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This from the Kipplinger Letter, Vol. 82, No. 45:

A hike in the federal gasoline tax is likely in a few years...

...The way the tax is levied may change to compensate for the fact that more people are buying cars with higher fuel efficiency. Instead of the existing per-gallon levy, a new tax would be based on miles traveled. Oregon plans to launch such a system in 2007. The tax is added at the pump by remote monitoring of cars' odometers.
Which SUV manufacturer came up with this one?!?!
Has anyone seen any other information about this idiotic tax scheme? I thought Oregon knew better.
 

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Oregon? Know better? I mean, we're talking about a state which still (AFAIK) doesn't allow self-serve gas stations. Which once upon a time (according to an acquaintance who worked for the state government) seriously considered legislation that would have required them to turn off the sun.

I think the whole "tax by miles" thing started as an April Fool's Day joke, but since it was Oregon, everybody thought it was for real. :)
 

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Please correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that the state of Oregon imposes a significantly higher excise tax on hybrid cars, with the justification that they don't pay as much gasoline tax, and therefore aren't paying their fair share of road building and maintenance tax at the gas pumps.

In New England, we pronounce it "Oar-E-Gone".
The vernacular is "Oar-eh-Gun".

Both are correct.
 
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worse than that

james said:
I think the whole "tax by miles" thing started as an April Fool's Day joke, but since it was Oregon, everybody thought it was for real. :)
It's actually worse than that. The whole idea is built on the premise that you would roll your odometer back... so to defeat that they are going to put a transponder in your car so they can see how far you go without having to get access to your car. This allows Oregon to be the biggest Big Brother of all time.

1) See what miles you drive.
2) See where you go.
3) See how fast you go (speeding ticket is in the mail).
4) See when you go (might be a discount if you drive off-peak!).

I could see a lot of people getting un-elected if they raise Fed Tax rate. Taxman already makes more profit on a gallon of gas than the Gasman does.
 

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This taxing scheme doesn't consider the fact that some of a person's miles driven may have been in another state, and Oregon would have no right to tax that portion.

Also, if current gas taxes are based on the price of gas, then States' revenue is already increasing with the price of gas. Surely this far outweighs the loss of revenue due to hybrids, when the average fuel economy of cars on the road is dropping.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You're right, Fenrir, but my concern isn't so much with Oregon, but rather the notion that such a scheme would be implemented federally, as reported in the Kipplinger article.
 

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"This taxing scheme doesn't consider..."

But it was an April Fools' joke. Wasn't it?

I have to admit, as much as I hate taxes in general, I think it'd be a damned good idea to raise the gas tax 50 cents per gallon or so, and plow the money back into alternative fuel research, solar home heating... heck, even decent insulation for some of those people in the northeast. But the whiners would never stand for it.
 

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Apparently not, as a google search for Oregon gas tax returns the following:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/02/ ... 4120.shtml

I agree, gas is too cheap in the US. So cheap people take it for granted, and as a result, we're much further behind on alternatives than we need to be.

james said:
"This taxing scheme doesn't consider..."

But it was an April Fools' joke. Wasn't it?

I have to admit, as much as I hate taxes in general, I think it'd be a damned good idea to raise the gas tax 50 cents per gallon or so, and plow the money back into alternative fuel research, solar home heating... heck, even decent insulation for some of those people in the northeast. But the whiners would never stand for it.
 

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'Road Pricing' is also being piloted / considered here in the UK. See link below. However, if it was introduced it would be quite a sophisticated system and would replace our current high fuel taxes (about $5 a gallon). However note the highest road price of about $2 a mile for using the busiest motorway/highway during peak times :shock: . I remember reading somewhere that it could also be based on type of car (in terms of efficiency).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4610877.stm
 

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I was under the impression, as seems logical, that the heavier a car is, the more wear it will put on the road. So the weight of a car, rather than the miles driven, would be a more relevant way to determine the tax burden. Some combination of both might be a good idea.
 

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The chance this will ever get off the ground is remote at best....too hard to regulate and too many considerations that haven't been brought to the table yet. this could only possibly work if it was a nationally mandated.

There are so many "what if's" in the equation they would need years and years to address.
 

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The city of Portland, OR has the best supportive infrastructure for bicycle transportation in the USA. ('Sorry, I don't have the time to find a web link.)
Hopefully, the legislature isn't considering a tax based on miles travelled by bicycle. :shock:
I suppose it's possible that some of that "other" tax revenue is used to support the bike-friendly infrastructure. :)

IMO, some of the European coutries have it right. 'Higher taxes for fuel consumed, and additional taxes for owning a gas guzzler. I would think that with a few exceptions, the vehicle weight and space consumed (on the road) are generally proportional to the vehicle engine displacement and fuel economy.
Those european countries are apparently considering not just the "wear and tear" on the roads, but also on the environment.
 

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Welcome to Fantasy Island...

...where sheltered government bureaucrats think "people" are purchasing more fuel-efficient cars, when the reality is that SUV sales are higher than ever.

Ford's latest marketing campaign is about how they offer a wide range of fuel-efficient vehicles, generating "25mpg or better." Then they list the mileage for several of their models, many of which don't make 25mpg City.

Someone needs to dig up figures from about 1984 on the average mpg rating of vehicles sold that year, right before the introduction of the Chrysler minivan, which IMO launched the whole SUV/thirstyboat revolution.

Any news on whether motorcycles will be exempt? :lol:
 

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Re: Welcome to Fantasy Island...

Someone needs to dig up figures from about 1984 on the average mpg rating of vehicles sold that year, right before the introduction of the Chrysler minivan, which IMO launched the whole SUV/thirstyboat revolution
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I dont agree with that at all. We switched into mini vans from larger full size vans in the 90's. Dodge mini vans, with ran for 5 years before any breakdowns. The van I had got 15% better then its epa rating consistently, I had the 6 cyl 3.0 mitsubishi engine (yes, in a Dodge). There is no definate vehicle that started that whole thing but if I were to pick one it would be the Ford Explorer. It was less efficient then what most owners had before it and it was (is) sold in very large #'s. The dodge was just as efficient as most station wagons it replaced and more efficient then any full size van. It replaced both.
 

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I would have to agree with littleshop.
I've owned 4 Chrysler minivans since their introduction in 1984. All had/have manual shift transmissions, and I've averaged 30+ mpg. I only use them for transporting more than 2 people (family camping trips), "stuff", and roof-top watercraft. IMO, they're not at all in the same category as < 20 mpg SUV's.

I recall many years ago, checking out a Jeep Grand Cherokee, thinking this would be really cool! Then, before making an irrational decision, reason prevailed and I realized that it's far less expensive to call a tow truck the few and unlikely times I'd be stuck in the snow, than to pay the initial purchase price, fuel, and tire cost of an SUV.

It seems like there are lots of SUVs in Florida, SoCal, and other places where snow and off-road driving are only experienced in TV commercials.

A better term for the SUV would perhaps be "Lemming".
 

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There actually is quite a bit of off-road driving in Southern California. People go out and screw up the desert & mountains. That said, few of them take their shiny new SUVs out in the dirt.

As for snow... I grew up in the Northeast, at a time when only Jeeps had 4WD - and the only Jeeps were military look-alikes. This was back in the hills, too, where the roads were narrow & winding, and the county budgets meant they might get plowed once, after a storm. Somehow people seemed to manage just fine without SUVs :)
 

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I was under the impression, as seems logical, that the heavier a car is, the more wear it will put on the road. So the weight of a car, rather than the miles driven, would be a more relevant way to determine the tax burden. Some combination of both might be a good idea.
Actually, from what I'd heard about the "per mile tax" transponder here in California at least, vehicle weight would be factored in. In fact, with a transponder on the car, it might even be able to precisely determine loaded vs unloaded vehicle weight for trucks, etc. (I don't know if they're doing that, but it would be possible) I'm certain this would be expanded to immediate citation of speeding, metered parking spots, illegal u-turns, rolling stop signs, etc.

Personally, that's way too much information for the government to have their hands on--exact transcripts of when and where everyone is driving. Most people agree as well, from what I heard, the proposal had about a 5% approval rating.
 

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Double-Trinity

As much as I share your concern about this issue, the sheer data processing capacity necessary to log and make citations for all the possible traffic offences you mention is clearly beyond the budget of any one state (even Cali). I doubt the national government could even manage to fund such a project for even one state (beyond the fact that they woudln't!).

Secondly the satellite based communication systems used for GPS aren't reliable enough for moving tracks to determine much beyond distance traveled. For surveying purposes, when accuracy counts, high precision types of devices must be left in the same spot for upwards of a half hour to gain a truly accurate reading. Beyond the unfounded legal admissability of GPS tracks in a court, which would be necessary to base citations from them.

I am almost certain that the type of system they are thinking of implementing would entail a GPS unit that locally (the unit itself) would log the distance traveled and then either be checked periodically or alternately transmit the logged data over another RF or similar channel for tallying and tax processing. Similar systems are already commonly in use by taxi and rental car companies.

But don't get me wrong, this is the inception of a very slippery slope and all taxpaying/voting citizens should pay close attention to the details of whatever system is finally proposed. But it is a bit premature to worry about getting a ticket for an illigal u-turn because of the GPS milage logger under your trunk that was really only installed for tax purposes!
 

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a lot of you are disregarding the fact of how they plan on determining the amount of miles you've travelled since the last time you went to the pump. they of course, have planned to use GPS.

this scares me. a lot. i know, i know, the goverment SWEARS they will only use the devices to track mileage, and not actually location, but we've been lied to before.

i'm not comfortable with this option, and i really hate the fact that the biggest push for this tax is most likely from oil moguls and SUV lovers, deters advancements in gas efficeiency, and let's the goverment know where we are at ALL times.

what about the cars that don't have these devices? will they have to pay for them to be installed of be grandfathereed in and still be able to pay by the gallon? if that's the case, why would i want to buy a car with one of these devices installed?

what about when you need to get gas for your lawn mower? GPS device on that as well? and if not, then how will ppl pay tax for their lawn mowers, weed whackers, go karts, ATVs, snowmobiles, jet skis, etc?
 
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