by Big Dog on Jul 2, 2009 at 12:15 Political
The Congress, particularly the Democrats, have been after auto makers to make more fuel efficient cars and they have been after us to drive less and save fuel to save the Earth and prevent global warming. We have done a pretty good job of that because now there are more cars that get better gass mileage and people are not using as much of it because they are driving less which is probably due as much to the economy as anything else.
The problem is that revenue from gas taxes is way down. The state and federal governments are not getting as much money as they did before because people are not buying as much gas. The idea of raising fuel taxes probably amounts to political suicide so they need a new plan.
A plan is under consideration to tax us based on the number of miles we drive. Vehicles would be equipped with GPS trackers that would report on the number of miles driven and we would be sent a bill for out taxes. I have some issues with this.
First of all, a GPS will also allow them to track us anywhere we go. What would stop them from deciding that they needed to track us because of an amber alert or some other crime that we might have committed? What would stop them from using the GPS to see if you told the police your where abouts on the night in question? I have a problem with them being able to track me everywhere I go in my car. They can already track cell phones and I am not happy about that.
Secondly, How will this work for people who are driving on private roads? How about people who drive into Canada or Mexico? A private road is not repaired with public funds so people should not have to pay taxes when they are driving on them. People should not have to pay taxes if they drive on roads in Canada or Mexico (though those governments might like to get a cut).
Also, will they END the gas tax? Will they completely remove the taxes from the cost of a gallon of gas? If they add mileage tax on top of gas tax then they might as well just raise the taxes on gas. My bet is they would not remove the tax. Government has a hard time cutting the tax umbilical cord.
I also want to know how this will apply to currently owned vehicles. I own both of my vehicles and do not plan on replacing them for a while. Will I be required to put a GPS on them? Who will pay for it and what right do they have to tell me that I have to install that on a vehicle I own?
I also see a huge potential for the theft of personally identifying information when people hack into the database and get personal information. I imagine some of the smart techie people will find a way to beat the GPS system.
This is a real bad idea if for no other reason than the invasion of privacy involved in government being able to track us when we drive.
The article says that this will replace the fuel tax but how can they do that if currently owned cars are not equipped? They could deduct what a person has paid at the gas pump from the monthly bill but this will lead to even bigger problems. What will happen if people drive even less because of this? We pay both taxes…
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