canadiancomment

Our opinions and advice to the world. Updated whenever we get around to it.

Another Bad Idea?

It seems that Oregon and California are testing the idea of taxing drivers based on how much they drive. It appears that various levels of government are concerned that fuel efficient cars will eat into tax revenues. Ah, the law of unintended consequences.

In principle I'm not opposed to the idea. Roads must be maintained as as far as I'm concerned those who use the resource should pay for it. Same goes for health care and most other government programs.

My concern is that this will be one more tool in the governments arsenal that will be used to modify and control people's behaviour. First off, they intend to monitor a vehicle using a built in GPS system. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Not good. Not good at all.

On top of that, the Oregon and California programs are considering applying different taxes based on when and where you drive. This is intended to help reduce traffic during peak hours. Pleasant isn't it? Your boss insists that you be at work for 8 o'clock and you get stuck with a higher tax bill.

Anybody out there willing to place a bet on whether or not states or provinces that implement such a program will reduce their gas taxes to compensate?

The average guy or gal just can't win.

5 comments:

Curt said...

"those who use the resource should pay for it"

Everyone needs roads because almost everything in every store gets there by truck (in the last leg, at least). So this tax will result in higher consumer goods across the board. I don't think that's smart.

Dana said...

I don't think it is such a bad idea.

Ideally, in my opinion anyways, roads would only be funded by those who use them. No gas tax. No funding out of general revenues.

That way if transporting goods via roadways is too expensive companies would be motivated to use other means such as rail or sea.

Personally I would prefer if consumers, in this case via their purchases, paid for the roads instead of taxpayers. Why should someone who takes a bike to work everyday have to pay for roads out of his income taxes?

js said...

Just increase the gas tax, that's much simpler and fairer. This will hit bigger cars more, those who also wear down the road much more. Introducing a new unfair tax that needs a complicated metering system strikes me as typical Ameraican cluelessness.

juergen said...

Just increase the gas tax, that's much simpler and fairer. This will hit bigger cars more, those who also wear down the road much more. Introducing a new tax that is unfair to smaller cars and needs a complicated metering system strikes me as typical American cluelessness.

Anonymous said...

The possibilities are endless. Just think:

We must find a way to tax the ex-smokers who deprive the govt. of hundreds of dollars in revenue each year.

Refrigerators have become much more energy effecient in the last 15-20 years, depriving electricity suppliers (many of them govt. owned) of millions of dollars of revenue. Let's put a meter on fridge doors and charge those suckers every time they open the door.

And what about low-flow toilets which also deprive the publicly owned water utilities of much needed revenue. Wow! The govt. could tax you every time you take a crap!