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  • Paying per mile may replace taxes at gas pump

    Oct. 4, 2004, 9:47AM
    Instead of paying tax at gas pump,
    someday you may pay by the mile

    By LUCAS WALL
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle


    PHILADELPHIA - Paying your road taxes in the future might depend more on how much you drive than how much gasoline you pump.

    Texas is among a group of states researching how to replace the fuel tax with a fee based on the number of miles traveled — making every road a virtual tollway. Transportation officials from across the world discussed the concept here at last month's annual meetings of the trade groups representing the highway and tollway industries.

    Fees for miles traveled would be measured by Global Positioning System receivers embedded in vehicles. The system would track which roads a motorist uses so the virtual tolls could be distributed to the appropriate agency.

    Each jurisdiction could set its own per-mile fee. Data would be downloaded from vehicles monthly for billing, or could be transmitted at service stations in lieu of the gas tax.

    Jack Lettiere, New Jersey transportation commissioner, said most states are falling short of collecting enough gas-tax revenue to meet mobility needs and they desire a new funding mechanism.

    "We're hoping this is a theory that can go into practice," Lettiere said at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials meeting. "It has a lot of useful benefits."

    Researchers love the idea that driving taxes could be adjusted to promote or discourage certain actions. The system could charge more per mile during peak hours, for instance, or add a surcharge for heavy trucks and sport utility vehicles.

    Those promoting a mileage-based approach to highway taxes contend driving should be metered and billed according to use.

    "Why shouldn't transportation be seen as a utility like electricity, water, etc.?" Hal Worrall, a consultant for Transportation Innovations Inc., asked during a panel at the International Bridge, Tunnel and Toll Road Association conference. "It's perceived as free in America and thus produces a large demand."

    David Forkenbrock, director of the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, has been working on a model for four years. His research is funded by 15 states, including Texas, and the Federal Highway Administration.

    As more hybrid and alternative-power vehicles are built, Forkenbrock said, gas-tax collections will suffer.

    "A tax at the point of purchase is inferior to user charges at the exact point of travel," he said, explaining the growth of toll roads in recent years.

    Oregon has already tested a mileage-based charge. It starts a pilot project next year with 280 volunteer drivers in Eugene, who will be exempt from fuel taxes in exchange for paying their per-mile assessment.


    Source: Houston Chronicle
    "Blue Oh-Two" (#424)
    Rick's header, Hondata gasket, Mugen thermostat/fan switch, Mugen radiator cap, Aussie mirror, Lucid's rear speakers, Alpine CDA-7893R & KCE-865B, Muz's saddlebag, Windscreen Light, Modifry's glove box organizer and lots of Zaino!


  • #2
    I have a friend who has been saying for years the day will come when we will all hate the GPS due to Big Brother knowing too much and abusing it.
    Dave
    now - '59 white MGA
    past - '01 S2000 (nine years), four other MGAs, Spitfire, Stag, 63 Vette

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    • #3
      I'd love to see the database and the administration for that!

      I already hate that I'm practically be forced to use an I-pass system on the IL tollway system - don't like the Big Brother aspect.

      I can't see this ever happening (the GPS in every car).
      Deleted signature for the safety of my cars.....

      Please note that my posts are not personal attacks - they are my observations/opinions - your opinions may vary.

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      • #4
        I don't like the idea of GPS tracking forced on me, and I can see lots of potential for abuse. Imagine a police officer stopping you because your GPS tracker says that your last stop was a liquor store. I foresee a battle between governments and interest groups.

        Comment


        • #5
          And how would they "force" you to have a GPS logger in every car?


          S2KCA - The S2000 Club of America

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          • #6
            How long would it take before speeding tickets would be issued each time you went over the limit. I could see tickets for $5 for every mile per hour from 1 to 5 mph, $25 per mile per hour from 6 to 10 mph over, $50 per mph from 11 to 15 mph, and $100 and 30 days of jail time for every mph above 15 mph.

            I don't want Big Brother getting that strong.

            WSB, it would be easy. No working GPS logger no license.

            Comment


            • #7
              Or easier - Every car sold in the US will be built with a GPS logger just like they have seatbelts, etc.
              Deleted signature for the safety of my cars.....

              Please note that my posts are not personal attacks - they are my observations/opinions - your opinions may vary.

              Comment


              • #8
                How would the retrofit, or force a retrofit, this device for older cars?

                This is scary. Next thing you know, they'll be charging a sidewalk tax and want to implant chips in everyone so they can see how much they should be charged for using sidewalks.

                Boohiss...

                It's bad enough that Texas is going to have to meet CA smog standards next year. now this? Not good...
                "Live for yourself -- there's no one else more worth living for."
                --Rush, 'Anthem' on Fly by Night - 1975

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                • #9
                  The posts in this forum are starting to make me want to shoot myself... will I be taxed for that?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All they would have to do is integrate the GPS into your license plates. Within a few years every car out there could have them.
                    JW
                    Cannondale Six13
                    LOOK KG 381
                    Klien Quantum Race

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Or - just like emissions testing - no GPS - no license. Easy as pie.
                      Deleted signature for the safety of my cars.....

                      Please note that my posts are not personal attacks - they are my observations/opinions - your opinions may vary.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The penalties for driving without a license aren't that high. Look at how many people do it now.


                        S2KCA - The S2000 Club of America

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by C G
                          How long would it take before speeding tickets would be issued each time you went over the limit. I could see tickets for $5 for every mile per hour from 1 to 5 mph, $25 per mile per hour from 6 to 10 mph over, $50 per mph from 11 to 15 mph, and $100 and 30 days of jail time for every mph above 15 mph.
                          I'd say 3 months, tops, before this feature was "added".


                          S2KCA - The S2000 Club of America

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HC
                            As more hybrid and alternative-power vehicles are built, Forkenbrock said, gas-tax collections will suffer.

                            "A tax at the point of purchase is inferior to user charges at the exact point of travel," he said, explaining the growth of toll roads in recent years.
                            And how long before people realize they're being taxed by the mile and start taking shorter routes, car pooling, and not driving as much? There are other ways to circumvent this taxation, though most people seem unwilling to do so now.


                            S2KCA - The S2000 Club of America

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I certainly wouldn't be opposed to this as long as it is implemented correctly and enforced properly. I drive a lot of miles myself and also operate a company that has large trucks, too. it needs to be configured in a way that taxes are assessed based on the damage to the roads by the vehicle. for example, I operate a CDL class truck that runs 500+ miles per day, however I only carry about 30,000 lbs GVW compared to other trucks in the area hauling sand and gravel at 80,000 lbs GVW and run only 150 miles per day.The heavier truck does more damage than mine does (per mile). That's just one of the factors that will need to be considered. I think it would be a regulatory and compliance nightmare. In the end the consumer would still be paying in the form of higher prices for everything that has to be transported. I just think there's a lot of work and issue to be resolved before implementation. And we all know how well any goverment programs go..............

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I guess I would be better off with a milage tax, since I drove only 217 miles in the last 36 days. Of course then I should pay a tax on my bicycle miles, since I ride 200+ miles per week. Now if we took damage to the road into consideration, the contact patch on the bike is >1 in^2, and I (including the bike) weigh in at 190 lbs, so that would be approximately 200 psi on the road. If the average car has a total contact patch (I am guessing here) of <144 in^2, and weighs 4000 lbs, then the pressure it exerts on the road is ~28 psi. So I should be charged much more for riding my bike than for driving my car. Now let me apply this to the trucks. I will assume the same contact patch area per tire, but spread it out over 18 tires, for a total of 648 in^2. I will just split the difference in the weight of the trucks, or about 55,000 lbs. Which gives us ~85 psi. So a bicycle rider should be charged more per mile than a truck driver.

                                Of course all of the above is totally bogus, but I have nothing better to do at work today, and am really getting tired of playing video games.
                                JW
                                Cannondale Six13
                                LOOK KG 381
                                Klien Quantum Race

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Toll tag users already have the ability to get automated speeding tickets. I've never gotten one but the potential is stated in the fine print for the EZTag system in Texas.

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                                  • #18
                                    I've heard of people getting stopped here in IL with the use of our I-Pass. The cops sit at one toll booth and get instant printouts showing your time between two toll booths and then they take off after you.

                                    I'd cut out the middle man and just mail them....
                                    Deleted signature for the safety of my cars.....

                                    Please note that my posts are not personal attacks - they are my observations/opinions - your opinions may vary.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Sparrow
                                      Toll tag users already have the ability to get automated speeding tickets. I've never gotten one but the potential is stated in the fine print for the EZTag system in Texas.
                                      I've always been a little worried about this. The day I get a ticket in the mail from the tolltag is the day I smash it into tiny tiny bits and send it back to them

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