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km gresham
02-15-2005, 02:09 PM
What are your thoughts on this. I think it is a way of punishing people who own fuel efficient vehicles - well, actually it's a way to get the money the govt. is losing in gas tax, but I don't think it will have the effect they want.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/02/14/eveningnews/main674120.shtml

Matt J.
02-15-2005, 02:20 PM
I guess all I can say is :mad: and I'm grateful for the 2nd amendment (I'd like to shoot... the onboard computer).

Damned if I'll go along with that one.

Katherine
02-15-2005, 02:21 PM
I don't even know where to begin. I'm all for GPS sysems but not when they're used by the goverment to tax people. I see the logic in states loosing their tax reenue to fuel efficient vehicles, but haven't states like california been lobbying for fuel efficient cars for years? They finally get what they wanted and they're still not happy. It really is turning into 1984.

Keith Wilson
02-15-2005, 02:22 PM
Seems really stupid to me, and it probably won't fly politically. If one wanted to connect taxes rationally to the amount of wear and tear on the roads, you'd have to do mileage times a factor for weight, but that seems even sillier. Raising the gas tax a bit would be a lot simpler, and wouldn't require a bunch of new electronics in every car.

[ 02-15-2005, 02:25 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

km gresham
02-15-2005, 02:22 PM
I think it negates the advantage of the fuel efficient car for the consumer, doesn't it?

km gresham
02-15-2005, 02:23 PM
Judging by the reactions already here, I don't think it'll pass. But it is California, so you never know.

Maybe they're planning for when people don't require gasoline to run their cars. They'll have to come up with a different system than a gas tax then and with the hybrids coming out I guess they think it's just a matter of time.

[ 02-15-2005, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: km gresham ]

dmede
02-15-2005, 02:30 PM
The idea to tax by the mile, or by usage in a sense, could be a good one. But I will never drive a vehicle that is being monitered via GPS.

once your hooked up it would be easy to start usign that system to monitor other driving behavoir. speeding, minor traffic infractions. where you go during the day.

odometer reding would never work. i lie all the time about mine (insurance). and if they started checking, id just unhook it for part of each year.

George Roberts
02-15-2005, 02:50 PM
So how should we pay for roads?

I am in favor of $5/gal gas tax. Most people are not.

I am all in favor of paying by weight. Lets put a weigh station t each gas pump.

I am in favor of paying for the convience of using the roads at rush hour.

The problem is noone likes taxes. So taxes do not get changed.

George.
02-15-2005, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Keith Wilson:
Raising the gas tax a bit would be a lot simpler...In Europe, maybe. ;)

Paul Pless
02-15-2005, 03:12 PM
What a novel idea.

Yeah right, libertarians and true conservatives have been proposing usage fees for services for about 100 years now.

I'd be willing to bet there's a conservative economist on that Oregon State team.

Dan McCosh
02-15-2005, 03:17 PM
Nothing much new to the concept. The first reaction to the popularity of small cars in the 1974 energy crisis was to change from charging for license plates by weight, to an effective surcharge on small cars. The tax incentive was the opposite of what the crisis demanded, but the urge for revenue overwhelmed common sense. Taxing by weight, of course, is more or less related to the wear and tear on the roads as well as encouraging smaller cars. If a rational tax structure encouraging fuel economy is not adopted, fuel economy will never improve. Taxes need to be related to weight, horsepower, engine displacement and efficiency, as well as the cost of fuel before a significant improvement is seen.

Keith Wilson
02-15-2005, 03:21 PM
Yeah, so instead of raising the gas tax a couple of cents, we install a GPS mileage monitor, with RF automatic reading in every car at a cost of - what, $100 each in quantity? Then we install a reader in every gas pump, with some automatic device to add tax based on mileage at maybe $5000 each? I'm picking reasonable figures; we can't really assume that, so tripling them would probably be justified. Then add the costs for maintenance and enforcement - if your GPS unit is broken, or the pump can't read your mileage for some reason, it won't let you buy gas? Oh, that'll be popular.

So we spend $10 to set up the machinery to collect $1 in taxes. Yeah, that's a good plan.
:rolleyes:

[ 02-15-2005, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

km gresham
02-15-2005, 03:25 PM
What really excites me is that there are people who as soon as they wake up in the morning start trying to figure out how to get more money out of our pockets. :rolleyes:

NormMessinger
02-15-2005, 03:31 PM
So why don't we each build our own roads that just go where we want to go and get the gov't, blood suckers, out of our lives?

seafox
02-15-2005, 03:32 PM
first off they need more frugal highway engineers. a nearby city if looking at (IIRC) 4 milion for an under pass or 6 milion for an over pass to get over a railroad crossing another over pass cost 14 milion in roy ( they also widened the road but when you compair the area they crossed vrs the area the train ran through it is crazy a somple arch over the tracks would have been suficent. if the railroad had built the over pass I dare say it would have been a much shorter bridge

all the highway bridges I see seem to be twice as long as needed because the span concrete faced sloped areas on each side of the roadway.

down in farmingtom they spent another 14 milion on an enterchange had it been shoehorned in to the prperty they already had again the bridges would have been shorter the construction much faster and the only loss I could see would of having people turning from oone road 90 degrees to another have to slow down. inssteed the sprawled the design out . their will always be more landscape maintance and they took a fair amount of property that had to be paid for. then just a month after they finished it the decited that it wasn't what they wanted becasue a new road way was being built to connect near by and they tore much of what they had just built up and rebuilt it.

to the origional question. how much wear does a car put on the road way?
the fuil taxes are about equell to the road construction cost.
the last 10 year highway bill was for 280 bilion. federal fuil taxes are 24 cents a gallon including 4.2 cents for "debt reduction" each cent brings in about a bilion dollers a year. this is we didn't have that "debt reduction" going into the general treasury we infact would have very little comming out of the general treasury for highway funds.

I sure hope that any polition who tries to pass such a bill is booted from office. and as another wrote the gps unit would very quickly be converted to tickiting people as a way to raid even more money.
jeffery

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
02-15-2005, 04:56 PM
KM has it wrong; It has nothing to do with gasoline taxes, this is a fee for taking up space.

We already have a similar idea in the UK - London has introduced a "Congestion Charge" so that the driver has to pay to enter certain areas of the city. No GPS involved just digital cameras and automatic licence plate recognition.
There are moves to implement similar or related schemes in other cities, and people are considering automated tolling on motorways - perhaps with differing rates depending on the time of day.

uncas
02-15-2005, 05:21 PM
Interesting article Km...
Sooo it may start with fuel efficient cars and that system now in place with Chrysler...but it ain't gonna end there...
Big brother is gonna be watching...from the sky or on the ground.

Meerkat
02-15-2005, 05:28 PM
No need to resort to GPS for this: they'll simply track you and your RFID ID/DL card and tax your (personal) use of roads and sidewalks, with a side benefit of knowing where you are at all times!

If you can't pay your monthly bill, you'll have to stay at home. Think of it as a kind of home arrest, <strike>criminal</strike> citizen!

BTW, they're (business, government) busily working on a sheme, set for introduction ~2007, that will permit you to use your computer only if you pay the subscription fee for the software it uses - and you won't be allowed to load other (unapproved) software or use your computer in any other way unless you pay the peridodic fee (to Microsoft et. al.).

Oh yeah, and remember Shrubbie's little kicker that slid by in the SOTU address: increased collection of DNA informatino on people.

[ 02-15-2005, 05:34 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

ljb5
02-15-2005, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by km gresham:
I think it negates the advantage of the fuel efficient car for the consumer, doesn't it?Um, no. Gas still costs money, whether or not it is taxed, so fuel efficiency will still have an advantage for the consumer.

If they do introduce this tax, they'll probably keep the gas tax, so the advantage for fuel efficiency is the same.

Basically, this is just a tollway system, like there is on thousands of roads across the country. People don't like them, but you've got to pay for roads.

Traditionally, conservatives like user-fee based systems rather than blanket taxes because it give more power to the individual. In this case, a person can have a direct effect on how much tax they are charged. Personal choice, personal responsibility.

I think it's a perfectly sensible proposal, if it can be implemented efficiently. It would be better if it took into account the car's weight.

[ 02-15-2005, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: ljb5 ]

Phillip Allen
02-15-2005, 07:54 PM
tax on folks using the government's roads...heard in an Arkansas truck stop..."What is orange all over and sleeps four?" answer is "a hiway maintance truck in Arkansas"

Dan McCosh
02-15-2005, 08:01 PM
Re: the tax proposal. This is another regressive tax, which would hit those needing to commute the longest the hardest--which translates to those unable to afford housing close to work. The weight tax is the most directly related to actual wear and tear on the roads, but this usually is likewise skewed to subsidize hauling freight by trucks. It also doesn't raise enough revenue for road maintenance. Gas consumption is more or less related to wear and tear as well, so the real solution would be to raise taxes on fuel.

ljb5
02-15-2005, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by Dan McCosh:
This is another regressive tax, which would hit those needing to commute the longest the hardest--which translates to those unable to afford housing close to work.My experience is that richer people tend to have longer commutes. When I was a kid, the rich lived way up the valley and drove an hour into town every morning. Around here, the expensive houses are in sprawling suburbs way out of town.

Memphis Mike
02-15-2005, 08:19 PM
The answer:

Corn.....

Peter Malcolm Jardine
02-15-2005, 09:27 PM
The gas tax system is horribly out of date. Canada uses a similiar system and it doesn't work either. The theory with gas tax was to use a dominant portion of it to rebuild and maintain road systems. It was, in the period that it was introduced a relatively connected way to tax use of roadways.

Now that the technology has changed, the opportunity here is to truly change the gas tax system to a user pay system, an eminently fairer tax system. I'm assuming they will use a electronic reading system, and it will be reasonably complicated on a statewide system. There would be adjustments for weight and vehicle class, as well as for gas mileage. There could be rewards for low useage, and penalties for high useage in certain categories. Ultimately the system has very few boundaries, and could be applied on a federal or state level. The technology already exists. The software would have to be developed, but it's not that complicated

This kind of tax system has nothing to do with gas, other than this was the traditional carrier of the tax. There will continue to be price increases in fuel, and that will continue to stimulate sales of fuel efficient cars. My understanding is that this is a pilot project for the State of Oregon, who will be analyzing and collecting data over a six year period. This is a way of looking at road useage and the money required to maintain road systems in a fair and equitable manner. ;)

seafox
02-15-2005, 10:05 PM
at least at the federal level the amount of money recived from gasoline tax is roughtly the same as the federal money spent on the highway system. the only shortage in the system is money diverted to lower the national debt and for mass transit.
jeffery

Katherine
02-15-2005, 10:11 PM
We have mass transit? Not in Detroit.

High C
02-15-2005, 11:07 PM
Cars have only a negligible wear and tear effect on roadways. That excuse is a nonstarter.

Heavy trucks cause some wear and tear, especially in areas with soft ground.

The biggest cause by far, is weather, not the amount or type of traffic.

ljb5
02-16-2005, 12:48 AM
C, are you going to propose a tax on rain?

It seems simple to me -- you use it, you pay for it.

Phillip Allen
02-16-2005, 06:22 AM
I am reminded of stories about the railroads of the early west. One had to pay the railroad companies to cross the rails and some were denied altogether if they were competing with the rails. The point, in my view is that there exists a great temptation to control travel in order to control people. I believe folks, thus put in the position of being supplicants (needing some sort of pass which could then be taken away, perhaps), would be viewed as more pliant/malleable to a governmentís wishes.

LeeG
02-16-2005, 07:29 AM
weather is a greater wear and tear on roadways than usage? Wow,,I bet the same goes for people and tires.

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 07:47 AM
Here in VA, and in many parts of the northeast, we have a toll road system which employs an electronic reader to collect tolls as you pass the booth, so that I only have to slow down to 35 mph or so at the toll booths (EZ-Pass and Smart Tag). I think it would be much easier to implement these tolls at booths on the road, electronically, instead of at the gas pump. This way, the tolls are collected with minimal traffic disruption, and there is no need to track my vehicle with GPS. (Basically, the system I already use). Also, if they want to charge differing rates for differing traffic conditions or peak hours, it would be quite easy to implement. People who don't want the reader can still sit in line, just like they do now. All of this gas-pump odometer-reader talk sounds like someone trying to reinvent the wheel.

Spelling edit.

[ 02-16-2005, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: Garrett Lowell ]

High C
02-16-2005, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by LeeG:
weather is a greater wear and tear on roadways than usage? Wow,,I bet the same goes for people and tires.Are you disputing my claim, or just tossing up a little fluff?

ahp
02-16-2005, 09:40 AM
Some european countries tax annually based on engine displacement. Sounds like an idea.

I would love to see someone try to navigate down a nodiget road in Cornwall in an American SUV, unless I was coming the other way.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
02-16-2005, 11:19 AM
Cars have only a negligible wear and tear effect on roadways Yes weather has a terrible effect on roadways, that are USED BY CARS.

Road systems include: signs, lines, reflectors, guardrails, bridges, off ramps, lights, shoulders, drainage, windbreaks, and a whole host of other things.

As usual, your comment demonstrates intense ignorance.

Heavy trucks have substantive effect on roadways.

This is why this proposed tax system should have various categories, along with a basic structure.

Don't try to be a civil engineer. You're not. :rolleyes:

Keith Wilson
02-16-2005, 11:36 AM
The original point of taxing gasoline was so that the users of the roads would pay for the roads. This makes sense. Gas consumption is roughly proportional to mileage for any given vehicle, also roughly proportional to weight (and wear caused by the vehicle). There are exceptions when technology changes significantly, such as hybrid cars, but overall the correspondence is pretty good. Gasoline is sold at centralized locations, so figuring and collecting the tax isn't difficult, and doesn't require much effort, expense or equipment.

I see absolutely no benefit to a system that measures mileage directly and charges taxes based on that. The current system already collects taxes that are roughly proportional to mileage driven and damage caused by the vehicle, but with minimal trouble and expense collecting the tax. If vehicles that used no petroleum fuel at all - electrics, or hydrogen powered cars, for example - became common, the we'd have to rethink the system. As it is, the proposals are simply stupid, and involve a fair amount of trouble, expense, and invasion of privacy for no discernable benefit.

[ 02-16-2005, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

Peter Malcolm Jardine
02-16-2005, 11:50 AM
There is no invasion of privacy I can see. The mileage is recorded by a reader, but who is driving and where they went is not recorded. It's about the car, not the person.

The disparity between mileage and fuel useage is substantive. If I drive a suv that gets 12 miles to the gallon versus a transport that gets 6 miles to the gallon, would transport not cause more than twice the wear on the system?

The gas tax is oversimplifying a complex problem that is not simply about highways. One of the biggest urban problems has always been the use of infrastructure by people who don't pay taxes in the area. This was the reason for the New York amalgamation. A huge number of people used the urban infrastructure, but did not pay taxes in the city proper. Why should taxpayers of a specific area pay for essentially a visitors use?

A system of this type could deal with those problems. Ultimately it could be a countrywide user pay system.

Look at a comparative system. The bar code pricing system in grocery stores, if proposed at the outset, would seem ridiculously expensive and complicated. In reality, it has saved the industry millions of dollars.

ljb5
02-16-2005, 12:10 PM
The idea of paying based on where you go is the same as buying a bus ticket or a train ticket.

Do you consider it an invasion of privacy to tell the ticket agent where you are going?

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 12:16 PM
Since the ticket agent represents the carrier, and the carrier is doing the transport, then by default they must be told where I am going.

If I'm going to the grocery store, nobody really needs to know that information, as long as I'm doing the driving.

Savvy?

ljb5
02-16-2005, 12:22 PM
That's make some sense, but you forgot something -- the "carrier" is both the car and the roads.

You do the driving, but they built the road. You use it, you pay for it.

Keith Wilson
02-16-2005, 12:24 PM
The UPC system is not even roughly comparable. It was developed for several reasons; to know and control inventory in real time, to avoid having to put price tags on goods on the shelf (and change them if the price changes) and to make checking out quicker and more efficient. All of these save money, particularly the first.

And of course the gas tax oversimplifies a complex problem that's not simply about highways. (In fact, it they made me king I'd probably eliminate most sales and excise taxes in favor of a progressive income tax, but that's another matter entirely . . .) However, as it's currently structured, it works pretty well, and it's not at all clear that the proposals are any better, even ignoring the startup costs.

Either gas or mileage taxes have the same jurisdictional problem unless theyíre national; it can be avoided in both cases by sending the revenue where itís needed. In the US, the only real problem with the current system is if a large number of people commute from one state to another, and buy their gas mostly in on one side.

The correspondence between gas consumption, vehicle weight, and road wear is not perfect, but itís close enough. As HighC correctly pointed out, a proportion of the damage comes from weather and is not directly related to usage. The benefits, if any, from taxing mileage certainly donít seem to justify the costs.

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 12:24 PM
ljb5, I fully agree. However, I feel that it's my business, and only my business, where I go and what I do. Raise the gas tax. Put a toll booth on every road. The rest is very Patriot Act-ish.

[ 02-16-2005, 12:25 PM: Message edited by: Garrett Lowell ]

Matt J.
02-16-2005, 12:32 PM
first off they need more frugal highway engineers Quite right, and less greedy bureaucrats looking to bolster next years budget by suggesting superfluous highway projects.


No need to resort to GPS for this: they'll simply track you and your RFID ID/DL card and tax your (personal) use of roads and sidewalks, with a side benefit of knowing where you are at all times! And as I see it the stretch from being able to monitor all vehicular movements for tax purposes to monitoring for enforcement of traffic laws, speed limits, or who-knows-what other Big Brother effort to "keep me safe" is a very small one indeed.


Basically, this is just a tollway system, like there is on thousands of roads across the country. People don't like them, but you've got to pay for roads. Then make it a toll road and get your tracking devices out of my car. I'd be more willing to drive the Capital Beltway for a toll fee than to let some gummit bureaucrat track my vehicle. My EZPass, as Garrett suggests, already makes this possible and easily implemented. but I won't agree to this until there is some real oversight to gummit roads program proposals.


My experience is that richer people tend to have longer commutes. Not any more, bub. At least, not around here. The inner city folks are moving out, and the suburb folks are moving in to newly revitalized, and quite spendy/trendy areas. Many of "the richer people" will no longer be driving as much around here.


This is a way of looking at road useage and the money required to maintain road systems in a fair and equitable manner. I can't help but wonder how this affects you as a Canadian. I mean, I don't trust my own damn gummit, and you're going to tell me how to react to this proposal in my country? I thought this was in Oregon, not Ontario...


Some european countries tax annually based on engine displacement. Sounds like an idea. I'd much faster support a gas hog tax.


Don't try to be a civil engineer. You're not. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: , indeed. I didn't know you were a civil engineer, either. So how is it your opinion is more valid, again?

Why don't we try this in Canada first, and see how it goes. Meantime, I'll be trying to keep your gummit paws off my wallet, and maybe someday gummit will work more efficiently within the budget it has.

ljb5
02-16-2005, 12:33 PM
Sorry, I assumed you liked the Patriot Act.

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 12:39 PM
I know what you assume about most of us who didn't vote for Kerry. But you know the saying associated with that word.

ljb5
02-16-2005, 01:14 PM
Of course. You just get very selective about when you care about invasions of privacy.

My point is that there are a lot of things that "seem" like an invasion of privacy, but are reasonable.

Telling a ticket agent where you want to go is not an invasion of privacy. Paying a toll at a toll booth is not. Using an automated toll booth is not. Using UPC codes is not. Paying for something you use is reasonable.

Matt J.
02-16-2005, 01:20 PM
You really can't get why having a GPS [tracking] device in my car is an unacceptable invasion of my privacy?

Perhaps you remain anonymous for a reason...

uncas
02-16-2005, 01:24 PM
Matt J...Now those county workers who pull over on the side of the road and take a paid three hour nap...now they need a a GPS tracking device! :D
I would love knowing what they do half of the time....

km gresham
02-16-2005, 01:29 PM
I think the income tax is an invasion of privacy. The govt. has no business knowing what I make, what I save, what charities I contribute to or how much.

And they don't have any business knowing where I go in my car (or where my car goes), or when or how often.

Matt J.
02-16-2005, 01:29 PM
When we catch up this summer, I'll have some stories for you... ;)

Ready to start on that book soon? The geese are heading north again, and RARUS seems to think it's time to get to work readying for the season.

ljb5
02-16-2005, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Matt J.:
You really can't get why having a GPS [tracking] device in my car is an unacceptable invasion of my privacy?Well, yes, it is an invasion. But I think could be a reasonable one, if the system only records limited, relevant information and is only used to collect fees.

I definitely wouldn't want it used by the FBI to figure out who attends meetings at the Union house, or who goes to the library-- but we have the Patriot Act for that.

Do you think using a pass at a toll booth is an invasion? It records every time your car passes. I don't see the difference, except a matter of degree.

Do you think it's an invasion of privacy to tell the grocer what you have in your shopping bag? For horror, he might find out you have dandruff, and that's personal information!

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by ljb5:
Telling a ticket agent where you want to go is not an invasion of privacy. Paying a toll at a toll booth is not. Using an automated toll booth is not. Using UPC codes is not. Paying for something you use is reasonable.Yes, that's what I keep telling you. For whatever reason, you don't know how to react when someone who doesn't vote the same as you actually agrees with you.

uncas
02-16-2005, 01:46 PM
Yup...we have the Patriot Act for that and now it is backed up by GPS...
Sounds like a plan...

ljb5
02-16-2005, 01:54 PM
If it's the invasion of privacy you don't like, work to overthrow the USA Patriot Act.

Don't use that as an excuse to not pay for something you use.

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 02:04 PM
ljb5, what are you talking about?

ljb5
02-16-2005, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:
ljb5, what are you talking about?I'm talking about the basic concept of paying for what you use.

Some people think they should get to use stuff without paying for it.

Others think they should get to use stuff without anyone knowing that they used it.

They get upset about invasions of privacy, but only when it means they'll have to pay. They didn't care so much when the Patriot Act passed.

[ 02-16-2005, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: ljb5 ]

ljb5
02-16-2005, 02:44 PM
It seems to me that anything you do on a public street cannot be considered private.

uncas
02-16-2005, 02:47 PM
ljb...what does paying for something have to do with being analyzed, dissected, bisected and watched by big brother all of the time...
Come on....
I do not need to pay for losing any sense of privacy....( for the better of mankind of course ).
A highway toll is not the problem...except the charges seem to keep escalating....My vehicle or my house is not main street....
I would think you would be the first in line to overthrow the Patriot Act... I'll lend you my Brown Bess. you can clean it and perhaps something will happen which would save us a lot of time and the wastage of energy responding to a lot of...well.......

[ 02-16-2005, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 02:51 PM
Where have I stated that I wanted to drive but didn't want to pay? I'm all for paying a toll, as opposed to being taxed (and possibly tracked) on my every move. I only proposed what I feel is a better solution, utilizing infrastructure that is, for the most part, already in place and easily modified to meet the current needs. Do you have something to put on the table?
Show me where I stated that I am a proponent of the Patriot Act.

Meerkat
02-16-2005, 02:56 PM
Originally posted by Katherine:
We have mass transit? Not in Detroit.Ghetto Transit there... ;)

uncas
02-16-2005, 02:58 PM
This is ljbs version of clip and paste...we post, he reads, clips what he wants to or what fits his criterea and than pastes it as if what he posts is actually what we say.......
He would be great on some radio talk shows...Now there is a job for you ljb5...Some radio station in Siberia with an audience of one...( that is with the playback button of course ). ;)

George.
02-16-2005, 02:59 PM
A modest proposal:

Abolish private cars. Come up with any transition scheme that will fly, but just end them in the long run. Establish efficient public transport (using all the money currently wasted on roads, parking lots, etc,), not only within cities, but between them. Charge for it. Make it unnecessary to drive. And if you want "that feeling of freedom," go hike on a trail, or get a sailboat.

Meerkat
02-16-2005, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by ljb5:
The idea of paying based on where you go is the same as buying a bus ticket or a train ticket.
Slight difference: I/we didn't pay for the trains and buses up front. We do pay for the roads up front! They are not "their" roads, they're ours!

ljb5
02-16-2005, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by uncas:
My vehicle or my house is not main street....
But when it's traveling down Main Street, it's in the public.

There is no expectation of privacy in public.

You can be seen by civilians and by the police. I don't see how it's any different that you can be seen by a satellite.

uncas
02-16-2005, 03:06 PM
Fine ljb5...go outside, stare upwards and wave hello.

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 03:11 PM
The difference, ljb5, is that I don't have a police officer riding with me everytime I get in the car.

ljb5
02-16-2005, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
Slight difference: I/we didn't pay for the trains and buses up front. We do pay for the roads up front! They are not "their" roads, they're ours!Meer, roads and train systems require both upfront payment and on-going payment.

Trains, subways and bus systems are usually funded with taxpayer money. You've paid for part of them already, before you even buy a ticket.

Roads are paid for initially with taxpayer money, but require ongoing funding. Sure, you paid for it once, but you;ve got to keep paying for it. Makes sense to me that the people who use it pay for it.

I can understand why a liberal like Meer is opposed to this. Traditionally, liberals favor community funding for infrastructure.

But I can't figure out why conservatives are opposed to this. Traditionally, conservatives favor individual, usage-based funding.

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 03:20 PM
"But I can't figure out why conservatives are opposed to this. Traditionally, conservatives favor individual, usage-based funding. "

It's not the funding. It's the cop riding shotgun. I don't know how to say it any more concise than that.

ljb5
02-16-2005, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:
It's not the funding. It's the cop riding shotgun. I don't know how to say it any more concise than that.How do you feel about automated radar guns and cameras to catch people running red lights?

Some people think that it's okay to break a law as long as no one is there to see you.

You realize that your car already has some devices of the government on it? The license plate, the VIN, the speedometer, the odometer, emissions control devices....

The government is already riding shot gun. This is just a slightly more advanced method of observing what you do in public, in plain sight.

Keith Wilson
02-16-2005, 03:29 PM
For ljb5 and those who think this is a good idea - Fuel usage is already roughly proportional to mileage and weight of the vehicle, hence wear on the roads. All motor vehicles use fuel; electric cars are almost nonexistent.

Why is this any better than a tax on motor fuel?

uncas
02-16-2005, 03:32 PM
sooo..ljb...with all of the gadgets we already seem to have and can do nothing about...why add more gadgets...more eye spy equipment to it?
as far as cameras at stop lights or radar guns...At least they don't follow you into the bathroom.

Garrett Lowell
02-16-2005, 03:34 PM
"You realize that your car already has some devices of the government on it? The license plate, the VIN, the speedometer, the odometer, emissions control devices...."

These devices are not used to track my every move. (I don't live under a rock, you know. I know you're a hardcore Dem, but try a little less condescension). You do see the difference here, don't you, between GPS tracking/reporting and emissions controls or licensing information? Because if you don't, I can't help you and I have nothing further to add.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
02-16-2005, 05:48 PM
The correspondence between gas consumption, vehicle weight, and road wear is not perfect, but itís close enough. As HighC correctly pointed out, a proportion of the damage comes from weather and is not directly related to usage. The benefits, if any, from taxing mileage certainly donít seem to justify the costs. Unfortunately it's not close enough. The gas tax has not sustained the system, nor has it placed the burden on those who use the roads the most. While weather does damage to the road system, if the cars didn't need the road system, then the weather wouldn't damage it. ;)

uncas
02-16-2005, 05:53 PM
PMJ...the simple solution to the tax not being able to sustain the system is to raise taxes...It certainly has been done before...

MickeyLane
02-16-2005, 07:34 PM
You know, when it comes to making mountains out of molehills, yíall are EXPERTS!

You should have a little pity on poor old Oregon.

Theyíre one of the seven states that donít have any sales tax. To the north is Washington which is really good at taxing. To the south is California which is probably even better than Washington. To the east is Idaho where a lot of folks have machine guns and no sense of humor at all when it comes to taxes.

The folks to the east donít pose much of a problem. There arenít very many roads going east Ė Iíve been on both of Ďem Ė and itís a pretty boring drive anyway. Pretty country though.

As a result of the tax situation, huge numbers of the fine folks from the north and the south have been registering their vehicles in various Oregon towns using phony addresses. Since the states to the north and south are wise to this dodge, they have forced poor old Oregon to cross reference all of their income tax returns with vehicle registrations and report the slackers.

Now Oregon, like most places, is out of road-fixing money and they want to do something about it. Makes sense. Along comes some shall we say inventive people from State U. with this spiffy idea.

ďLetís put these little gismos on all the cars and charge based on usage!Ē

As usual, ODOT buys into it hook line and sinker.

ďCool.Ē

This is the same ODOT that makes it illegal to pump your own diesel. Its hazardous material, they say, and only trained station operators are allowed to do it. At least thatís the story I got a couple of years ago when I tried to pump my own and got yelled at for doing so. (The trained operator, by the way, was a very cute young lady with nicely manicured nails and.. umm.. other parts. She must have been really good at avoiding the hazardous bits.)

What nobody in ODOT has figured out yet is that there are a couple hundred million vehicles on the roads of North America and all of Ďem could, if they wanted to, show up in Oregon looking for some gas. Particularly if they take the long way through Idaho. Since none of them are likely to just go out on their own and install the little gismo and Oregon, being broke, isnít going to do it for Ďem, the pay by usage system isnít going to work for a lot of the customers in the stations.

That being the case, most of the Oregon residents, being no dummies, arenít going to install one either. Given the choice of paying a ridiculous price for a new car with a pre-installed gismo or just patching up the old jalopy for a few more years, Iím betting even the new car dealers will be hurting pretty soon.

Just how far do you think this turkey of a plan is going to fly?

At best, itíll just disappear like a wisp of smoke in the news media whirlwind. At worst, poor old broke ODOT is going to be stuck with a couple jillion dollars worth of gismos that give everyone something else to laugh at and be just a little bit Ė or perhaps a whole lot Ė broker.

High C
02-16-2005, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine:
...As usual, your comment demonstrates intense ignorance...:D

MickeyLane
02-16-2005, 08:34 PM
Least some think I am unduly critical of the good folks in Oregonís Highway DepartmentÖ

DEAD WHALE REMOVAL

by Dave Barry

The Farside comes to life in Oregon.

I am absolutely not making this incident up; in fact I have it all on videotape. The tape is from a local TV news show in Oregon, which sent a reporter out to cover the removal of a 45-foot, eight-ton dead whale that washed up on the beach. The responsibility for getting rid of the carcass was placed on the Oregon State Highway Division, apparently on the theory that highways and whales are very similar in the sense of being large objects.

So anyway, the highway engineers hit upon the plan - remember, I am not making this up - of blowing up the whale with dynamite. The thinking is that the whale would be blown into small pieces, which would be eaten by seagulls, and that would be that. A text-book whale removal.

So they moved the spectators back up the beach, put a half-ton of dynamite next to the whale and set it off. I am probably not guilty of understatement when I say that what follows, on the videotape, is the most wonderful event in the history of the universe. First you see the whale carcass disappear in a huge blast of smoke and flame. Then you hear the happy spectators shouting "Yayy!" and "Whee!" Then, suddenly, the crowd's tone changes. You hear a new sound like "splud." You hear a woman's voice shouting "Here come pieces of...MY GOD!" Something smears the camera lens.

Later, the reporter explains: "The humor of the entire situation suddenly gave way to a run for survival as huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere." One piece caved in the roof of a car parked more than a quarter of a mile away. Remaining on the beach were several rotting whale sectors the size of condominium units. There was no sign of the seagulls who had no doubt permanently relocated to Brazil.

This is a very sobering videotape. Here at the institute we watch it often, especially at parties. But this is no time for gaiety. This is a time to get hold of the folks at the Oregon
State Highway Division and ask them, when they get done cleaning up the beaches, to give us an estimate on the US Capitol.

ljb5
02-16-2005, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:
These devices are not used to track my every move.Nothing you do on a public road can be considred private.

seafox
02-16-2005, 10:53 PM
Ljb5
they tried photo cop a few years ago in utah the justification was school zones but they included "other places as needed" well sure they went in school zones first but mostly they went to secondary highways. people relised it was just a fund raising scam and it got gone.

the speed limit laws have done more to damage respect for police and the goverment than almost anything else ( though the IRS and some social adgencys come to mind) people will generally drive at a safe speed. have you heard of a "california stop"? their is nothing sillyer that stoping at a stopsign in the middle of the night with clear vision on oncomming roads and no one there just because their is an 8 sided piece of metal on a post
jeffery

ljb5
02-16-2005, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by seafox:
their is nothing sillyer that stoping at a stopsign in the middle of the night with clear vision on oncomming roads and no one there just because their is an 8 sided piece of metal on a post.I agree absolutely.

But I believe that laws should be obeyed whether or not a police officer is there to observe you.

Lawful behavior is not a service we pay to the police; it is a service we pay to our neighbors.

Katherine
02-16-2005, 11:29 PM
If you think the story of the dead whale is funny, google it for the video, it's priceless.

For all of you that fear "Big Brother", it's too late.

Many new cars contain a black box that records vehicle info as you drive. If you ever have an accident it can be accessed for things like speed and braking force.

As for recording where your car has been and when, sorry, On Star already essentially does that. Even if you don't use it, the system will activate itself under certain circumstances and can be used by police to track a vehicle.

Even GPS equipped vehicles that are not On Star can be tracked remotely with the newer 2 way systems. Modifying them to for miliage based taxing is only a software update.

seafox
02-18-2005, 12:14 AM
PMJ
you maide the statement that the fuil taxes do not closely match usage. could you please elaborate?

also I have posted that each cent of federal gas tax brings the goverment a bilion per year ( it is more now as it was a couple years back when the feds lowered the fuil tax 4.2 cent per gallon to help fight the peaking price of gas ( or did they only talk about it? it seems that they droped it for a little over a year and then the following january it came on again that is where I got the info) and pointed out that the federal highway bill for 10 years was 228 bilion or just about what the gas tax was bringing in
where is the shortfall?
jeffery

Keith Wilson
02-18-2005, 09:39 AM
Does anyone have any reason why this is significantly better than the existing gas tax? It looks to me like a solution in search of a problem.

High C
02-18-2005, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by Keith Wilson:
Does anyone have any reason why this is significantly better than the existing gas tax? It looks to me like a solution in search of a problem.Well put. If there is a problem with the US road/fuel taxing situation, this is the first I've heard of it. The fuel tax automatically "meters" for both numbers of miles driven, and for the weight of the vehicles which cause more wear and tear. If we improve efficiency to such a point that we come up short of cash, we can simply raise the per gallon tax to maintain the needed level of $$$ for road maintenance.

This sounds more like someone trying to make a buck selling new technology.

ljb5
02-18-2005, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by Keith Wilson:
Does anyone have any reason why this is significantly better than the existing gas tax? It looks to me like a solution in search of a problem.It does three things:

One: it corrects for highly fuel effcient cars. A Toyota Prius does the same amount of damage as a Toyota Echo, but with half the fuel, therefore it isn't paying the same in gas taxes compared to road usage. Gas usage is only loosely correlated with road usage and the correlation is getting worse.

Two: it localizes the tax revenue. I buy my gas in Wisconsin, but often drive in Chicago. It only makes sense that Chicago should get some of my tax money to pay for the streets I use.

Three: it allows for traffic flow control. Rates can be changed depending on the time of day and which street you drive on. Like toll lanes, express lanes, carpool lanes and variable traffic signals, this can help alleviate congestion.

Keith Wilson
02-18-2005, 10:44 AM
Re the three things:

Do we really want to "correct" for highly fuel-efficient cars? I would think encouraging fuel economy by taxing gas would be a very good idea. If gas tax revenue decreases because cars use less gas, just raise the gas tax, providing a further incentive to reduce fuel consumption. Given the popularity of SUVs, aggregate gas mileage has decreased, not increased.

And BTW, your figures are wrong - an Echo is rated at 35 MPG city, 42 Hwy, a Prius at 60 MPG city, 51 hwy, although actual city figures for hybrids aren't generally anywhere near as good as the EPA estimate. Say 40 and 55 mpg overall: the Prius uses 73% as much gas as the Echo.

Localizing the tax revenue only works if you track every car wherever it goes and charge the tax accordingly. Whoever collects the tax would have to know where you drive. The Oregon proposal was to measure mileage at the gas pump, which would not localize revenue at all.

The third point is true, but again it requires tracking every car everywhere, which the Oregon proposal does not do. Toll lanes, express lanes, carpool lanes and variable traffic signals are all MUCH simpler to implement.

Sorry, it still seems like a stupid idea, a solution in search of a problem - lots of hardware and software complexity, and the government tracking everywhere everyone goes in their car (a degree of surveillance that would make John Ashcroft just salivate with glee), for absolutely no benefit that can't be gotten by much simpler means.

[ 02-18-2005, 11:10 AM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

imported_GregW
02-18-2005, 11:33 AM
How about this for complicating the matter.
Ultimately reducing car emissions is a public health issue. Cleaner air results in healthier people, reduced health care cost etc. Any lost of gas tax revenues, I suspect, would be recovered in less health care cost. Now thereís a study for some PhD candidate. smile.gif

[ 02-18-2005, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: GregW ]

High C
02-18-2005, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by Keith Wilson:
...And BTW, your figures are wrong - an Echo is rated at 35 MPG city, 42 Hwy, a Prius at 60 MPG city, 51 hwy, although actual city figures for hybrids aren't generally anywhere near as good as the EPA estimate. Say 40 and 55 mpg overall: the Prius uses 73% as much gas as the Echo...We Volkswagen diesel owners take a certain delight in pointing out that in general, and specifically with the Prius,, hybrids are NOT delivering their advertised mileage.

Many Prius owners are angry that they are seeing mileage in the low 40s, nowhere near the EPA figgers. Unless they are driven in low speed stop and start driving, without air conditioning, and without great demand for heat, they don't deliver. High speed driving and AC keep the gas motor lit all the time, and the savings evaporate.

The Echo is almost its equal in terms of mileage, if not interior space.

ljb5
02-18-2005, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by Keith Wilson:
Do we really want to "correct" for highly fuel-efficient cars? I would think encouraging fuel economy by taxing gas would be a very good idea. Yes, of course. But as long as gas still costs money, there will still be an incentive for efficiency. That incentive won't go away.


Localizing the tax revenue only works if you track every car wherever it goes and charge the tax accordingly. Whoever collects the tax would have to know where you drive. The Oregon proposal was to measure mileage at the gas pump, which would not localize revenue at all.The Oregon proposal was to charge the milage tax at the pump. The milage would be measured wherever the car went, by GPS. It would be very easy to calculate how many miles were traveled in each area.... X miles in Chicago, Y miles in Milwaukee, Z miles in Detroit. I might fuel up in Des Moines, but it would be easy to distribute the money accordingly.

Traffic is a serious problem now, and it is going to get much, much worse. We need every tool we can get to manage it; toll lanes, express lanes, carpool lanes, variable signals. Direct usage metering is the next logical step.

Matt J.
02-18-2005, 02:00 PM
Direct usage metering does nothing to solve traffic problems. NOTHING. Unless you're suggesting we restrict people's right to use our highways through even heavier taxation... unacceptable.

Encouraging people to use alternative transportaion: tax incentives for use of public, bus, rail, carpool, motorcycles / scooters, etc; or through "HOV" lanes and toll lanes during peak hours are more likely to reduce the number of cars than just taxing them for just getting on the road on top of buying gasoline.

brad9798
02-18-2005, 05:13 PM
"I agree absolutely.

But I believe that laws should be obeyed whether or not a police officer is there to observe you."

Could you, ljb5, be any more contradictive ...

It's okay to break laws when no one is around, but not okay to do so if a PO is there ...

You make less sense here than you do economically.

:confused: :confused:

ljb5
02-18-2005, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by brad9798:
"I agree absolutely.

But I believe that laws should be obeyed whether or not a police officer is there to observe you."

Could you, ljb5, be any more contradictive ...

It's okay to break laws when no one is around, but not okay to do so if a PO is there ...I agree that it's silly to come to a complete stop, in the middle of nowhere, when no one is around, but I recognize that it is the law.

Silly? Yes.

Legally required? Yes.

That's not a contradiction.

I never said it's okay to break the law. Please carefully re-read what I wrote. Especially the part where I said:


I believe that laws should be obeyed whether or not a police officer is there to observe you.How could you read that and twist it into "It's okay to break laws when no one is around"?

I said "laws should be obeyed" and you turned it into "it's okay to break laws." That's patently deceptive.

[ 02-18-2005, 06:18 PM: Message edited by: ljb5 ]

Peter Malcolm Jardine
02-18-2005, 06:16 PM
fart

brad9798
02-18-2005, 07:24 PM
Unlike someone of your stature could EVER admit- I stand corrected, ljb5. You are correct. You did not say that ...

Patently deceptive? Hardly. Not everyone is like you. Not everything is a conspiracy against ljb5 ... not everyone is out to get you.

Personally, I don't think obeying traffic law silly.

seafox
02-19-2005, 12:27 AM
talking to my insurance agent about what he thought the e thought it would be high because small cars really loose out in crashes. he said the most expensive car to insure was the dodge neon
jeffery