Talk about ridiculous

[rant]

So, the Governator appointed a new head of the DMV. And, not even a week on the job, she is already advocating more taxes for California motorists, in the creepiest of ways.

From This article(free registration required):

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday appointed a new Department of Motor Vehicles director who has advocated taxing motorists for every mile they drive — by placing tracking devices in their cars.

The idea would mean a significant overhaul of how California collects taxes to maintain its often-crumbling roads. Under the plan, the state gas tax — now 18 cents a gallon — would be replaced with a tax on every mile traveled by each car and truck.

Anyone care to take a guess on how they are going to track the miles? Already being tested in parts of Oregon and Washington state:

Privacy advocates worry about the government tracking the whereabouts of every car in California. In one scenario — currently being tested in Oregon — tracking devices send a signal to a GPS satellite following the car, and that information would be used to calculate the tax bill. Other devices send a signal directly from the car to the pump, which calculates the tax based on the odometer reading.

Yes, that’s right sports fans. A GPS locator that will report back to some hidden government hideout your exact whereabouts at any given, probably wouldn’t even be restricted to the state of California. Not only will they be able to tell where you are, they will be able to track the route that took you there and quite possibly the speed you traveled during your journey! Just what we needed, right? Tickets by remote control.

Imagine getting a bill for driving on the roads in California every month. Imagine those bills working like the tolls roads do now, where you would have a higher rate for certain roads during certain times of the day, like, oh, I don’t know, rush hour? Add to that your speeding infractions and boom! Why yes, Mr. Orwell, I would like fries with that.

As it is right now I pay approximately $21 in fuel taxes every month. Oh yea, don’t forget that I am essentially paying sales tax twice as well. You didn’t know that? Sure, when the fuel dealer buys from his jobber, he has to pay sales tax. When the fuel is resold to the consumer, part of that $.18 (in CA) tax per gallon you are paying is sales tax! But, I digress.

I can’t even imagine the kinds of charges that would come down if it were by the mile. I drive a minimum of 2,000 per month. If the charges are $.01 per mile, then this would be a good deal for me. Who wants to bet that the charges won’t be $.01 per mile? Anyone, anyone?

The reason for all of this naturally is blamed on the fact that people are buying more fuel effecient cars, so gas tax revenues are reduced. I actually heard 8% from two years ago. So, because I drive a car that weighs less than 3,000lbs, gets better than 30mpg and is relatively kind emmisions wise, I’m going to get penalized? Because I can’t afford to live within 40 miles of my current place of work (Orange County, CA, avg. home price $750K, avg. rent $1,700) and have to drive 100 miles round trip? And you, with the monster SUV. How’s that tax break working for ya, huh?

And, to end the article:

But Pozdena and Deakin, the transportation experts, said most people don’t care about this issue as much as privacy advocates, especially when presented with the possibility that as much as 25% of the road could be used by hybrids in the future. Drivers of non-hybrid cars have said it’s unfair to pay the larger burden of gasoline taxes, they said.

“While some people are concerned about civil liberties, most people are not,” Deakin said. “One of the things we found from focus groups and surveys is that most people said if the government wanted to track you, they have other ways to do it.”

Not worried about civil liberties? In California? Um, is there another California in the United States that I am not aware of?

This will, without a doubt, be the straw to break the camels back. No kidding gang. If this actually goes into effect I can’t imagine how many people and businesses will move out of this state. I know I’ll be the first to cross the border!

[/rant]

3 replies on “Talk about ridiculous”

  1. What gets me about this is that surely the government should be encouraging fuel-efficient cars – I thought this was an environmental state? The tax on gas punishes gas guzzlers who drive a lot of miles whilst ‘rewarding’ those of us with more enviro-friendly vehicles. Its just plain stupid.

  2. Not that I’d be suprised for this idea to come out of California, but I am suprised that it came out of a republician apointee. Either way, it’s a terrible idea, and the fact that the idea is even being tried, is disturbing, at best.

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