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Oregon looking to tax by the mile

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by RAScott, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. RAScott

    RAScott Member

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    I was just watching fox news and i seen that Oregon is looking to install a gps in your vehicle and when you pull to the pump it will set the tax rate for your vehicle and charge you per mile that your vehicle has driven.

    The preuis and so forth will have a lower rate, than say a GMC truck that doesn't get as good a milage. The pump will record the amount that you have driven and you will be taxed on the mileage.

    It sounds crazy, but it looks like these things are going to be the norm at some point and time. So much for freedom. Bob Scott
     
  2. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Some background....<br>
    <br>
    In Oregon, by a constitutional amendment decades ago by ticked off citizens, all fuel taxes here must go to road repair and projects. These taxes cannot be used for any other project. Oregon pretty much funds all regular road work from this pool.<br>
    <br>
    Right now in Oregon, gasoline is taxed at 43.4 cents per gallon, and diesel at 48.7 cents. Additional optional county gasoline (ranging from 1 to 3 cents per gallon) and city gasoline and diesel taxes (ranging from 1 to 5 cpg).<br>
    <br>
    The problem, from the standpoint of the state, is that as vehicles get more fuel efficient, the taxes being brought in by them are inadequate to pay for road maintenance and projects. For example, a vehicle that gets 40 mpg pays half the road taxes of one getting 20 mpg, assuming the same miles are driven. Multiply that by the average fleet, and that adds up to a significant loss in highway funding.<br>
    <br>
    There are three ways to deal with the problem:<br>
    <br>
    Do nothing. Revenue will drop, and more and more roads and bridges will literally crumble. That's already happening.<br>
    <br>
    Raise gas taxes. We're already running around 50 cents a gallon. Raising taxes across the board will really hit those with less fuel efficient vehicles. Environmentalists think this is a good idea. Those with older vehicles, SUVs, pickups and delivery vehicles do not.<br>
    <br>
    Have a two tiered approach with gas taxes for older vehicles, and newer, more fuel efficient vehicles pay by the mile. This especially targets hybrids, whose owners are really upset. Older, less fuel efficient vehicles would not get the GPS tracking, because it would actually cut their taxes if they went this route.<br>
    <br>
    I did not mention electric cars. Because they do not gas up, they would have to have some other way of being taxed. Right now they simply pay much higher vehicle registration fees, which has them screaming too.<br>
    <br>
    I do not have a real issue with this system per se, because the funds cannot be touched for other projects. The money has to go to roads, and they sure need it. And I can see how fuel efficient vehicles are reducing the funds. One drawback is that this system, at least for startup, is going to cost money, and everyone will have to pay for the new fuel pump interfaces that will deduct your per gallon gas tax, then add your mileage tax to your bill at the pump. This also adds more bureaucracy to run the program.<br>
    <br>
    My main criticism of this program is two-fold. First, the government simply cannot set a system in place without screwing it up by having to put in politically correct schemes. In this case, they want a "congestion tax", meaning if you drive during daylight hours, and especially rush hour, you pay more. As if people have a choice about their work hours. It's "feel good" crap that politicians do to "prove" they are "doing something" about whatever the cause de jour is.<br>
    <br>
    My other criticism is privacy. Obviously a "congestion tax" means Big Brother is already invading your privacy by seeing WHEN and WHERE you drive, in addition to how much you drive. I don't think it's any stretch of the imagination to look ahead to the state using GPS technology to check whether you are speeding. Such technology has already been put to use - by some car rental agencies, who "fine" their customers if the GPS unit in the rental cars reports they were speeding. In addition, it's none of government's business where I'm driving, and they certainly do not need to do things like keep a database on our driving habits. Where there is potential for government abuse, they always seem to manage to cross that line, sooner or later.
     
  3. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    Very well written description of the problem, Brian.

    Easystreet
     
  4. Fast Oil

    Fast Oil TS Member

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    If the answer to the problem is a drop in revenue due to fuel efficent autos, then the right thing to do is charge a higher rate to these eco cars. They are saving money at the pump so they should be "patriotic" and pay more taxes.
     
  5. waterhouselake

    waterhouselake TS Member

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    I could never figure Oregon out. They collect about all their revenue from the resident. Property tax and income tax. Why don't you replace the income tax with a sales tax and let some of the tourists and non residents help pay your load. Try contracting out the work and engineering of Oregon's roads on an "as need" basis rather than maintaining a permenent staff. Oh, excuse me! That would not be in the interests of the state workers and their interests are much superior to those of the taxpayer.
     
  6. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    They going to put a gps on your lawnmower to see what rate you pay? I'm using a generator right now for power, the thing hasn't moved an inch in a week, what rate would that be taxed?

    Government running out of money, how? I'm 53, old but not exactly prehistoric. Until I turned something like 12 or 13 we didn't even have a sales tax in this state (Indiana). Then it was 2% for something like 20 years now we are up to 7%. Plus we have income tax, and property tax. When we no sales tax in this state we had roads, bridges, schools, etc... In fact the schools then were much better than they are today.

    My question is - how come government ran okay on far less money 30 to 40 years ago than in can today on a lot more money?

    Wonder what the tax rate will be in another 25 years?
     
  7. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Bisi, actually you would not pay for your lawnmower or generator if you siphoned a newer GPS equipped vehicle's gas tank, because there would be no gas tax but a mileage tax.<br>
    <br>
    Which does bring up an interesting point. What's to prevent me from filling up a newer vehicle with fuel, not paying a road tax, then going home and transferring the fuel to an older vehicle that otherwise would pay a per gallon tax? I could save about 50 cents a gallon doing that. Maybe the system will be set up to know if you are using an inordinate amount of gas, but hey, if you weren't stupid about it you could siphon a few gallons off at a time.
     
  8. waterhouselake

    waterhouselake TS Member

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    Register one car out of state...
     
  9. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Not a good idea. Oregon vehicle registration is among the lowest in the nation.
     
  10. BILL GRILL

    BILL GRILL Well-Known Member

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    What did all the fruits and nuts from Ca. move to Oregon. Who comes up with these ideas?
     
  11. grunt

    grunt TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Tax`flatulation.
     
  12. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    I was born and raised in Oregon, but have not lived there since 1970. Even back then, one of Oregon's most popular Governors, Tom McCall, tried to push a sales tax. Every time it has come up for a vote it has gone down to resounding defeat. I'm convinced it is because the voters don't believe it when the politicians tell them it will lower their other taxes. Maybe it will for a year or two, but soon the voters will be stuck with a sales tax on top of high property taxes and an income tax. The appetite of Oregon (and California) politicians for tax dollars is insatiable.

    On the subject of the thread, Brian and the rest of you will just have to tell the politicians "Hell no! Try it and we'll vote you out of office!" As far as the road and bridge repair costs go, charge those who are doing all the damage - all those overweight trucks. Have you ever driven on a road where trucks were not allowed? I have - the Blue Ridge Parkway from Tennessee to Mississippi. It was a revelation. Who could believe a highway could be so smooth. How to move the goods you ask? How about by rail? One rail car carries at least as much as two trucks, and a single train runs with two people instead of two hundred trucks with two hundred drivers. It also gets four times the mileage of a truck per freight ton. Long distance trucking has never made economic sense to me, and wouldn't if they had to pay for the damage they do to our roads.
     
  13. omahasportingsupply

    omahasportingsupply TS Member

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    I think Brian has a fine point here. Many government ideas are half baked when they are unleashed on the taxpayer and the elected (or non elected) officials have not considered the outcomes if the citizens do what the government asks them to. When gas was costing $3 + per gallon, many government agencies were all over our TV set telling how to save gas and reduce our gas consumption. It worked, because at those prices, many people reduced the amount of gas they were buying. Unexpected outcome: Less gas purchased = fewer gas tax dollars. Now we don't have any money to do road repairs. So we need to tax you more to make up for the dollars we lost when you quit driving so much, .... because you followed their advice. GO FIGURE!!! IMHO Omaha
     
  14. daddiooo

    daddiooo TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    MR Pocatello,
    It's amazing that the residents of Oregon are now alarmed at the "by the mile" charge possibility of road use tax. Hell Oregon has been screwing the trucking companies for over 40 years with a 13.20 cents per mile road use tax, in addition to the tax at the pump.(probably higher now) You had to file and pay your road use tax monthly. Then the Oregon Dept of Revenue would contact you annually to do an "audit" of your reports. Not to mention the regular harrassment by the Oregon State Patrol and all the BS laws and fines we suffered over the years. (Like having snow chains "swinging in a visible manner" on your truck or trailer year round, and if not you got stopped and the fine was $300. You were then escorted to the nearest truck stop where you were forced to buy snow chains before you could leave, yes even on the 4th of July) We finally had to cease operations in Oregon due to the excessive cost associated with traveling there. Road use tax money and "Oregon Registration Fees" from trucking companies built and maintained your hiways for decades. Apparently Oregon doesn't put all they collect back into the roads. Ya'll are finally getting what we've been force fed for years. Now that it's your turn go ahead and cry about it.
     
  15. Copper46

    Copper46 Member

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    This was on Derry Brownfields radio program 2+years ago!
     
  16. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    I have not lived in Oregon since 1970, but I visit family there at least once per year, often more. If Oregon harasses truckers, it certainly does not include enforcing speed limits on them. The interstates are posted 65 mph for cars, 55 mph for trucks, but it is a very rare thing to see a truck going under 70 mph, and I never see one pulled over by the State Police.
     
  17. BT-100dc

    BT-100dc Active Member

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    Oregonians: how much of this socialism and liberalism are you willing to take? Are you letting the Portland & Eugene people (those of the fringe) think this crap up and possibly enact it? Need to take your State back or your State will be next placing cameras in your cars & homes. Maybe want to dust off your copy of George Orwell's 1984 to give you a hint as to what's coming. Darrell
     
  18. Dutchboy

    Dutchboy TS Member

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    Oregon's "mile/weight tax" for trucks is far higher than in the surrounding states. Oregon and BC are the two states/provinces I avoid like the plague because the taxes are so high. FWIW, Dutch.
     
  19. dbcook

    dbcook TS Member

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    til oregon caught on there were many in the trucking business that came in on 84 out of idaho going to portland area they simply logged running 84 to hermiston then 82 into washington then running 14 over to vancouver ,then 205 or 5 down into the portland area. this was because on top of the fuel tax it cost about another hundred bucks road tax to go from idaho to portland & back to idaho on 84. this was back in the 70,s & 80,s.i don,t know how itis now though. of course wyoming colorado new mexico have ton mile tax on top of fuel tax also. kansas & arkansas & kentucky have a property tax valuation on heavy duty trucks that run across those states on top of the fuel tax also. the truck tolls in the chicago area went from between 1.25 to 3.00... up to 4.00 to 9.00. back in to 80,s you sure didn,t run 70mph across 84 in oregon as pocatello claims they do now. dwain
     
  20. Lead Man

    Lead Man TS Member

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    I think the tax is secondary to the real problem. I sell GPS-Telematics to fleet vehicle owners. The issue to me would be the ability to tell everywhere I had been. This would be a gross invasion of privacy. If they can tell the number of miles driven the technology also can tell when and where you went. I suppose no one would violate any laws with this information. Just like running a background check on Ole Joe The Plumber never really happened.

    Like the 911 system on your phone can only be tracked by a 911 employee. Think about what they are really pushing towards. "Do you have your Papers" will no longer be a question. They will know where you go and when.

    Put it in my personal vehicle and I'll shoot it at the club for practice.
     
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