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| | |-+  'miles driven' tax
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Question: would you support such an idea?
yes   -7 (20%)
no   -28 (80%)
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Total Voters: 35

Author Topic: 'miles driven' tax  (Read 1135 times)
LastVoter
seatown
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« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2012, 02:33:16 am »
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That's going to be hard (if not impossible) to get passed into law.  Maybe you'd have a chance if you put in some loopholes to the truck tax for farmers, construction workers and such.  Nobody needs an SUV unless you go off road frequently and need to carry covered cargo or people while you do it, you'd basically kill that market (something I'd like to see happen, but not this way).  And like I said earlier, there already is a gas guzzler tax on vehicles (<22.5mpg I think....confirmed).  You could probably get away with raising that number up to 25.  There is also the CAFE tax on car makers, but that has had less than stellar results as well.  From wiki
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Before the oil price increases of the 2000s, Overall fuel economy for both cars and light trucks in the U.S. market reached its highest level in 1987, when manufacturers managed 26.2 mpg (8.98 L/100 km). The average in 2004 was 24.6 mpg.[25] In that time, vehicles increased in size from an average of 3,220 pounds to 4,066 pounds (1,461 kg to 1,844 kg), in part due to an increase in truck ownership during that time from 28% to 53%.
The SUV is the main reason for the decline in avg mpg since 1987.  Americans like big cars.  Because the Gas Guzzler tax doesn't effect trucks/SUVs, the people that like big vehicles have moved on to them (mainly SUVs).  So you're correct to aim your proposed legislation at them, if only there was a way to aim it so that it didn't hit the people that actually use these vehicles for their intended purpose and only hit the trendy douchebags that need a new Yukon because their neighbor just got one.

(if you can't tell, I freaking hate SUVs and other tall vehicles, especially when a 110lb soccer mom tries to park one)
Yea I hate SUV's too, although that's a bit hypocritical because I want to buy a Subaru Outback(26 mpg). So I'm guessing the reason for the loophole in gas guzzler tax is that GMC/Ford lobbied Obama to keep SUV's/Trucks untaxed?
Personal car opinions aside, if you want to change someone's behavior you have to nuke it from orbit. Stopping suburb construction in big cities is an obvious one(I am at least one household member who commutes to the city which has over 1mil in csa in a suburb drives 50 miles round trip per day, so that's a solid 12k miles  they put in just commuting every year), and this would probably not be so regressive. Gas tax is another one, which would be pretty regressive and no concern for the poor. I think taxing new SUV's/Trucks and writing tax breaks in when appropriate moderate heroish option, that wouldn't really result in a behavior change, just the amount of gas used(still a good thing), and could make American cars competitive in other regions of the world again. Right now sin taxes that are prohibitive are only for cigarettes, and booze in some places, both very regressive for obvious reasons. I think that freezing all suburb construction would be worth considering if you are pretty confident that gas prices will spike $8-9 gallon over one summer from natural causes like they did in '07(but baseline was lower at that point), because at that point the suburbs will become deadweight/China status. This would mean as much as $3-5k expenses for gas, double food prices, and utility bills going up unless you live in a geographically favored area for alternative energy.  Rural areas could mitigate the second one by producing their own food, and are more likely to be favored for the third one, urban areas can potentially handle the first ones, and in very few cases the third one. Either way it would be a second great depression, depending on how peak oil happens. The best case scenario is the current plateau of oil production continues to slowly decline and keeps the prices rising steadily at about 50 cents per year for a few years giving a wake up call to Americans before oil production accelerates it's drop. Even if you are completely optimistic about our ability to adapt/extract unextractable oil we will at least see another recession.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 03:13:12 am by seatown »Logged
WillK
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« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2012, 07:44:49 am »
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I do not think this has been adequately proven.
Do people that make 10 times as much as you tend to drive 10 times as much as you?  Do people that make $25k a year drive half as much as people that make $50k? 
[/quote]
Those are not measures of repressiveness of a tax on distance driven.     

Personally I dont drive much.  I walk and take the train.  So it is quite possible that richer people drive 10 times more than me.
 


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« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2012, 09:22:06 am »
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My point was that the amount people drive really isn't all that dependent on wealth.  Just like smoking and drinking.  Thus a gas tax is going to be just as regressive as sin taxes.  And I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong (unlike sin taxes, which I do think are wrong), or that we shouldn't have them or that they should vary depending on income level and/or wealth.  Like I said in my last post, I'm all for gas taxes, even more gas taxes if we have roads and bridges that need fixing.
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« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2012, 09:28:18 am »
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Same amount of tax no matter how much gas your car guzzles?
Yeah, I don't really think so. Would help utility vehicles, of course, but would alas also help SUV drivers.
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« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2012, 03:30:43 am »
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Yuck. Perhaps I'm not far enough to the left on economics (I would think -6 would be enough) or it's my regional influence, but this just smacks of wrong. Maybe it's because it has bad elements from left and right (regressive tax, radical environmentalism) or maybe it's just the 5 cent per mile number that's ruining it for me.

I'm not big on emissions testing and monitored driving; the government can do much in terms of influencing mileage standards, national manufacturer emission standards and the standard fuel tax. A tax like this would also be felt across the entire economy. What happens to truckers and therefore, logistics and transportation costs of products? People would pay more to be able to drive, and again for everything else that has to be driven.  

Double the gas tax to 36.8 cents and that'll generate ~$125 billion per year in additional revenue. Use that to develop the next mass-produced automobile fuel sources and systems over ten years (electric, hydrogen).
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 03:32:52 am by A.W.G.N. »Logged

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« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2012, 03:01:18 pm »
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We do need to consider what will replace the fuel tax as a funding source for roads when we transition to a post-internal combustion society.  However, there is no indication that will be happening soon.
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« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2012, 08:41:49 pm »
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Terrible idea. You'd need a new layer of bureaucracy to implement it, and it's horribly regressive. Some people can't afford to move closer to where they work, so it'll punish a lot of people just for being in the situation they are in. I have a relative who is a good example - she's a prison nurse and she has to drive an hour each way, and she is not going to be able to move from where she is for a multitude of reasons.

This would also discourage tourism for many areas, as people would be less likely to want to drive to wherever they want to go for their vacations because it will now cost them more. Not everyone can afford plane tickets for their whole family. The decrease in tourism would result in economic decline in areas that depend on it.

We're far better off investing into research on viable fuel alternatives and encouraging people to buy more fuel efficient vehicles.
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« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2012, 09:36:09 pm »
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Terrible idea. You'd need a new layer of bureaucracy to implement it

Not really, not if it's used to fund local roads and a cap is established on how many miles are taxed.  Most, if not all states require you to pay property tax on cars and the county sends you a bill based on the blue-book value for having been driven so many miles (in SC it's 15000 mi/yr) with a way for you to appeal the bill if you've driven it more than that so that it has a lower value.  Set the tax based on the assumption you drive the vehicle 10000 mi/yr and let people appeal it if they can show they drove less.  Other than you'd get more appeals thus making that layer of the bureaucracy bigger to manage the increased workload, there would be no real problems.

As a replacement for the federal gas tax this wouldn't work, but for state and local gas taxes it would.
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« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2012, 08:06:49 am »
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Set the tax based on the assumption you drive the vehicle 10000 mi/yr and let people appeal it if they can show they drove less.

Wouldn't that defeat the entire purpose the tax is being proposed for considering that it wouldn't tax the people who drove more than that anything additional?
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« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2012, 09:37:57 am »
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Set the tax based on the assumption you drive the vehicle 10000 mi/yr and let people appeal it if they can show they drove less.

Wouldn't that defeat the entire purpose the tax is being proposed for considering that it wouldn't tax the people who drove more than that anything additional?

I'll agree that it is opposite to Mitty's proposal, but as an anti-greenhouse gas measure, either the existing motor vehicle fuel taxes or carbon taxes are simpler and more directly relevant to the alleged goal.  I was considering whether a miles driven tax could be used as a substitute for fuel taxes as a means of paying for roads once we all have vehicles powered by batteries and/or hydrogen fuel cells.

Same basic concept, but far different reason for implementing it.
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« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2012, 01:04:31 pm »
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A number of states already have toll roads where the toll is based on miles driven. 
This idea would expand the system to all roads.
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