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Az Desert Dweller
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Newsday.com
AP Interview: Transportation secretary says taxing how much we drive may replace gasoline tax
By JOAN LOWY

Associated Press Writer

7:17 AM EST, February 20, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he wants to consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive rather than how much gasoline they burn — an idea that has angered drivers in some states where it has been proposed.

Gasoline taxes that for nearly half a century have paid for the federal share of highway and bridge construction can no longer be counted on to raise enough money to keep the nation's transportation system moving, LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled," the former Illinois Republican lawmaker said.

Most transportation experts see a vehicle miles traveled tax as a long-term solution, but Congress is being urged to move in that direction now by funding pilot projects.

The idea also is gaining ground in several states. Governors in Idaho and Rhode Island are talking about such programs, and a North Carolina panel suggested in December the state start charging motorists a quarter-cent for every mile as a substitute for the gas tax.

A tentative plan in Massachusetts to use GPS chips in vehicles to charge motorists by the mile has drawn complaints from drivers who say it's an Orwellian intrusion by government into the lives of citizens. Other motorists say it eliminates an incentive to drive more fuel-efficient cars since gas guzzlers will be taxed at the same rate as fuel sippers.

Besides a VMT tax, more tolls for highways and bridges and more government partnerships with business to finance transportation projects are other funding options, LaHood, one of two Republicans in President Barack Obama's Cabinet, said in the interview Thursday.

"What I see this administration doing is this — thinking outside the box on how we fund our infrastructure in America," he said.

LaHood said he firmly opposes raising the federal gasoline tax in the current recession.

The program that funds the federal share of highway projects is part of a surface transportation law that expires Sept. 30. Last fall, Congress made an emergency infusion of $8 billion to make up for a shortfall between gas tax revenues and the amount of money promised to states for their projects. The gap between money raised by the gas tax and the cost of maintaining the nation's highway system and expanding it to accommodate population growth is forecast to continue to widen.

Among the reasons for the gap is a switch to more fuel-efficient cars and a decrease in driving that many transportation experts believe is related to the economic downturn. Electric cars and alternative-fuel vehicles that don't use gasoline are expected to start penetrating the market in greater numbers.

"One of the things I think everyone agrees with around reauthorization of the highway bill is that the highway trust fund is an antiquated system for funding our highways," LaHood said. "It did work to build the interstate system and it was very effective, there's no question about that. But the big question now is, We're into the 21st century and how are we going to take care of our infrastructure needs ... with a highway trust fund that had to be plused up by $8 billion by Congress last year?"

A blue-ribbon national transportation commission is expected to release a report next week recommending a VMT.

The system would require all cars and trucks be equipped with global satellite positioning technology, a transponder, a clock and other equipment to record how many miles a vehicle was driven, whether it was driven on highways or secondary roads, and even whether it was driven during peak traffic periods or off-peak hours.

The device would tally how much tax motorists owed depending upon their road use. Motorists would pay the amount owed when it was downloaded, probably at gas stations at first, but an alternative eventually would be needed.

Rob Atkinson, president of the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, the agency that is developing future transportation funding options, said moving to a national VMT would take about a decade.

Privacy concerns are based more on perception than any actual risk, Atkinson said. The satellite information would be beamed one way to the car and driving information would be contained within the device on the car, with the amount of the tax due the only information that's downloaded, he said.

The devices also could be programmed to charge higher rates to vehicles that are heavier, like trucks that put more stress on roadways, Atkinson said.

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On the Net:

National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission: http://financecommission

What next are they gonna tax every mile "any" aircraft, boat, motorcyle, moped, lawnmower, go-kart, gas powered vehicle.........these friggin people are out of control, and the worse is yet to come !!!!

And yes I robbed the article from Riverdaves

This is crap...........................:mad::mad::mad::mad:
 

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So what's the difference between taxing per gallon or per mile?? Those of us with full size trucks might actually get a break...

Problem is, they'll probably do both..
 

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yeah, i am sure they will go easy on us that drive larger vehicles.
Everyone better get thier head out of thier ass with this admin. They do not like our way of life.
 

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huh?
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More tax = problem.

GPS unit in your vehicle? (Tracking everywhere you go, how fast you go, etc) = problem.

Oh I know, "they're only using it to track your mileage and never for anything else".

1984 here we come.

Rob
 

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Az Desert Dweller
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Discussion Starter #6
:mad::mad: hey maybe they'll implant a chip on all of and every time we say, "shit", "ass", "hell", "bitch","F!*k", we'll get charged some monetary value, and every time we "fart", we'll get charged a green house gas fee, and when we don't agree with the dems, we'll get charged another fee......and on and on and on..............................:mad::mad:
 

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Red Blooded American
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The genius of government! They can't live within their means so they ask us to live beyond ours to support their inept spending addictions.

Everything about government is getting out of hand! It's time we reduce the U.S. Government to National security and Military only and let the States manage the bare essentials.

Here's an example of how bad we have allowed this to grow:
Here in Arizona (as does your state) we have an "Egg Inspection" department with numerous staff for what? Can't the people simply decide whose eggs they will buy based on quality? We do with most everything else we buy?
 

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Gone
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:mad::mad: hey maybe they'll implant a chip on all of and every time we say, "shit", "ass", "hell", "bitch","F!*k", we'll get charged some monetary value, and every time we "fart", we'll get charged a green house gas fee, and when we don't agree with the dems, we'll get charged another fee......and on and on and on..............................:mad::mad:
I am sure they have considered it and will slip that in with the next "package".
 

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mo balls than $cents$
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yeahhh, let em put gps's in our cars and i'll let all yall know how to disarm it on gm's, then turn it back on when ya need to:D i'd be all for it if gas gets cheaper, i can figure out a way around the gps shit;)
 

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:mad::mad: hey maybe they'll implant a chip on all of and every time we say, "shit", "ass", "hell", "bitch","F!*k", we'll get charged some monetary value, and every time we "fart", we'll get charged a green house gas fee, and when we don't agree with the dems, we'll get charged another fee......and on and on and on..............................:mad::mad:

Soon they will implant chips in our boats when they figure out they use gas also!

:|err
 

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This is one plan that I will never comply with. I would rather die than let my son have to spend his life never knowing the freedom of not being tracked and taxed by the state for moving about in his car. It is one thing for them to put a consumption tax on our fuel and indirectly tax our movement in our cars. It is a whole other thing to actually track our movements in our cars and directly tax us for simply exercising our basic right to use our own property and move about freely...In my opinion any state that adopts this policy will become a totalitarian state and it's residents will be nothing more than serfs....:|err
 

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This real nice! So when I have to do jury duty for the US District Court in Prescott, not only driving 200+ miles each way I would be taxed on top of it. I swear, the goverment seams they need more money for their so called budget. Can the general public see what programs are actually in the budget? Who knows, there might be raises and programs that are not needed.
 

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Also included in the discussions is the ability to charge different rates at rush hours and other times of day. This is certainly a step in the wrong direction!
 

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this bull no way in hell i'm going to do this i'll get a bike and ride my ass off and lose some fat cell
 

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If there was GPS in the 1930s, Hitler would have probably only used it to track and tax the cars of jews, Stalin would have used it to track his military officers movements, and this idea most likely would have been too Draconian for Mussolini to attempt..
 
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There are approx. 280,000,000 cars and trucks in the United States.

Our leaders can't tell their asses from a hole in the ground, do you really think they'll figure out a way to implant 280M gps tracking devices and then do accounting for each one of them?

Propaganda and scare tactics so that we don't complain too much when they raise the gas tax.
 

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Az Desert Dweller
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Discussion Starter #20
you'll just recieve your gps when you have to do your registration, and install at the dmv with some super space age adhesive, then you'll be given your keys back........remember he'll be creating "new" jobs.
 
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