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  1. #1
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Oregon--the first per-mile gasoline tax in the nation starts today

    About | MyOReGO

    18 Reasons for America to Adopt a Per-Mile Driving Fee - CityLab


    What do you think?

    ETA:
    I misspoke in the thread title. This is not a gas tax, it's a per vehicle-mile-traveled user fee for driving. So far, it's voluntary and limited to 5,000 drivers in Oregon. But it is intended as a test project for much wider use as a mandatory user fee in and beyond Oregon.
    Last edited by Roody; 07-02-15 at 11:24 AM.


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  2. #2
    ****** squegeeboo's Avatar
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    It's an interesting concept. As MPH continues to get better on cars, they need to replace the lost gas tax revenue, I think I'd rather just see a slight increase in the state income or sales tax with all of it earmarked for infrastructure, but that seems non-viable as well. (Not the increase, but enforcing the earmark)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    It sounds like a good idea to me, but I'm sure cagers won't be at all amused at the prospect of paying their fair share, and the pushback will be strong.

  4. #4
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    It isn't mandatory yet, and with a 60 mpg car I won't be volunteering to join it. There's no way to do it without more hassles, as I don't have to go through any inspections for my car now. I support a higher gas tax for now, though I see that something like the /mile tax will be needed some day. Preferable some time 4 years 3 months from now, after which I'll be retired and won't drive enough to care.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by squegeeboo View Post
    It's an interesting concept. As MPH continues to get better on cars, they need to replace the lost gas tax revenue, I think I'd rather just see a slight increase in the state income or sales tax with all of it earmarked for infrastructure, but that seems non-viable as well. (Not the increase, but enforcing the earmark)
    Most transportation infrastructure is already paid for by taxes other than the gas tax. This is about trying to slow the steady decline in user fee payments (tolls, gas taxes, registration fees) so the proportion paid by motorists doesn't drop even lower.

  6. #6
    Junior Member chubbyhubs's Avatar
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    I think it will be a nice idea, but someone is going to figure out how to rig the system when forced to comply. The scary thing is if the government uses it as a means to remove cars that do not contain a digital presence to track. Oregon has a very high rate of trying to adopt projects to be first. While not all the projects are successful the projects do cost a ton of tax payer money. My first vote of a way to rig the system will be based on the consequences leveraged for not complying. Any way it turns out the project will most likely start a new way to leverage taxes. May even be entertaining to observe.

  7. #7
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    The vast majority of the public drive cars. Any move to make car drivers pay more of the infrastructure costs with more directly-felt pay as you go fees will be met with resistance. And given their majority status, what force is it that will overcome that resistance?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Clyde1820's Avatar
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    A per-mile travel tax seems a clear disincentive to improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles.

    IMO, much better to boost the overall gas tax, property tax, income tax portions allocated to roadways. Spreads the load, has the built-in incentive to improve fuel efficiency, has the built-in "assist" for lower incomes (whether via a flat rate or a scaling rate).

  9. #9
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    At this point, Oregon is one of the few states where there has been any kind of agreement on funding highways. I do give them credit for that.

    One problem with user fees is that in effect they are regressive taxes. That means that the richer you are, the smaller percentage of your income you spend on the fees. Low income people spend a bigger proportion of income on "necessities" like driving. Also, they often have to drive farther to get to jobs, education, and especially shopping. This means that low income people will feel more pain from higher gas fees/taxes. Is that fair or is it even good economics?


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  10. #10
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Anddddddd, won't take long, for the pollyticians to add ALL transportation vehicles to their plan...... and that will include bikes! MHO

    Don't forget, that when gas went from $1 a gallon, to $4 a gallon, the states got a HUGE windfall in sales taxes - and none of that went to roads and bridges...... it all went into the spend it as fast as you can pockets, of the pollyticians.. That was a huge boon to their tax collections!

    Given pollyticians, there is no good tax, in any form - it ain't their money, so they waste all they can.

    I say NO to any new taxes or fees - make them learn to live with what they have.
    Last edited by Wanderer; 07-03-15 at 06:46 AM.

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  11. #11
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Anddddddd, won't take long, for the pollyticians to add ALL transportation vehicles to their plan...... and that will include bikes! MHO

    Don't forget, that when gas went from $1 a gallon, to $4 a gallon, the states got a HUGE windfall in sales taxes - and none of that went to roads and bridges...... it all went into the spend it as fast as you can pockets, of the pollyticians.. That was a huge boon to their tax collections!

    Given pollyticians, there is no good tax, in any form - it ain't their money, so they waste all they can.

    I say NO to any new taxes or fees - make them learn to live with what they have.
    Well, "what they have" is curb-to-curb potholes and crumbling bridges. I would like for them to do something to fix those. I don't expect they will be fixed for free, and I don't think the state's Aunt Millie is going to die soon and leave them a big pile of money. That means that those of us who want better roads are going to have to figure out a way to pay for them.

    If you don't want to pay for our roads, you can build your own. Or stay home.


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  12. #12
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Well, that's basically wrong..... "what they have created" is the potholes ,by spending foolishly on their pet projects, without considering what is neeed! If they would learn to prioritize, and spend what they have smarter - we'd all be better off!

    Believe me, I live in ILLINOIS, and pay my fair share all around.............. home of some of the highest taxes in the US!

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  13. #13
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    One benefit of a per-mile tax is that those who move to half-electric or totally electric vehicles still have to pony up for their share. The down side is that my Hummer is taxed same as your Ford Festiva. Both use gas, but your Festiva uses a lot less. The Hummer also inflicts considerably more damage to roads.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    About | MyOReGO

    18 Reasons for America to Adopt a Per-Mile Driving Fee - CityLab


    What do you think?

    ETA:
    I misspoke in the thread title. This is not a gas tax, it's a per vehicle-mile-traveled user fee for driving. So far, it's voluntary and limited to 5,000 drivers in Oregon. But it is intended as a test project for much wider use as a mandatory user fee in and beyond Oregon.
    Businesses will hate this. As consumers live a distance away from the business.
    Although I never drove a car. I know myself as a person who has driven many miles -- to get to the business that I demand to do retail business with. Hence, distance sacrificing has always being done. Like the closest bike shops not being of the correct bike shops -- for the bike that I have/had. (add) The quality of the closest bike shops. ETC. As this not only apply to "bike."

  15. #15
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
    A per-mile travel tax seems a clear disincentive to improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles.

    IMO, much better to boost the overall gas tax.
    That is a good point.


    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
    ...better to boost...property tax, income tax portions allocated to roadways.
    I'm not so sure about this part. Where is the incentive to drive less, or use less gas, if the money is already spent either way?
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  16. #16
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    The only reason to voluntarily join something like this is if one has a pickup that gets 10 MPG.

    Oregon tried this a few years ago with the Prius Tax... which quickly got shot down as it was pointed out out that the government should encourage fuel economy rather than discourage it.

    This is a back door way to start overtaxing those that choose environmental friendly vehicles.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    It sounds like a good idea to me, but I'm sure cagers won't be at all amused at the prospect of paying their fair share, and the pushback will be strong.
    +1

    It's going to very difficult to pass because drivers are going to pay much more than before. The only people I see using this device are drivers who barely use their vehicle can now avoid paying gas taxes. You can have someone go to the pump to refill the tank each day and that's all the driving they do. Now they can resell the gas to others at a reduced price.

    I still believe tolls are the future.

  18. #18
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    One benefit of a per-mile tax is that those who move to half-electric or totally electric vehicles still have to pony up for their share. The down side is that my Hummer is taxed same as your Ford Festiva. Both use gas, but your Festiva uses a lot less. The Hummer also inflicts considerably more damage to roads.
    That is very easy to address by including a GVW factor in the tax. Of course, the political will may be lacking.
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

  19. #19
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    +1

    It's going to very difficult to pass because drivers are going to pay much more than before. The only people I see using this device are drivers who barely use their vehicle can now avoid paying gas taxes. You can have someone go to the pump to refill the tank each day and that's all the driving they do. Now they can resell the gas to others at a reduced price.

    I still believe tolls are the future.
    The future is a non-voluntary tax, where all vehicles will get these devices. So, everyone, in theory, will get the reduced fuel tax amount.

    It will be exceptionally complicated for those out of state residents for example the Vancouver residents that work in Oregon.

    If this is considered as a new State tax... and I can't see it as being considered as anything other than a new tax, then it will have to go to the voters as a referendum. And it is a difficult environment to get new taxes passed.

    No doubt the environmentalist lobby against it will be extreme.

    For the low mileage vehicles... I've driven my Blazer about 1/2 mile since last October, and NONE of it was on Public roads. The accounting will be more complicated than the value added from the taxes. I also don't own any cars with electronic odometers, and the mechanical odometers are mighty easy to disconnect.

  20. #20
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    There are different reasons for gas taxes, tolls, and user fees. One reason is to fund the construction and maintenance of highways. Another distinct reason is to discourage behavior that leads to unwanted outcomes such as pollution and traffic congestion.

    Should we keep these different reasons in mind when considering which tax is "best"?

    I think that a blend of taxes might be the best answer. Revenue-neutral gas taxes or user fees will certainly reduce traffic, but they won't raise money for highways. Income or property taxes will raise a lot more money, but they will do nothing to reduce traffic. We might need to hit on a combination in order to do everything we want to do.


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by squegeeboo View Post
    It's an interesting concept. As MPH continues to get better on cars, they need to replace the lost gas tax revenue, I think I'd rather just see a slight increase in the state income or sales tax with all of it earmarked for infrastructure, but that seems non-viable as well. (Not the increase, but enforcing the earmark)
    It is not miles driven that destroy roads, it is WEIGHT.

    The taxes on heavier vehicles needs to go up up to cover any shortfalls.

  22. #22
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    That is very easy to address by including a GVW factor in the tax. Of course, the political will may be lacking.
    That is one of the arguments used by the DMV to support the program, though for now it's the same rate for any passenger vehicle.

    I did the math the other day, and I would pay three times as much via the /mile tax as I do via the 30 cents/gallon gas tax. No big deal, as it would be 300 bucks compared to 100.

    Do some states have gas taxes as a percentage of the price of tax, like a sales tax? In Oregon it's a flat rate (some local towns add a bit to it) so Oregon never saw any windfalls coming in from higher gas prices.
    Ed Miller
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