Taxes By The Mile?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
They are testing the waters again in Washington. Always looking for an opportunity to take advantage of a crisis to squeeze even more money from the taxpayers of America.
crisis? The US government's highway fund is going broke. (Is it just
me -- or am I the only American tired of lurching from one crisis to
another on what seems like a daily basis?)
There is a proposal
being floated about (again!) in “Foggy Bottom” to tax US drivers for
every mile they drive in their cars, trucks, vans, SUV’s, or whatever.
Last time they brought this scheme up the Congressional Budget Office
referred to it as the “Vehicle Mile Tax” or VMT.
Here’s what has
happened: Due to the high per gallon price of gasoline many drivers have
greatly reduced the use of their cars and trucks. My truck, for
instance, is virtually parked. I drive it one or twice a week and then
only on short hops -- all within the city limits. My truck is ten years
old but has only about 50,000 miles on it. But it uses more gasoline
than the family Buick. So it remains parked.
It would seem that most American families are doing the same thing or something very much akin to it.
(Yes, Virginia, there REALLY is a Law of Unintended Consequences!)
huge portion of the per gallon price of gasoline is state and federal
taxes. So, you can imagine that when Americans began driving less and
using less gasoline, the tax stream from gasoline into the tax coffers
of the states and the federal government went from a roaring stream to a
trickle. And THAT got the attention of the “taxaholics” in Washington,
DC and in the states. Thus the proposal to tax American drivers for
every mile they drive -- and that is on top of the taxes we are already
paying on every gallon of gasoline we purchase.
an article in the Washington Examiner we learn: "The average driver
pays about $96 a year in federal gas taxes, said GAO. Should the
administration seek to raise the highway trust fund from $34 billion to
the $78 billion needed to fix and maintain roads, that could rise to
$248. Translated into a pay-per-mile plan, drivers would face a tax of
2.2 cents per mile compared to the 0.9 cents they pay now. Trucks would
pay far more." SOURCE: http://washingtonexaminer.com/new-pay-per-mile-scheme-would-boost-taxes-250-percent/article/2518504#.UPWVTfJ0jTi
article in the Washington Examiner offers a quote from some luminary at
the GAO as follows: "We modeled the average mileage fee rates that
would be needed for passenger vehicles and commercial trucks to meet
three illustrative Highway Trust Fund revenue targets ranging from about
$34 billion to $78.4 billion per year. To meet these targets, a driver
of a passenger vehicle with average fuel efficiency would pay from $108
to $248 per year in mileage fees compared to the $96 they currently pay
annually in federal gasoline tax," said GAO." SOURCE: http://washingtonexaminer.com/new-pay-per-mile-scheme-would-boost-taxes-250-percent/article/2518504#.UPWVTfJ0jTi
must tell you that my state, North Carolina, has one of the highest
taxes on gasoline of any state in the Union. So, when I heard about the
“mileage tax” proposal, it got my attention.
Just so we are clear: I HATE the idea!
in 2008, here in North Carolina, something called the 21st Century
Transportation Committee recommended the state adopt a “taxes by the
mile” plan. As I understood the proposal, the state would carefully
record the miles each Tar Heel driver drove, over the preceding twelve
months, and the vehicle’s owner would be charged the appropriate amount
in taxes for each mile driven. As North Carolinians take their cars in
each year for the mandated annual state inspection (which by itself is a
gigantic tax scheme!) The mileage on the odometer would have been
recorded. This was to be the source of the mileage figures used to tax
NC drivers. Transportation experts told us then that sometime later the
state could switch to GPS tracking of NC Drivers. This scheme was
called the “Road Use Tax.”
It is interesting to note that North Carolina HAD a Democratic Party controlled legislature in 2008.
So what happened? The
NC voters told the Democrats in the NC Legislature to hit the very road
they wanted to tax -- and replaced them with a Republican controlled
legislature. Now North Carolina has a republican controlled General
Assembly AND a republican governor. The first time the North Carolina
legislature has been solely controlled by republicans since 1870.
and California have also considered imposing such road taxes on their
citizens, as well. We suggest they take a look at what happened in
North Carolina before proceeding.
The fact that driver’s pockets
would be picked by a “tax by the mile” (Vehicle Mile Tax) road tax was
just too much for the North Carolina voters to stomach.
another disturbing aspect of these mileage tax rip-offs; the device
attached to our cars would also emit a signal, much as a GPS device
does, that would allow the government to know where we are, in our car,
at all times
Sounds incredible, does it not? THAT HAS been
suggested. More than likely, it would be continuous tracking of our road
miles. Either way, it is just more big brother government intrusion
into our lives.
Look: US drivers pay approximately 35 billion dollars (plus) in federal gasoline taxes annually. You’d think our highways would be paved in gold rather than asphalt!
whole thing smacks of another trick by the liberal-socialists to herd
Americans into mass transit. It is all a part of the “green agenda” to
deprive Americans of their celebration of freedom – the automobile – in
favor of bicycles, trolleys, and commuter trains, etc. ( I can just
visualize empty commuter trains gliding along rusted rails through the
piney woods and swamps of North Carolina. Oh, WAIT! We already have
“Motorists are one of the most overtaxed groups in
America, and the automobile has done more to enable this country’s
economic success than any other invention.” SOURCE:
am inclined to believe this is more of the leftist agenda to dismantle
America until it becomes just another third-world country.
unarguably more of the socialist/democrats tax and spend, tax and
spend, agenda. Hey! They NEED the money to buy votes! I mean, someone
has to pay for the Obamaphones, right?
© J. D. Longstreet
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