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Old 01-16-2010, 06:11 PM
 
1,278 posts, read 2,715,278 times
Reputation: 911

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NBCDFW article:
Quote:
The Texas Department of Transportation is investigating whether such a device might also be used to tax drivers for how much they use roads.

Im not ready to embrace that technology, but it is a technology we may have to look at, said State Sen. John Carona, of Dallas, a Republican.

Carona said Texas has an estimated $100 billion worth of unfunded transportation needs.

The money simply does not exist, and if people are being honest with constituents, they come out and just tell them that," he said. "We dont have the money in Austin, and there isnt the ability locally to raise this money to be able to solve these problems.
Mileage is a better indicator of a vehicle's contribution to road congestion than the number of gallons of gasoline consumed. If the alternative is a gas tax hike, full-sized car owners would be better off with a mileage tax. Economy car owners would be better off with a gas tax hike, if some kind of tax hike is inevitable. The problem the owner of any vehicle would have with a mileage tax is privacy-related. What do you think?
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Charleston Sc and Western NC
9,274 posts, read 21,803,567 times
Reputation: 4659
I'm thinking the government should not be involved with our choices in how far/how often we drive our car, or what kind of car we chose to drive. The government doesn't need to be involved in any of it's citizens personal choices. Toll roads are penalty enough to the monster commuters in this state.

Gas taxes will continue to increase if cap-n-tax goes through. Just like banking fees will increase if bamascare penalizes big banks. Pass it on to the little guy.
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Dripping Springs , TX
786 posts, read 2,304,867 times
Reputation: 236
If the government wants to tax us on mileage driven, they do not need a fancy device. The annual safety records the mileage on the car. This can be submitted to the government so they can send out a tax bill.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:28 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,079 posts, read 15,935,167 times
Reputation: 7682
Does it EVER occur to people like Corona that the solution isn't to find new and ingenious ways to tax us? The solution is to cut spending.

How hard is that to figure out?
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
5,453 posts, read 8,293,600 times
Reputation: 7233
Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
Does it EVER occur to people like Corona that the solution isn't to find new and ingenious ways to tax us? The solution is to cut spending.

How hard is that to figure out?
And where, pray tell, do you think we should start cutting? We're already near the bottom in education spending (and educational performance). But hey, our dropout rate is near the top!

The truth is it's not as simple as cutting spending. Unless you want to privatize everything (and we've seen how well that's worked out for electricity and the SCHIP program), governmental spending has to grow at or near the rate of inflation just to keep up with increased costs.

I am completely opposed to the mileage meter. There is absolutely no justifiable reason for the government to attach a GPS tracking device to your car, no matter how much they promise that the data will only be used to perform tax calculations.

Regardless of the OP's belief that John Carona is a "perennial" supporter of a gas tax increase, the gas tax has been the same for over 15 years. During that timeframe increases in fuel mileage standards have caused the growth rate of gas tax revenues to decline. At the same time, construction costs have increased at a rate greater than inflation. Reduced gas tax revenue + increased construction costs = shortfall.

True, the state of Texas could stop diverting gas tax revenue to the general fund, but even if TxDOT were to start receiving 100% of that revenue right now, they still wouldn't have enough money to keep up with highway expansion needs.

People in this country have been trained to have a Pavlovian response to the word "tax." When they hear it they start screaming and bickering. They do irrational and stupid things.

Tollways are a prime example of this. Taxpayers will gladly bend themselves over a barrel and pay a toll that's 10 times more than a gas tax increase because it's a "toll" and not a "tax." Idiots.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Dripping Springs , TX
786 posts, read 2,304,867 times
Reputation: 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
Tollways are a prime example of this. Taxpayers will gladly bend themselves over a barrel and pay a toll that's 10 times more than a gas tax increase because it's a "toll" and not a "tax." Idiots.
I think tolls are more readily accepted by some, because it is a case of instant gratification. People who pay the toll do so "willingly" because it allows them to drive on a (usually) new and well maintained road, with lower traffic volumes, therefore saving them time and reduced stress from reduced traffic.

If people are paying a tax, they do not directly associate the tax paid with improved road conditions.

Another advantage of the toll system is the toll is paid only by those who actually use the road.

Now when the government takes as existing road and decides to put a toll on it .... that is going too far.
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Old 01-17-2010, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 20,248,410 times
Reputation: 4962
I'd rather have more gas tax than a mileage tax. The latter smacks of Big Brother way too much. I despise toll roads.

What's next, border guards at the county lines? Sheesh.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
3,313 posts, read 4,753,488 times
Reputation: 1853
A mileage tax may be inevitable to stem the tide of falling gas tax revenues against upcoming vehicles like the Nissan Leaf electric car that doesn't use any gasoline at all.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Charleston Sc and Western NC
9,274 posts, read 21,803,567 times
Reputation: 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
A mileage tax may be inevitable to stem the tide of falling gas tax revenues against upcoming vehicles like the Nissan Leaf electric car that doesn't use any gasoline at all.

Gotta love those plug in cars for the enviroment. Plug it in, use electricity, which is powered from coal...makes for some clean air.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,079 posts, read 15,935,167 times
Reputation: 7682
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
And where, pray tell, do you think we should start cutting? We're already near the bottom in education spending (and educational performance). But hey, our dropout rate is near the top!

The truth is it's not as simple as cutting spending. Unless you want to privatize everything (and we've seen how well that's worked out for electricity and the SCHIP program), governmental spending has to grow at or near the rate of inflation just to keep up with increased costs.

I am completely opposed to the mileage meter. There is absolutely no justifiable reason for the government to attach a GPS tracking device to your car, no matter how much they promise that the data will only be used to perform tax calculations.

Regardless of the OP's belief that John Carona is a "perennial" supporter of a gas tax increase, the gas tax has been the same for over 15 years. During that timeframe increases in fuel mileage standards have caused the growth rate of gas tax revenues to decline. At the same time, construction costs have increased at a rate greater than inflation. Reduced gas tax revenue + increased construction costs = shortfall.

True, the state of Texas could stop diverting gas tax revenue to the general fund, but even if TxDOT were to start receiving 100% of that revenue right now, they still wouldn't have enough money to keep up with highway expansion needs.

People in this country have been trained to have a Pavlovian response to the word "tax." When they hear it they start screaming and bickering. They do irrational and stupid things.

Tollways are a prime example of this. Taxpayers will gladly bend themselves over a barrel and pay a toll that's 10 times more than a gas tax increase because it's a "toll" and not a "tax." Idiots.

The current budget for the state is $167 billion dollars, which has increased at roughly 17% more than just accounting for inflation and population growth. I can't fathom how anyone can just assume every dollar of that is being spent for worthwhile purposes and that no savings can be found or, worse yet, supporting higher taxes without going through that budget with a fine tooth comb and culling out the non-essentials first.

Privatize? Privatization isn't the answer. All that does is shift the burden of running programs and facilities to someone else, someone mostly unaccountable, without ever addressing whether the state needs to be involved with that or not.
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