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Matt Herring 12-29-2008 11:19 PM

A Step in the Right Direction?
Oregon moving towards mileage tax instead of gas below...

Albany Democrat Herald: Archived Articles

McTimson 12-30-2008 12:22 AM

Sounds like it taxes the economic cars more, based on the taxes they listed.


A GPS-based system kept track of the in-state mileage driven by the volunteers. When they bought fuel, a device in their vehicles was read, and they paid 1.2 cents a mile and got a refund of the state gas tax of 24 cents a gallon.
30 MPG vehicle:
300 miles = $3.60
10 gallons = $2.40
Assuming gas is $2/gallon : $20 - $2.40 + $3.60 = $21.20 = $2.12/gallon overall

10 MPG vehicle:
300 miles = $3.60
30 gallons = $7.20
Assuming gas is $2/gallon : $60 - $7.20 + $3.60 = $56.4 = $1.88/gallon overall

So, if you drive economically, you pay more per gallon than you do if you drive like you don't care. I guess overall, you still pay more if you drive poorly, but you wouldn't get taxed as much as if you drove carefully. It punishes the economical vehicles while it helps the low MPG vehicles.

Snax 12-30-2008 12:25 AM

My understanding is that in official terms, this idea has been a non-starter, and I am personally against it because it removes the burden from gas guzzlers via the fuel tax. In other words, cheaper fuel for all, spreading the tax burden out onto those who choose to drive more efficient vehicles.

Basically they are just trying to change the color of the lipstick on the pig and charge the owners of more efficient vehicles disproportionately more for the damage that the larger vehicles do to the road. In a nutshell, it's crap.

KJSatz 12-30-2008 12:27 AM

I don't fully understand, but it feels like a step in the wrong direction for me. I can understand a justification, that the more miles you drive the more damage you're doing to the roads, so they more you should pay for them. However, my Civic does a lot less damage to roads than a big SUV. Wouldn't this mileage tax DISCOURAGE getting a more efficient vehicle and driving it efficiently if gas were even cheaper--no state gas tax if you're using the mileage tracker? If you aren't getting the revenue you need from the gas tax, raise it.

Frank Lee 12-30-2008 12:39 AM

It's too big brother for me. :mad:

hypermiler01 12-30-2008 04:09 AM

Nope, disincentivises good fuel economy.

instarx 12-30-2008 09:19 AM

This clearly makes drivers with efficient cars subsidize SUV drivers. That seems way wrong to me.

I have an EZ-Pass transmitter assigned to my car that transmits data when I go through toll booths. The toll booth knows the size of the car the transmitter is assigned to, so bigger vehicles pay higher tolls. By having similar transmitters send vehicle data to the gas pump it would seem easy enough to charge a variable per-mile tax based on the vehicle. That way a fuel efficient car could be charged less tax per mile than an SUV. Or, the per-mile charge could be associated with vehicle weight. There are any number of ways that are better than just mindlessly charging every car the same per mile tax.

What a boon to the trucking industry a one size fits all tax would be! Wonder who is behind the idea?

jamesqf 12-30-2008 12:18 PM

I'd bet on urban legend: the same story's been around in various forms for a decade or more.

trikkonceptz 12-30-2008 01:08 PM

There are still ways to get around this if it were ever passed.

-Buy an electric car ...
-Buy your gas in containers, 10 gallons at a time. In which case the gas tax would be less than the uber miles you racked up hypermiling, thus further cutting the number of trips you make to the gas station.

-If they could tweak it to reward efficient vehicles, then I could agree. I wouldn't mind paying a slightly higher tax to support the road I drive on daily, but as an exchange I would like much lower gas prices for the effort I make to save fuel.

Matt Herring 12-30-2008 03:07 PM

I also disagree with this proposal...hence the "Step in the Right Direction" with the ? at the end.

It is too big is too "spread the wealth" or in this case "spread the tax."

Big Dave 12-30-2008 06:09 PM

Another d****d tax. Not acceptable.

Christ 12-30-2008 07:54 PM

Screw set mileage tax, and screw fuel tax altogether.

You wanna make moar moneyz?

Charge people based on their MPG vs. the EPA rating for their car. You can't get the EPA rating, at the very least - YOU pay the $3.00 a gallon for gas...

If you get EPA on average, you pay less... the more you go over EPA, you pay a percentage less again.

Not based on single trip data, either, based on real averages, like a 90-day rolling average.

So, f.i. - I get 20% higher than EPA, and under EPA gas price is $3.00 a gallon - I pay $2.00 a gallon for at least getting EPA rating, then, I get a break even further for getting another 20% OVER EPA rating.

Frankly, it's EASY AS HELL to get EPA rating in any vehicle, to the extent that I've never gotten LESS, even loaded down. (most of the time, anyway... loaded down, I've gotten less occaisionally)

This makes it indifferent to whether your car weighs a ton or an ounce, but gives benefit to those of us who actually drive with the intention of getting there safely and as cheaply (economically cheap and monetarily cheap) as possible.

Someone mentioned that e-vehicles (which don't need gasoline) could get away without paying the road taxes... I'm sure a government that can think of this kind of "crap" way of taxing the public can think of a way to get around this loophole... and you and I both know they would.

Snax 12-31-2008 10:26 AM

The one issue that none of us has touched yet is cost of implementation. Taxing fuel is easy, and the system to manage it is already in place. Taxing mileage via transponders etc. requires investing in a whole new set of monitoring equipment, management, reliability, and potential fraud issues. My bet is that somebody in the industry that sells this technology is behind the push to put it into place.

And apparently, for those not in Oregon, this proposal is still very much on the table with our governor. It's letter time Oregonians!

Snax 12-31-2008 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by Snax (Post 80950)
And apparently, for those not in Oregon, this proposal is still very much on the table with our governor. It's letter time Oregonians!

The Governor has been given my $.02. :cool:

Matt Herring 12-31-2008 11:02 AM


Originally Posted by Snax (Post 80951)
The Governor has been given my $.02. :cool:

Did you give it to him in the form of a check, cash or credit card for the new mileage tax?:D

trikkonceptz 12-31-2008 11:54 AM


Originally Posted by Snax (Post 80950)
The one issue that none of us has touched yet is cost of implementation. Taxing fuel is easy, and the system to manage it is already in place. Taxing mileage via transponders etc. requires investing in a whole new set of monitoring equipment, management, reliability, and potential fraud issues. My bet is that somebody in the industry that sells this technology is behind the push to put it into place.

And apparently, for those not in Oregon, this proposal is still very much on the table with our governor. It's letter time Oregonians!

Funny you mention that ... On basiccally all road in Florida I am starting to see these road posts that have cameras and sensors on them. It looks like it could read our sunpass devices and basically has been implemented without any of our knowledge or approval. My guess is, we are next in some sort of "program" to monitor our driving habits. Who knows, I may have to make an effort and stop a cop to see if they know what those big brother devices are ..

Matt Herring 12-31-2008 11:58 AM

Trik -

They might be speeding sensors. A friend of mine in Texas got a speeding ticket in the mail with a pic of her license plate and an invoice with her speed and the posted speed. About 10 years ago they had the same system in place on the QEW (road from Buffalo to Toronto) and it was for speed enforcement. A guy running for government won the ticket based solely on the fact that he promised to remove the system if elected. The QEW is basically the Audobon in Canada.

Doofus McFancypants 02-20-2009 10:57 AM

This topic was on the radio this AM. and i have to say - I think there is a solid basic argument for something OTHER than Gas Tax.

Maintining roads / bridges takes $$
Cars who use the road are using those services.
So those who use it should pay for there use of it.

Gas tax was easy - but getting outdated

But.... ( And not to pick on BEN here - but he is going to be GAS FREE)
Ben's Electric Metro IS using the highway and causing ( all-be-it small) some wear on the roadway surface. Once his Truck is done and he is on Bio-D he wil have another not using any gas. Should he not pay for the maintaince of that roadway?

Or to put it another way - Should I, even with my hypermileing and furgal use of gas, have to pay for HIS use because i am not off gas?

I will agree that a WEIGHT component does need to be captures as well - cause an H2 will cause more damage per mile than a metro.

But listening to the arguments - GAS tax has to go away and be replaced with something else....

GPS tracking systems can be hacked and mis-used. Odometers can be messed with as well.

Maybe a BlackBox tracking only mileage and "bulletproof"?

Not sure - but something will have to change

shovel 02-20-2009 11:45 AM

I think a fuel tax is already, and still perfect for 2009 because it IS an incentive to make your vehicle more efficient, to make better purchase decisions, to go alternative fuel, etc. So in a way, gas guzzlers are subsidizing EV's, and for right now that's perfect.

As has been mentioned, heavier vehicles naturally get worse mileage (for the most part) and also do more damage to the roads. Perfect.

I can imagine in 10 years we'll need a new plan as EV's and such become more prevalent and it's good to start thinking about it now.... but today in 2009, what 1 in 10000 vehicles on the road are not fueled by gasoline?

Matt Herring 02-20-2009 11:55 AM

Article I picked up on about proposed tax by the mile driven rather than by the gallon. I don't believe this favors hypermilers (at least those that drive alot but maximize fuel efficiency). Instead of getting the most of out of a gallon we would actually be taxed by the mile now (of course we would still save on fuel used but the savings might be offset by miles driven). And, assuming fuel prices will balloon again at some point this tax could be painful if you drive alot of miles. Still, the less gas you use the better you are making out.

AP Interview: Transportation secretary says taxing how much we drive may replace gasoline tax --

wyatt 02-20-2009 05:39 PM

We talked about this today at lunch... Installing GPS tracking devices on all automobiles starting in 2010 would be a great way for all auto manufacturers to sell their current inventory! Just think... If you don't want the device in your car, you buy an '09 or older model... Used cars start looking more attractive to consumers as well. Of course all of this was said in jest, but it just might work.

vinny1989 02-20-2009 06:11 PM

How about using the UK road tax system?

Cars are taxed by engine size. A 1L car is cheap tax, whilst a 4L truck is higher tax:

1L car: Approx 120 p/yr
4L Truck: Approx 400 p/yr

Its simple, charges people with bigger engines more and as a bonus, hybrid vehicle's only pay 35 p/yr and electric are totally exempt, 0.00 p/yr.

cfg83 02-20-2009 06:31 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hello -

The same thing was floated in California today, but somebody, maybe the governator, shot it down.

vinny1989 -

That sounds logical. It sounds similar to the Kei car legislation in Japan, which encourages sub-700cc cars :

Attachment 2781


wagonman76 02-23-2009 01:08 PM

They've been talking about that here too. We were talking about it at work the other day, and someone said all they would have to do for administration is require an odometer reading when you renew your plates every year or transfer the title to someone else.

For Michigan, it would be another blow to the economy and crumbling roads. At least the gas tax keeps the money here where the vehicles are driven, no matter who owns them. A good portion of all vehicles on the road around here belong to another state, and most of those are recklessly driven gas guzzlers. So with the mileage tax they can come beat up our roads and their home state gets the money. But it is another way to relieve tourists from any responsibilty for their actions, which anyone in power is all for.

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