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Old 04-29-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
Fireball1
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Default Dems to monitor your miles, tax you

http://www.detnews.com/article/20090...380/1148/rss25

Quote:
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Top lawmaker wants mileage-based tax on vehicles

Joan Lowy / Associated Press

Washinton -- A House committee chairman said Tuesday that he wants Congress to enact a mileage-based tax on cars and trucks to pay for highway programs now rather than wait years to test the idea.

Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., said he believes the technology exists to implement a mileage tax. He said he sees no point in waiting years for the results of pilot programs since such a tax system is inevitable as federal gasoline tax revenues decline.

"Why do we need a pilot program? Why don't we just phase it in?" said Oberstar, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman. Oberstar is drafting a six-year transportation bill to fund highway and transit programs that is expected to total around a half trillion dollars.

A congressionally mandated commission on transportation financing alternatives recommended switching to a vehicle-miles traveled tax, but estimated it would take a decade to put a national system in place.

"I think it can be done in far less than that, maybe two years," Oberstar said at a House hearing. He was responding to testimony by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who recommended that the transportation bill include pilot programs in every state to test the viability of a mileage-based tax.

Blumenauer said public acceptance, not technology, is the main obstacle to a mileage-based tax.

Pilot programs "would be able to increase public awareness and comfort and it would hasten the day we could make the transition," Blumenauer said.

Oberstar shrugged off that concern.

"I'm at a point of impatience with more studies," Oberstar said. He suggested that Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the highways and transit subcommittee, set up a meeting of transportation experts and members of Congress to figure out how it could be done.

The tax would entail equipping vehicles with GPS technology to determine how many miles a car has been driven and whether on interstate highways or secondary roads. The devices would also calculate the amount of tax owed.

"At this point there are a lot of things that are under consideration and there is also a strong need to find revenue," Oberstar spokesman Jim Berard said. "A vehicle miles-traveled tax is a logical complement, and perhaps a future replacement, for fuel taxes."

Gas tax revenues -- the primary source of federal funding for highway programs -- have dropped dramatically in the last two years, first because gas prices were high and later because of the economic downturn. They are forecast to continue going down as drivers switch to fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has ruled out raising gas taxes to make up for the funding shortfall, and the White House has rejected a mileage-based tax. They have not offered an alternative.

"The funding of the highway trust fund is a complex issue that will require consultation with Congress and consideration of a number of creative ideas," said Transportation Department spokeswoman Jill Zuckman. "The secretary looks forward to working with Chairman Oberstar and others as they consider how to keep the highway trust fund going."

A mileage-based tax has been unpopular in some states where it has been proposed. Critics say it unfairly penalizes drivers who live in rural areas and intrudes on privacy.

"When we can solve the equity issues to a majority's satisfaction in the Congress, when we can solve the privacy issues to the satisfaction of the American people, we can look at moving forward, but I just don't think we have the data or the experience right now to say we can set a timeline or a deadline," DeFazio said in a recent interview.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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And a big FU to you Oberstar!
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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If revenues are down due to high fuel prices (people travelling less) and adopting smaller more fuel efficient vehicles (which incur less wear on roads and such) then less funding should be necessary... . Not to mention that the big brother aspects are staggering... .
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:48 PM   #4
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A mileage tax is an absolutely asnine idea and likely not going anywhere. Retro-fitting every frakkin car with gps is nuts. There's already a system in place. That would be the gas tax. Drive less and/or get better mpg and ya get taxed less.

Nah... that's too simple.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:04 PM   #5
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I'll disconnect it
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:12 PM   #6
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I have no problem with a use-based tax - but that's what a gas tax already is. So why complicate it?

_Jeff
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:20 PM   #7
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Perhaps this Oberstar guy has stock in a GPS based microchip company.. possible.. perhaps.

I like it when he said the public needs to get warmed up to the idea of getting taxed. Sorry, I lean to the republican side of things, I will never get use to the idea of getting taxed even more than I already am.

But the way his colleague said it. We have to do it slowly to we can get the public use to it and not shock them

Every try to boil a frog. If you drop him in boiling water he will jump out. IF you put him in lukewarm water and raise the temp slowly you can cook him.

WE the American people are being slowly boiled. One asinine bill after the other is lowering our sensitivity to white house stupidity.

Dear white house, its OUR COUNTRY, not yours. You dont get to play with it like its your new toy at our expense. Its time you start SERVING your citizens.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:38 PM   #8
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I guess its time to start making a mod chips to F up the GPS's to register to the moon, Tax that Bisniches

Raise the gas prices to $5 a gallon (last year) and they thought we would drive more? Of course the people rethink things a bit and wait, drive less and or by more fuel efficient cars.

Finally, glad to see my tax $$ being spent on NY photo fly overís, bailout of European banks and how to tax us more for driving on roads and less money for SS . We are so doing the right thing
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:46 PM   #9
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As for the inflamatory thread title: "Dems to monitor your miles, tax you"

Here's the list of people on the committee: http://transportation.house.gov/about.aspx

Quote:

James L. Oberstar, Minnesota, Chairman

Democrats

* Nick J. Rahall, II, West Virginia
* Peter A. DeFazio, Oregon
* Jerry F. Costello, Illinois
* Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia
* Jerrold Nadler, New York
* Corrine Brown, Florida
* Bob Filner, California
* Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas
* Gene Taylor, Mississippi
* Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland
* Ellen O. Tauscher, California
* Leonard L. Boswell, Iowa
* Tim Holden, Pennsylvania
* Brian Baird, Washington
* Rick Larsen, Washington
* Michael E. Capuano, Massachusetts
* Timothy H. Bishop, New York
* Michael H. Michaud, Maine
* Russ Carnahan, Missouri
* Grace F. Napolitano, California
* Daniel Lipinski, Illinois
* Mazie K. Hirono, Hawaii
* Jason Altmire, Pennsylvania
* Timothy J. Walz, Minnesota
* Heath Shuler, North Carolina
* Michael A. Arcuri, New York
* Harry E. Mitchell, Arizona
* Christopher P. Carney, Pennsylvania
* John J. Hall, New York
* Steve Kagen, Wisconsin
* Steve Cohen, Tennessee
* Laura Richardson, California
* Albio Sires, New Jersey
* Donna F. Edwards, Maryland
* Solomon P. Ortiz, Texas
* Phil Hare, Illinois
* John A. Boccieri, Ohio
* Mark H. Schauer, Michigan
* Betsy Markey, Colorado
* Parker Griffith, Alabama
* Michael E. McMahon, New York
* Thomas S.P. Perriello, Virginia
* Dina Titus, Nevada
* Harry Teague, New Mexico

Republicans

* John L. Mica, Florida, Ranking - Republican Member
* Don Young, Alaska
* Thomas E. Petri, Wisconsin
* Howard Coble, North Carolina
* John J. Duncan, Jr., Tennessee
* Vernon J. Ehlers, Michigan
* Frank A. LoBiondo, New Jersey
* Jerry Moran, Kansas
* Gary G. Miller, California
* Henry E. Brown, South Carolina
* Timothy V. Johnson, Illinois
* Todd Russell Platts, Pennsylvania
* Sam Graves, Missouri
* Bill Shuster, Pennsylvania
* John Boozman, Arkansas
* Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
* Jim Gerlach, Pennsylvania
* Mario Diaz-Balart,Florida
* Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania
* Connie Mack,Florida
* Lynn A. Westmoreland, Georgia
* Jean Schmidt, Ohio
* Candice S. Miller, Michigan
* Mary Fallin, Oklahoma
* Vern Buchanan, Florida
* Robert E. Latta, Ohio
* Brett Guthrie, Kentucky
* Anh "Joseph" Cao, Louisiana
* Aaron Schock, Illinois
* Pete Olson, Texas



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Old 04-29-2009, 09:59 PM   #10
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Such a terrible idea. I know this has been discussed for years in places like Seattle, but I didn't know it had finally reached our nations lawmakers. Just bump the tax on unleaded fuel to $2.00 a gallon for on-road use. Create some real mass transit solutions that make sense for our public. I don't know about you guys, but I would rather ride in a train or monorail over a bus any day.

I'm more worried about Social Security and Medicare than this crazy stupid mileage usage idea coming from our elected officials.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:03 PM   #11
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Double.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigpin View Post
I'll disconnect it
+ 12345. Put something in my car, and guess what? It's mine to tinker with.


I'm sure the tourism board is loving this.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:43 PM   #13
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Such a system would only make sense if you're planning to tax different classes of vehicles differently, say if you wanted to exempt heavy trucks. If not you could just raise fuel taxes and be done with it, without having to spend hundreds of billions on GPS systems.

They're taxing the wrong thing too. What's so bad about the act of driving? Energy consumption is the problem, not driving.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:25 AM   #14
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Energy consumption = how much we eat.

FAT tax. Seriously.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:31 AM   #15
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It wont advance out of committee, dont worry
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:22 AM   #16
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wouldnt it be cheaper to just have more toll booths? the toll system in japan(expencive) is pretty efficient. there are booths on entrances and exits to the expressways. you toll goes up the more distance you are actually traveling on the expressway. or raise the gas tax like the rest of the world. or change the vehicle tax system to one similar to europe and japan? fitting every car with GPS is ridiculous.



lol@house dems, i wont even get political
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lboogie View Post
It wont advance out of committee, dont worry
this.
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireball1 View Post
Partisan much?

Even in the article it states that THE WHITE HOUSE opposes a mileage-based tax.

Idiot.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireball1 View Post
"At this point there are a lot of things that are under consideration and there is also a strong need to find revenue," Oberstar spokesman Jim Berard said. "A vehicle miles-traveled tax is a logical complement, and perhaps a future replacement, for fuel taxes."
This part jumped out at me.

I predict we will eventually move to some sort of mileage based tax. It seems to be a simpler proposition, though, to have a yearly mileage inspection on which to base the tax.

For the record, I oppose most taxes, and think that this would be incredibly intrusive.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:44 AM   #20
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What a stupid idea! If you want to tax miles, tax gas! It gives incentive to get a high-mpg car, doesn't cost a ****load to install and maintain, and is much easier to collect (get a check from the gas companies).
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:14 PM   #21
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GPS tax my ass more like government control. If they ever start doing this we will see letters in our mailbox you have exceeded 10mph in a zone of 45, 110$ fine, you entered a ramp to fast exceeded 5mph bam 90$.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQ3.0dotJP View Post
wouldnt it be cheaper to just have more toll booths? the toll system in japan(expencive) is pretty efficient. there are booths on entrances and exits to the expressways. you toll goes up the more distance you are actually traveling on the expressway. or raise the gas tax like the rest of the world. or change the vehicle tax system to one similar to europe and japan? fitting every car with GPS is ridiculous.

lol@house dems, i wont even get political
We have tolls all over New England, and there are always threats to bring more back. But tolls have problems too, recently there was a 10+ mile back up on Easter because all the toll workers called out sick, and very few people have the speedpass to get through without paying an actual worker (not to mention, they were stuck in 10+ miles of traffic).

Gas tax is a better idea, but once you raise the tax, people buy more fuel efficient cars, and then you have to raise the tax again. Same with mass transit, the cost to run it is so high, that if you raise prices to cover the cost of operation, people will just start driving again.

Since most people put miles on their car driving to work, why not just tax companies based on their distance from mass transportation? Or, conversely, give them tax credits if they do build near mass transportation.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bal00 View Post
Such a system would only make sense if you're planning to tax different classes of vehicles differently, say if you wanted to exempt heavy trucks. If not you could just raise fuel taxes and be done with it, without having to spend hundreds of billions on GPS systems.

They're taxing the wrong thing too. What's so bad about the act of driving? Energy consumption is the problem, not driving.
12345 The only problem with raising gas taxes is that it would be politically unpopular, although I'm not sure this GPS idea would go over any better.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:41 PM   #24
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If this ever came to be I'm moving to Somalia, doubt that I'd be surveiled by the government there!
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:45 PM   #25
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I guess that's what this is, politicians coming up with the most ridiculous ideas just to avoid mentioning gas taxes. It'd be hugely impractical too:
What about motorcycles and trucks/cars from other countries?
How do you attach something to a car so that it can't be removed?
What if you tow cars on a trailer?
How does the government get the mileage data?
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