bill. Think about it. It's once again nothing but a money grab by the democrats, who for some reason, can pull the wool over peoples eyes to think they are the ones fighting for the middle class. Yea, right.
 
Okie
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:03 am

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 12):
Think about it. It's once again nothing but a money grab by the democrats, who for some reason, can pull the wool over peoples eyes to think they are the ones fighting for the middle class. Yea, right.


It appears that it is quite easy to pull wool over the democratic voters eyes to generate more taxes than to cut back on spending. It is pretty simple to figure that as the fuel usage goes up due to more use of the roads then revenue comes up in proportion. Obviously the government is spending more than that proportion or wasting the money somewhere.

Which brings us to the Electric/Hybrid situation. I have heard some states like California, Oregon and maybe Washington are thinking a fee between $100 and $1000 per year since those vehicles are not paying enough road usage taxes. I supose you could add that to the $50-$75 per year bicycle tax that are used on roads.

Okie
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:22 am

Now, just to point out... this is not happening.

In fact, the DemocratS did not propose this. A single Democrat proposed this... and he's retiring in a year.

Now, I'm all for a mileage use on the freeway, but this is just a bit too Orwellian for my tastes.
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:50 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Sounds like a plan to me. Its a use it - pay for it concept.

Then you must be a supporter of a National Sales Tax.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
I find the concept highly unamerican. A direct tax on distance traveled? What if you live out in the boonies and you spend most of your miles on dirt roads?

Further, it is a way to discourage driving. When you tax something, you tend to discourage it.

What about those folks that spend a whole lot of time (miles) on un-improved roads?
 
andz
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:56 am

There is a system being installed around Johannesburg as we speak and it is causing huge controversy. They have installed overhead gantries at various points on the highways and your car will be fitted with an e-tag that registers as you drive under it. Apart from the proposed toll of 50c/km the system will be used to issue fines for excessive average speed.

Why they didn't get all the debate out of the way BEFORE spending millions on the infrastructure is beyond me.
 
Flighty
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:19 am

Electric cars pay nothing so you need to use something like VMT. However, an interstate driver will be killed on a VMT based fee whereas an urban commuter who drives few miles across many very expensive streets, will pay relatively less.

I think the optimal solution is to tax CO2 pollution and fund transportation out of that. The reason I call it optimal is because CO2 is something we seek to minimize for environmental purposes. The social outcome of CO2 taxes is actually a good thing, as opposed to a VMT tax.

In terms of road wear, the primary issue is trucks and buses. Passenger cars and motorcycles need not pay anything, because they are not a measurable factor in road wear. So, trucks and buses would enjoy very large surcharges in accordance with their impact on road assets.

Another major damage factor is snow plows and, potentially, road salt. Plows cause massive road damage and could be redesigned to skim above the road, reducing billions of dollars in surface damage.
 
Go3Team
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:42 am

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 12):
You might not even own a car, but everything you buy is shipped on a truck at some point.

Large trucks are already paying into a system similar to this. To have the right to drive in a particular state, you have to pay. To drive on their roads you have to pay. As a former driver, I had to record every mile I drove in a particular state. The company has to file quarterly based on those miles driven, and include a check based on whatever formula the state in question deemed necessary. To have the federal government in on this scheme as well will cause even more trucking companies to go under. Costs are going up for all of them, but freight rates (like airline ticket pricing) are staying the same.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:58 pm

To consider this for most non-commercial vehicles will just not work. There are too many Constitutional privacy issues for a start.. The Tea Party types would never go for it due to their anti-tax and anti-government stands.

Of course, even before the plan could ever be put in, 100's of techies would figure out ways to defeat it marketing them on the Internet.

What if they used such systems to see if you were speeding or where you have been, with such records subpoenaed by employers, law enforcement, insurance companies and so on.

Then there is the costs to individuals, collections, the bureaucracy and technology needed to collect and how to enforce it. It would put a substantial burden on most if not all working class persons who may not have the options but to have long commutes to jobs, especially in rural areas. Of course, there would have to be many exemptions as to those on welfare, unemployment, disabled, handicapped, farmers, older persons, and those that could pay off politicians to create their own exemptions that would narrow the ones paying overburdening them.

There have been a few car insurance companies that have done pilot programs so one could pay for insurance based on use, but there has been a tepid response. There is the use of EZ Pass for toll bridges, tunnels and roads in the Eastern USA, but even that has it's potential of abuse as well as problems of collections and abuse.

Yes, pay by mile road taxes would be ideal, but in our society in the USA, it is near impossible. As to dealing with high fuel mileage and electric cars and road taxes, other creative yet fair ways from higher car taxes or registration fees to comp them may be the only alternative.
 
rwsea
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:30 pm

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 5):
Let me get this right, we gave tax subsidies to fuel efficient cars so people will buy them. Then they end up paying less fuel tax, so we want to tax them by the mile as well?

All this will do is make it more expensive to do business, and discourage economic growth. Which will cause a decline in tax receipts. Which will cause them to raise taxes on or find something new to tax.

Well then, what are your proposals to fully fund the highway and road system in the future? It's clear that the gas tax alone won't do it, so revenue will need to come from somewhere. I guess the question is, do you want to pay higher taxes for driving, or pay higher income/sales/property/whatever taxes to cover the costs of roads? Or should we start removing roads that can no longer be supported? Those are the alternate options.

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 12):

You wanna see just about everything increase in cost? Agree to this stupid plan. You might not even own a car, but everything you buy is shipped on a truck at some point. UPS, FedEx, grocery stores, everyone, will have their prices increase to cover these costs. You people who believe this is a good idea will be the ones also paying the bill. Think about it. It's once again nothing but a money grab by the democrats, who for some reason, can pull the wool over peoples eyes to think they are the ones fighting for the middle class. Yea, right.



Newsflash: the cost of fuel taxes, registration fees, etc. are already included in items that are shipped by truck. And the costs are already passed to consumers.




It's quite amusing reading the responses on this thread, and seeing how ignorant people are of the true costs of maintaining infrastructure. It's clear that there's not going to be adequate revenues in the future to keep up the same level of maintenance. I suppose that infrastructure is free? Maybe we just leave things alone and let the infrastructure continue to crumble.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:16 pm

Every tax scheme has advantages and drawbacks. Here, the main drawback is the tracking system, so clearly this idea will go nowhere (could make sense in some countries, but usually not many people have cars in those).

Increasing fuel taxes makes much more sense, for now. When there really is a substantial number of electric cars, then you can start by removing incentives to buy them (no fuel to buy is an incentive in itself), and/or just put most of the burden on commercial uses of the roads, which seems the fairer as, as others have said, if you buy stuff, that stuff has most likely used roads.
 
signol
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:53 pm

Quoting andz (Reply 16):
50c/km

It should be pointed out that this is 50c ZAR which equates to 7c US.

signol
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:40 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 19):
The Tea Party types would never go for it due to their anti-tax and anti-government stands.

Never mind anti-tax and all that. The people who drive the most miles are often lower class working people and farmers. Those who drive cross-country are often those who simply can't afford to fly and rent a car at the other end.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):

Increasing fuel taxes makes much more sense, for now. When there really is a substantial number of electric cars, then you can start by removing incentives to buy them (no fuel to buy is an incentive in itself), and/or just put most of the burden on commercial uses of the roads, which seems the fairer as, as others have said, if you buy stuff, that stuff has most likely used roads.

Agreed. The mechanism is already in place, plus the incentive to buy more efficient vehicles if possible.

Given that a travel tax is already in place and works fine, what would the incentive be to do this other system? Could it be to enable government tracking of your vehicle? Is that the real reason to do this? What would that be useful for?

Edit - Nobody posted it so far, so I will do so:

Taxman - The Beatles

One, two, three, four...
Hrmm!
One, two, (one, two, three, four!)

Let me tell you how it will be;
There's one for you, nineteen for me.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

(if you drive a car, car Wink - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit Wink - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold Wink - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk Wink - I'll tax your feet.

Taxman!

'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Don't ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

And you're working for no one but me.

Taxman!


[Edited 2011-03-26 08:41:26]
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:21 pm

This thread is a classic example of why America is going down the drain.

Someone comes up with an idea for a FAIR tax (you pay tax for exactly as much as you use) and people start to whine about taxes.

Well guess what, there HAVE to be taxes, it's to everyone's benefit, how else is the government going to work? Hey, If you don't want to pay taxes, build your own damn road!!

Typical case of American "live free or die" talk. So you prefer to live in a totally tax free society? Think about the consequences. Oh but it's easier just to take, take, take and never give anything back.

Soren   
 
lowrider
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:03 pm

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 20):
Well then, what are your proposals to fully fund the highway and road system in the future? It's clear that the gas tax alone won't do it, so revenue will need to come from somewhere.

Fund it from the general fund. Roll the fuel tax into the general fund. No reason it has to only be funded from fuel tax. While we are at it, we can cut all the programs that dis-incentivize fuel consumption, and therefore reduce fuel tax receipts. You don't see the inherent lunacy in spending tax dollars on programs that reduce tax receipts?
 
Ken777
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:59 pm

My preference is to start with the Reagan approach - increase gas tax to increase funding of maintenance.

Since states are also a major taxing factor for roads I'd also like to see the price of the license plates based on weight, which is a huge factor in deteriorating weight. Motivation to move to smaller cars and trucks needs to be financial. A lot of people could get by with a smaller car or truck and it is in our long term interest to help that shift.

I also believe in toll roads. I have my OK tag as well as the Houston sticker and will soon be getting one for Dallas. I have zero problems paying tolls and believe it is a very good approach to improving the system. (I do, however, believe that we should have one single electronic toll collection system - it's totally ignorant for us to have 50 systems. Increases costs and decreases freedom of use in some areas.)
 
PPVRA
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:37 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 17):
In terms of road wear, the primary issue is trucks and buses. Passenger cars and motorcycles need not pay anything, because they are not a measurable factor in road wear. So, trucks and buses would enjoy very large surcharges in accordance with their impact on road assets.

Pax cars are the reason we have 8-lane wide freeways, one direction. Not buses and trucks.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 17):
Another major damage factor is snow plows and, potentially, road salt. Plows cause massive road damage and could be redesigned to skim above the road, reducing billions of dollars in surface damage.

The wider the roads, the more salt and snow plowing.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):
Every tax scheme has advantages and drawbacks. Here, the main drawback is the tracking system, so clearly this idea will go nowhere (could make sense in some countries, but usually not many people have cars in those).

It can be done without tracking and fully anonymously.
 
andz
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:21 pm

Quoting signol (Reply 22):
It should be pointed out that this is 50c ZAR which equates to 7c US.

Thanka for the clarification! I didn't think it was necessary to point this out as my post was about South Africa.
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:53 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 24):
Someone comes up with an idea for a FAIR tax

But, I already pay a usage tax...when I pay for my fuel. Why the additional tax?

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 24):
Well guess what, there HAVE to be taxes,

No one is saying we don't need taxes. But, there is such a thing as excesive taxation. A per mileage tax is double taxation. Agin, I paid a tax on the fuel, now I'm being asked to pay a tax on the expediture of that fuel.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):
Increasing fuel taxes makes much more sense, for now.

You assume that a tax increae is required. I think they are fishing for a new revenue stream to spend more money.
 
Ken777
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:59 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 29):
A per mileage tax is double taxation.

And doubling your fuel tax wouldn't be?

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 29):
You assume that a tax increae is required. I think they are fishing for a new revenue stream to spend more money.

Maybe the roads around where you live are new and in great shape, but that's not the case around the country. Road and bridge maintenance is an ongoing need and it sure isn't cheap.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:34 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
I have my OK tag as well as the Houston sticker and will soon be getting one for Dallas.

Quick tip: If you have a Houston EZ Tag, you don't need to get another one. All of the Texas toll road systems have been interoperable for a few years now.   

Quoting Flighty (Reply 17):
think the optimal solution is to tax CO2 pollution and fund transportation out of that. The reason I call it optimal is because CO2 is something we seek to minimize for environmental purposes

That's just being circumlotuitous. If we minimize CO2 to nothing, then what's left to fund the road? They will continue to wear and age even if our vehicles emit nothing. The most direct approach is the best approach. Dispense with paying for roads through fuel taxes and pay for roads by collecting tolls from those who use roads. Meter road usage just like meter any other utility like electricity or water.

I'd also be in favor of a condition that stipulates that tolls revenue only be spent on road maintenance or upgrades within say 10 miles of the point the toll was collected. Toll revenue collected in Dallas, TX should be spent in Dallas, TX (and so forth).

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
I may not always be the one driving my car.

How often do you let people drive your car for free? If I drove your car a few hundred miles on a frequent basis, would you not expect me to pay you back for some of the gas and maintenance? Just ask for gas, maintenance, and tolls. Done deal.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26928
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:41 pm

I don't like it, and here is why:

Its another "tax California to pay for the rest of the country" tax.

Because of under investment in our infrastructure by the federal government, we have poor public transport and are forced to drive - especially outside the Bay Area.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:41 pm

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 31):
Dispense with paying for roads through fuel taxes and pay for roads by collecting tolls from those who use roads. Meter road usage just like meter any other utility like electricity or water.

That is fine, but I am not sure miles are the right way to do it. TIME might be the right way to do it. Hours of driving on public roadways.

Also, my comments about road damage stand. Trucks are the driving factor there, not light duty vehicles.

As for congestion pricing... it is a good idea. Metering by hours would have some element of congestion pricing in it. You drive at a slower time of day, you pay more.
 
windy95
Posts: 2801
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:11 pm

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:43 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 17):

I think the optimal solution is to tax CO2 pollution and fund transportation out of that. The reason I call it optimal is because CO2 is something we seek to minimize for environmental purposes. The social outcome of CO2 taxes is actually a good thing, as opposed to a VMT tax




Whatever..More global warming gobblygook that is being used to tax us more.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 24):
Someone comes up with an idea for a FAIR tax (you pay tax for exactly as much as you use) and people start to whine about taxes



We already have a fair tax in the gas tax.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 24):
Well guess what, there HAVE to be taxes, it's to everyone's benefit, how else is the government going to work? Hey, If you don't want to pay taxes, build your own damn road!!



Yes we understand that but as noted we already pay a gas tax. Another form with more coss to implement and maintain is not needed.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 24):
Typical case of American "live free or die" talk. So you prefer to live in a totally tax free society? Think about the consequences. Oh but it's easier just to take, take, take and never give anything back



Sorry but most of us that complain are not takers. It is the looters who are constantly complaining we need more taxes. Spending is out of control and all the left want's to do is whine about more taxes
 
Ken777
Posts: 10197
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:54 pm

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 31):
All of the Texas toll road systems have been interoperable for a few years now.

Now that's nice to know - probably why I haven't been billed from the Dallas area from our trip there a few weeks ago.

Now if we can just join the rest of the country into a single system. I'll even vote fro the Texas system as their sticker is less a pain than the electronic device we have.
 
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GuitrThree
Posts: 1941
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:54 pm

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:54 pm

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 20):


Newsflash: the cost of fuel taxes, registration fees, etc. are already included in items that are shipped by truck. And the costs are already passed to consumers.

Newsflash. If you add yet another tax to the (I already know they pay) these fees, the cost will go up even more. the current taxes will not go away. Are you that blind?

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 20):
t's quite amusing reading the responses on this thread, and seeing how ignorant people are of the true costs of maintaining infrastructure. It's clear that there's not going to be adequate revenues in the future to keep up the same level of maintenance

And it's quite amusing to read your ramblings about what people know and don't know. It's clear that in most states the gas tax is used for many other things besides roads. Devote 100% of the gas tax to roads and related issues and the problem is solved. Let's quit paying for peoples food stamps from the gas tax before we ask for people to pay more....
 
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Dreadnought
Posts: 10201
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:28 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 24):
Someone comes up with an idea for a FAIR tax (you pay tax for exactly as much as you use) and people start to whine about taxes.

Well guess what, there HAVE to be taxes, it's to everyone's benefit, how else is the government going to work? Hey, If you don't want to pay taxes, build your own damn road!!

The issue is not taxation, but putting a mileage tax on top of the fuel tax.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 30):
Quoting fr8mech (Reply 29):
A per mileage tax is double taxation.

And doubling your fuel tax wouldn't be?

No it wouldn't the issue is transparency and simplicity. We are already hit by 50 different taxes every day - knock it off! Keep it down to 2 or 3, even at higher rates, and cut out the complication and the feeling that they are just nickle-and-diming us to death.
 
rwsea
Posts: 2515
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:23 pm

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:39 am

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 25):
Fund it from the general fund. Roll the fuel tax into the general fund. No reason it has to only be funded from fuel tax. While we are at it, we can cut all the programs that dis-incentivize fuel consumption, and therefore reduce fuel tax receipts. You don't see the inherent lunacy in spending tax dollars on programs that reduce tax receipts?

Ok good idea - cut gas taxes to zero and pay for roads from the general fund. So, how do you increase the general fund? Do you want an income tax increase, sales tax increase, or property tax increase? You have to pick one.

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 36):
And it's quite amusing to read your ramblings about what people know and don't know. It's clear that in most states the gas tax is used for many other things besides roads. Devote 100% of the gas tax to roads and related issues and the problem is solved. Let's quit paying for peoples food stamps from the gas tax before we ask for people to pay more....

Well in my state (Washington) there is a constitutional amendment that says all gas taxes must 100% go to roads - and they do. And guess what - the revenues don't keep up with the demand, and are falling off significantly. Problem isn't solved, as you put it, because they are talking about a mileage tax in Washington, as well as tolls. Hate to break it to you, but nothing's free in this world. You want infrastructure, gotta pay for it.
 
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LAXintl
Posts: 25636
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:46 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 15):
Then you must be a supporter of a National Sales Tax.

I am.

I believe we should have a national consumption (VAT) tax.

Lower the income tax rates, and adopt a VAT. Along the same lines the bipartisan tax commission recommendations.

In general I am a strong proponent of paying for things as you use them. Whether is driving (eg tolls), buying goods or merchandise(sales tax). I see our current regime which has a heavy focus on earnings as quite regressive as it penalizes those that might lead frugal life styles for instance, or vice versa can go light on those that make heavy users of things.

Hence I would be quite open to creating a means to tax people for the distance or direct usage of roadways.
 
lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:47 pm

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 38):
Ok good idea - cut gas taxes to zero and pay for roads from the general fund.

Not what I said. I said roll the fuel taxes into the general fund, and fund the federal highway obligations from there. As to increasing tax revenue, how about we start with cutting redundant and wasteful spending first?
 
photopilot
Posts: 3101
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:06 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 33):
That is fine, but I am not sure miles are the right way to do it. TIME might be the right way to do it. Hours of driving on public roadways.

Now there's another useless idea IMHO. What are you suggesting.... that they put a HOBBS meter in every car?

So, just FYI, I spend part of my driving time on PRIVATE roads that are 100% completely maintained by private business. Why should I pay any tax to the government for that privledge? Or here up north, are you suggesting that I should pay taxes to the Gov't for the privledge of warming up my car in the winter?

Ideas are good..... but practical ideas are better.
 
ajd1992
Posts: 2390
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:11 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:20 pm

They tried this in the UK a few years back. It was met with so much opposition that it thankfully never went through.

Pointless in the US though as a fair amount of interstates are toll roads anyway.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:44 pm

This is a terrible idea. Just absolutely disgusting.
What are the chances of this getting past the House?
Can't let this bill land on Obama's desk because you know he'll sign this crap legislation.
 
exFATboy
Posts: 1887
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:15 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:13 pm

The report does raise an interesting question - with the shift to electric cars and plug-in hybrids, the link between paying for roads through fuel taxes and use isn't as clear as it used to be, and the problem will only grow if electric cars become more popular.

In theory, a use tax like this is a good idea - you pay more tax based on use, and the tax could be varied by size and type of car to promote use of higher-mileage cars.

As a practical policy, though, there's all sorts of implementation problems - how do we measure miles used, how often is the tax paid?

But I wouldn't reject the idea out of hand, it's worth exploring.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Because of under investment in our infrastructure by the federal government

Why should the Federal government pay for California's public transportation? (Or anyone else's for that matter?)

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 39):
Lower the income tax rates, and adopt a VAT. Along the same lines the bipartisan tax commission recommendations.

In general I am a strong proponent of paying for things as you use them. Whether is driving (eg tolls), buying goods or merchandise(sales tax). I see our current regime which has a heavy focus on earnings as quite regressive as it penalizes those that might lead frugal life styles for instance, or vice versa can go light on those that make heavy users of things.

At the risk of being rude, are you sure you understand what the word "regressive" means? Consumption taxes, if not adjusted appropriately, are inherently more regressive than income taxes because the rich consume less of their income than the poor, so lower income people pay more of their income (as a percentage) in tax than wealthier people do.

The problem with consumption taxes is that, in order to keep them from becoming regressive, you have to have some sort of mechanism to reduce or eliminate the taxes paid by the poorest citizens - making certain purchases (groceries being the common) exempt, having some sort of "prebate" system to give the poorest back the tax, etc.

And, in the US at least, there's a fundamental difference between the taxes that fall on drivers (tolls, fuel taxes) and sales taxes - tolls and fuel taxes are used for road maintenance, so they are a "use tax", although in many places tolls and fuel taxes are also used to subsidize public transportation, so the "use" link is weakened. Sales taxes have no link to any government function that you "use", they just go into the general fund, just as income taxes do. (In some states, fuel has both a transportation-specific excise tax and general-fund sales tax imposed.)
 
PPVRA
Posts: 8613
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:48 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:31 pm

Quoting exFATboy (Reply 44):
At the risk of being rude, are you sure you understand what the word "regressive" means? Consumption taxes, if not adjusted appropriately, are inherently more regressive than income taxes because the rich consume less of their income than the poor, so lower income people pay more of their income (as a percentage) in tax than wealthier people do.

It depends a bit on context, doesn't it? If a tax penalizes those who are frugal to the benefit of those who are not, as pointed out by LAXintl, is that also not a regressive effect?

You are right with your description of what is usually meant by a "regressive" tax. . . but life is multi-dimensional, there are other angles to consider.
 
Ken777
Posts: 10197
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:34 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 39):
Lower the income tax rates, and adopt a VAT.

That shifts even more of a burden on those in the lower income brackets. Of course there would need to be a discussion on what services to tax. Probably not doctors, but certainly lawyers and accountants and other non-critical services.

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 40):
As to increasing tax revenue, how about we start with cutting redundant and wasteful spending first?

Want to address a huge program of massive redundancy? Consolidate Medicaid to the Federal level and you can eliminate the massive duplication of 50 Medicaid programs. Sometimes you have to choose between "state rights" and grossly over paying for 50 programs when one single program could do the job far more efficiently.
 
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GSPFlyer
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:15 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:44 pm

I'm too lazy to read every post, so I apologize if this has been asked...

Would I still be taxed for miles driven in other countries? (I am assuming that telling how many miles you have driven would be monitored by mileage on your vehicle.)
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:04 pm

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 36):
Let's quit paying for peoples food stamps from the gas tax before we ask for people to pay more....

We can also just raise the gas tax. There is nothing wrong with that.

Quoting photopilot (Reply 41):
So, just FYI, I spend part of my driving time on PRIVATE roads that are 100% completely maintained by private business. Why should I pay any tax to the government for that privledge? Or here up north, are you suggesting that I should pay taxes to the Gov't for the privledge of warming up my car in the winter?

Those issues are no different from those with a mileage tax. They have been solved. A $20 device can know how much time you have spent driving on public roadways.

Quoting GSPflyer (Reply 47):
Would I still be taxed for miles driven in other countries?

No, definitely not. This is about putting an (anonymous) GPS unit and identifier on your car, counting your miles or hours spent driving on public roads. It is an alternative to a higher gas tax.

Of course, the gas tax has less fuss. To treat it fairly, I suggest an energy tax, encouraging energy efficiency. An electric car uses energy so they should also pay for roads. I have nothing against cars and roads. Just trying to think of a fair taxation scheme to pay for them. Everyone agrees roads are important and must be paid for.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Democrats - Tax You By The Mile

Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:20 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 33):
That is fine, but I am not sure miles are the right way to do it. TIME might be the right way to do it. Hours of driving on public roadways.

Very much disagree. If I drive from A to B and it takes me 30 minutes as opposed to 10 minutes, I'm clearly going at a slower speed. And at slow speeds, I'm not doing as much damage to the roads.

-Mir

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