Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The California Legislature is looking at a voluntary program that would tax motorists for every mile they drive. State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, introduced a bill to test out the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax because the state's gas tax was no longer bringing in the revenue it used to due to people driving more fuel efficient vehicles. "We want to do as Washington and Oregon have done in a much bigger state with much longer commutes ... to make sure that we find out whether it would work, whether the public would like it or not," DeSaulnier said.

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Next up- we are going to tax you for every mile you walk in one of our state run parks or forests... Shirley, you can't be serious. Are they going to go after Pedro in his 64 Chevy or the guy in a new bimmer. The TSA checkpoints... oh, the fun we could have...

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Just like Oregon and Washington already do.

#1 | Posted by REDIAL at 2014-05-06 11:14 AM | Reply | Flag:

Just like Oregon and Washington already do.

I didn't know that. How is that done? Do residents have to report their odometer readings to the state every year? If so, can't they just claim the mileage was out of state? Seems like it would be a logistical nightmare.

#2 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-06 11:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

Why would people volunteer for such a program?

#3 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-06 11:22 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Goatman, its voluntary... but for how long?

So long as they get rid of the state gasoline tax, I don't see an issue. Its a more reasonable tax for usage.

Regarding out of state vacations, well deduct it, and prove it with receipts.

It should be part of your registration, pay your income and registration tax all at once.

#4 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-05-06 11:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

It's because of all the hippies with their stupid hybrids. Not collecting enough gas tax so got to find a new way to make up the revenue.

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet

Taxman!
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

Don't ask me what I want it for (Aahh Mr. Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more (Aahh Mr. Heath)
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

And you're working for no one but me
Taxman!

#5 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-05-06 11:46 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"Just like Oregon and Washington already do."

Lived in Oregon 15 years...never been asked to pay a tax on my miles travelled... hell, my odometer doesn't even work.

#6 | Posted by 503jc69 at 2014-05-06 11:49 AM | Reply | Flag:

So long as they get rid of the state gasoline tax, I don't see an issue.
#4 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS AT 2014-05-06 11:40 AM | FLAG:

I would be surprised if they got rid of the gas tax...the article states that the state is already facing a shortfall in revenues from the gas tax. Running the numbers, CA currently gets 52.9 cents/gallon; if someone gets 20 miles/gallon, their gas tax is 52.9 cents whereas their "driving" tax would be 30 cents for the same usage. There's no way CA REDUCES gas/driving taxes, so I see this as an additional, regressive tax levied on the CA driving population.

#7 | Posted by bartimus at 2014-05-06 11:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

Obligatory:

Yes, I'm serious, and don't call me Shirley.

#1 I don't know if they did that already or are just considering it.

The issue, of course, is that the Law of Unintended Consequences is a bitch. Making everyone drive high-mileage vehicles reduced the amount of gas-tax revenue, which is a major state and federal money-maker, so the answer is to start taxing you by the mile also. That way they can stick it to the hybrids and electrics, too.

I have long advocated that Oregon could resolve their highway fund issue very easily: Toll booths on I-5 and I-84. My understanding (perhaps inaccurate) of the rules is that if an alternate route exists, you can toll the primary highway. In this case, US 101, US 97, US 26 and US 395 are all capable of providing routes between Washington, Idaho and California. Charge everyone $2/axle and watch the money roll in.

#8 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-05-06 11:56 AM | Reply | Flag:

I have always wondered how states get away with tolling an interstate. That's a federal highway and as such, it seems that would be tinkering with interstate commerce which is unConstitutional.

#9 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-06 12:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Just like Oregon and Washington already do."

Washington does not.

#10 | Posted by salamandagator at 2014-05-06 12:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

Post #4: "So long as they get rid of the state gasoline tax, I don't see an issue. Its a more reasonable tax for usage."

Unfortunately I highly doubt that they will give up the gasoline taxes as they want more than they are getting right now.

#11 | Posted by MSgt at 2014-05-06 02:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

If they are going to justify charging by the mile for the sake of road maintenance, I hope their charges also account for weight and number of axles on vehicles. A forty ton semi is doing far more road damage than a Prius.

#12 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2014-05-06 02:09 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Good for California, now they can run out all the other major business. They run Honda and Nissan out so might try and get all of them out.

Texas is thankful though.

#13 | Posted by moneywar at 2014-05-06 02:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

Think this will fix their employment problem.

#14 | Posted by moneywar at 2014-05-06 02:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

Fewer cars on the road the better. Raising gasoline taxes should have been done a long time ago.

#15 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-05-06 02:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

""I bought a hybrid ... one, because of my drive. I'm very opposed. I drive to Brentwood every day from Burbank, and I am already paying more than I should be," Carmen Smith said.

Already paying more than you should? Gas taxes don't begin to pay for the externalities associated with car culture. This [...] should pay through the nose.

#16 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-05-06 02:52 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"Gas taxes don't begin to pay for the externalities associated with car culture. " - Nulli

That is such a weak argument, you can't even come up with a bill for the externalities many people have tried and its like filing your taxes, everyone has a different number.

#17 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-05-06 02:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

Fewer cars on the road the better. Raising gasoline taxes should have been done a long time ago.
#15 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

Yeah all the Tesla drivers need their space....

But I do agree with raising the taxes....... but only so we can make more and better roads for cycling!

#18 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-05-06 02:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

"the article states that the state is already facing a shortfall in revenues from the gas tax." - Bartimus

I know, but then we should make the electric car registrations more expensive! And no more special privileges in the commuter lane, unless you drive a Tesla!

#19 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-05-06 02:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

"That is such a weak argument,"

If it's so weak, you should be able to disprove it. The fact that a hard and fast number cannot be applied to externalities doesn't prove they exist. How about a gas tax sufficient to pay for the U.S Navy, whose primary duty is protection service for tankers? At the very minimum, gas taxes should cover all highway and bridge construction costs and maintenance costs.

#20 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-05-06 02:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Toll booths on I-5 and I-84. " - Mustang

Can you do that on a Federal highway? I think Florida does.... but I am not sure...

#21 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-05-06 03:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

A forty ton semi is doing far more road damage than a Prius.
#12 | POSTED BY WHATSLEFT

I think the 40ton semi pays taxes on top of gas taxes already.....

Prius drivers are the worst, thus raising the anxiety of the civilisation...

#22 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-05-06 03:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

Nothing like destroying an economy like creating a gas tax, lets hurt the low income society even more.

Then raise the public transportation price it will help all around in the haves and have nots. Liberalism at its best!

#23 | Posted by moneywar at 2014-05-06 03:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Nothing like destroying an economy like creating a gas tax, lets hurt the low income society even more."

People who don't want to pay a gas tax are welfare-queen leeches who don't want to pay their bills.

#24 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-05-06 03:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

"the U.S Navy, whose primary duty is protection service for tankers"

Where did you get that, Skippy?

#21 They do in some places. I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) and I-95/295 (Maine Turnpike) are two I know about. I'm certain there are many, many more east of the Mississippi.

#25 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-05-06 03:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

#24 FLAG: Doesn't live in a rural area.

#26 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-05-06 03:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

Can you do that on a Federal highway? I think Florida does.... but I am not sure...
#21 | Posted by AndreaMackris

White House opens door to tolls on interstate highways, removing long-standing prohibition

#27 | Posted by et_al at 2014-05-06 03:36 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#27 Timely and topical!

#28 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-05-06 03:57 PM | Reply | Flag:

Huge tolls on anyone emigrating to Cali would be a great idea. We need less people, not more.

#29 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-05-06 04:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Lived in Oregon 15 years...never been asked to pay a tax on my miles travelled..."

"Washington does not."

My point was the headline is BS. It's a voluntary experimental program and Oregon and Washington have the same thing.

#30 | Posted by REDIAL at 2014-05-06 04:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

What a stupid state. Another reason to limit the power of the Federal Government so I don't have to be subjected to this bullcrap..

#31 | Posted by boaz at 2014-05-06 05:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Another reason to limit the power of the Federal Government..."

Stupid states are a reason to limit the federal government?

#34 | Posted by REDIAL at 2014-05-06 08:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

They ought to tax passing gas. The tons of dangerous gas farted out every day!
And the carbon dioxide caused by free speech needs re-examination, too. Are rights more important than 'saving the planet'?

#35 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-05-06 08:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

So long as they get rid of the state gasoline tax, I don't see an issue.

Anybody who thinks they'll get rid of an existing tax by creating a new one is absolutely dreaming.

Its a more reasonable tax for usage.

If you're going to tax people for the number of miles driven on the road, why not just have toll roads?

#36 | Posted by sentinel at 2014-05-06 08:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

I hope their charges also account for weight
#12 | Posted by Whatsleft

You can bet they won't do that. Then a 1% driving his Hummer around will pay the same tax as a Prius.

#37 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2014-05-07 01:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

Guess I'll have to go back to disconnecting the speedometer for 9 months a year again.

That's how you avoid the emissions inspection.
Drive under 4K miles a year and you're exempt.

I have 3 vehicles so split between them no vehicle is driven more than 3K miles a year.

#38 | Posted by drewl at 2014-05-07 01:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

Fraud? What a bag.

#39 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2014-05-07 01:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

Why is the democrats solution to problems always "raise taxes"??

#40 | Posted by HLAY2009 at 2014-05-07 01:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

Just like Oregon and Washington already do.

#1 | Posted by REDIAL

And............ they still have a state gas tax.

#41 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-07 01:57 PM | Reply | Flag:

#20 | Posted by nullifidian

I guess you mean the highway funds that are going to tail transit.

#42 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-07 02:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

Huge tolls on anyone emigrating to Cali would be a great idea.

#29 | Posted by nullifidi

That's funny.......... only people moving to CA are the illegals from Mexico. They are costing you a bundle.

#43 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-07 02:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

If you're going to tax people for the number of miles driven on the road, why not just have toll roads?

#36 | Posted by sentinel

Tolls should be charged by the GVW. The hevier the vehicle, the more road damage it does.

Has anyone ever noticed the huge groves in some interstates from the 18 wheelers? Right lane is always the worst.

#44 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-07 02:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

Sniper,
I always assumed that was due to poor foundation under the road. I see driveways like that too, and I assume its because there wasn't enough packed crushed stone under the blacktop.
A buddy got a new blacktop driveway but insisted on keeping it crushed stone for about a year prior so he could pack it down and add more as necessary prior to paving. It sounds logical to me, but so does the weight angle.

#45 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2014-05-07 02:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

Dedicate fuel tax to the maintenance of the roads , bridges, tunnels and the police, fire ,rescue that patrol them.
Using the Fuel tax to pay for anything and everything else not directly related to the road is not a fuel tax, its just a tax they collect at the fuel pump.

You want to use a state recreational area, pay at the gates and have those funds dedicated to that place only, what the people don't want there will be no attendance ,hence no money for it....it goes on the trash heap and is no longer a cost to anyone.

#46 | Posted by MENSAKOOK at 2014-05-07 02:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

#45 | Posted by 101Chairborne

The foundation of a road is the most important item in road design. Pot hiles are caused by moisture in the fdn and then it begans to pump and finaly the pavement breaks.

Highways use to be designed for about 20,000 lbs per axel. I'm not sure what the current standard is. Axle spacing is important and total weigh (GVW) is a killer. Speed is also a factor in highway design for both curves and pavement thickness.

A car tire usualy has about 30 psi. A big pickup, 80 psi, and a big truck a little over 100 psi. It is plain to see that 100 psi will do more dammage than 30 psi on the surface. There are many things involved. I hope that sheds a little light on what causes pavement damage.

#47 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-07 03:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

Dumb.

Best method is no fault pay the the pump auto insurance.

Uninsured motorist = none

Insurance mafia = gone

Win for the masses = #$%^ wall st.

That is why they won't do it.

#48 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-05-07 05:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

Don't give Gore any ideas. He will want to tax farts because they emit climate warming gases.

#49 | Posted by sames1 at 2014-05-07 05:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

Already paying more than you should? Gas taxes don't begin to pay for the externalities associated with car culture. This [...] should pay through the nose.

-----

Correct. Millions murdered all over the world so that ameicans can fill up their gas tanks. [...]

#50 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-05-07 10:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

Enough of these One World Government laws.

#51 | Posted by Kaci at 2014-05-08 01:13 AM | Reply | Flag:

Don't give Gore any ideas. He will want to tax farts because they emit climate warming gases.

#49 | Posted by sames1

Don't look now but they are trying to get rid fo many cattle because they fart methane.

#52 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-08 10:46 AM | Reply | Flag:

Roads were funded by gas taxes. As more vehicles become electric less gas is used, yet the roads still need maintenance.

There's nothing scandalous or "big government fascist etc" about this. It's forward thinking. California is just ahead of everyone else. As usual.

#53 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-05-08 11:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

Mileage tax is called gas tax.

#54 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-08 11:41 PM | Reply | Flag:

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