California considering mileage tax on drivers

    If you thought California couldn’t get any crazier think again. California senators are now considering a tax on how many miles you drive.

    CBS SF Bay Area:

    California is moving closer to charging drivers for every mile they drive.

    The state says it needs more money for road repairs, and the gas tax just isn’t bringing in enough revenue.

    The state recently road-tested a mileage monitoring plan.

    The California Road Charge Pilot Program is billed as a way for the state to move from its longstanding pump tax to a system where drivers pay based on their mileage.

    But it’s not just a question about money, it’s also a question about fairness.

    State Senator Scott Wiener and others are saying that when it comes to road taxes, it’s time to start looking at charging you by the mile rather than by the gallon.

    “If you own an older vehicle that is fueled by gas, you’re paying gas tax to maintain the roads. Someone who has an electric vehicle or a dramatically more fuel efficient vehicle is paying much less than you are. But they are still using the roads,” Wiener said.

    “People are going to use less and less gas in the long run,” according to Wiener.

    And less gas means less gas tax, and less money for road repair.

    “We want to make sure that all cars are paying to maintain the roads,” Wiener said.

    One idea would be installing devices that would clock your mileage every time you pull up to the pump or electric car charging station. Or put a tracker on every car.

    “The reality is that if you have a smartphone your data of where you are traveling is already in existence,” Wiener said.

    Isn’t it weird that one of the highest taxed states still is trying to find ways to further raise taxes? Now, I would never buy an electric car myself but the idea that we should further punish people who do use these cars seems nonsensical. I’d also like to ask more than a few questions to people pushing for this new tax. The first is what happens when people find a way to cheat the system? Electronics can always be hacked. Electronics can always be taken out. This proposal would likely lead to less tax revenue and would be almost impossible to catch those cheating the system. There might be a crisis as it pertains to fewer people buying that need gas but taxing by the mile is certainly not the fix.

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