Friday, January 02, 2009

Green Oregon Doesn't Like Priuses

It seems that the old saying is true--no good deed does go unpunished.

Oregon is among a growing number of states exploring ways to tax drivers based on the number of miles they drive instead of how much gas they use, even going so far as to install GPS monitoring devices in 300 vehicles. The idea first emerged nearly 10 years ago as Oregon lawmakers worried that fuel-efficient cars such as gas-electric hybrids could pose a threat to road upkeep, which is paid for largely with gasoline taxes...

Though the GPS devices did not track the cars' locations in great detail, they could determine when a driver had left certain zones, such as the state of Oregon. They also kept track of the time the driving was done, so a premium could be charged for rush-hour mileage.

Higher taxes, more government surveillance--yeah, sounds like a winning combination to me.

Update, 1/5/09: On a related note, Charlottesville, VA gets hit with higher water rates--because less water was being sold due to conservation efforts!


Eric W. said...

Sounds like a cellphone plan. Getting charged for premium minutes all while carrying around a device that can be used to track your location.

MikeAT said...

The fact an elected idiot came up with this idea only makes me want to push for two major reforms at the state level:

1. Require all tax increases (or fees, etc) must be approved by an election.

2. State legislators must be part time. In Texas they met for 140 days every other year (not counting special sessions). Hey, we got low sales taxes, no state income tax and people are actually moving here as opposed to leaving the state.

Ellen K said...

When gas prices were so high, the state of Texas was considering raising the sales tax per gallon on gas since that funds roads. As it is, we will probably see higher taxes on licensing across the board. What's worse is that revenue from the Lottery is down, which means income to the general fund is down. It's a bad year to be pushing new programs. BTW, true, in Texas we do have the advantage of only have our state lege meet every other year, but in the meantime, they surely get into a great deal of mischief when they aren't in Austin where we can keep an eye on them.