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Old 05-05-2011, 12:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Taxing cars by the mile?

Obama administration floats draft plan to tax cars by the mile - The Hill's Floor Action

Obama administration floats draft plan to tax cars by the mile
By Pete Kasperowicz - 05/05/11 07:45 AM ET

The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.

The plan is a part of the administration's Transportation Opportunities Act, an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.

The White House, however, said the bill is only an early draft that was not formally circulated within the administration.

“This is not an administration proposal," White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. "This is not a bill supported by the administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not taken into account the advice of the president’s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.”

News of the draft follows a March Congressional Budget Office report that supported the idea of taxing drivers based on miles driven.
Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.

The CBO report was requested by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who has proposed taxing cars by the mile as a way to increase federal highway revenues.

Obama's proposal seems to follow up on that idea in section 2218 of the draft bill. That section would create, within the Federal Highway Administration, a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office. It would be tasked with creating a "study framework that defines the functionality of a mileage-based user fee system and other systems."

The administration seems to be aware of the need to prepare the public for what would likely be a controversial change to the way highway funds are collected. For example, the office is called on to serve a public-relations function, as the draft says it should "increase public awareness regarding the need for an alternative funding source for surface transportation programs and provide information on possible approaches."

The draft bill says the "study framework" for the project and a public awareness communications plan should be established within two years of creating the office, and that field tests should begin within four years.

The office would be required to consider four factors in field trials: the capability of states to enforce payment, the reliability of technology, administrative costs and "user acceptance." The draft does not specify where field trials should begin.

The new office would be funded a total of $300 million through fiscal 2017 for the project.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'll start by typing that this is somewhat preposterous. Electronic devices in all cars? I mean, really?
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hoax.

All you have to do is put a tax on gasoline. No electronics required, no public acceptance issues (no more than with any other tax grab anyway), and it automatically penalizes those with gas hogs.

What's that you say? They already have such a thing? Wow, who'da thought...

This brings up a pet peeve of mine (and probably a lot of other people) where the gov't (at every level) is trying to think up new twists on collecting taxes. "Maybe if we call it a levy...". "OK, we'll put a tax on shopping bags...". "Add a tax at the checkout for recyclables...". Seriously, do they really think if they call it something different, we won't notice? This is all coming out of the same pocket in the end -- it doesn't matter how you dress it up, if my total tax bill goes up, my discretionary income is gonna go down.

The worst part is when they add a tax/levy/user fee/whatever for the same thing, two or three times. The rationale (well, one of them) for the gasoline tax is for road infrastructure -- the people who use the roads, should pay for the roads. But you notice that they never reduce the income tax by an equivalent amount so that people who don't use roads will stop paying for them. Then they'll add a tax for vehicle purchases, to help pay for road infrastructure. And oh look, neither the income tax nor the gasonline tax goes down. Qu'elle surprise.

I've simply stopped listening to the rationalizations for new taxes and tax hikes. You're hiking my taxes because you can't make it on what you're already taking. Period. If I dislike it enough, I'll vote you out. Period. If I think you're insulting my intelligence with an especially moronic excuse, I'll vote you out just on principle.

Damned politicians.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Why does someone that pays ZERO income tax get a refund....that is just income redistribution

Numbers aren't exact but can be found.

The top 10% pay 65% of all taxes
The top 50% pay 96% of all taxes

The bottom 50% is paying a tiny bit of the taxes

I'm in no way top 10% hahaha but I am middle class as I think most of us on here are, sorry but I can't afford more...

I do support a flat tax system
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slyder View Post
I do support a flat tax system
I understand the reasoning behind a graduated tax system. The fact is that the more you make (all other things being equal), the more discretionary income you have, the more options you have, the healthier your are, etc. And I do think that a just and moral society has a certain amount of responsibility to help out those at the bottom end (if you believe in an every-man-for-himself world where those people can go fuck themselves, then we really have nothing to talk about). The problem is that as soon as you give the politicians any room to screw with the taxes, you get favoritism, attempts to hide taxes, special incentives, etc etc etc until we end up with the abortion that is our current tax system (wherever you live). I would vote for a flat tax system simply because I think the simplification would A) force the government to be more responsible, direct, and transparent about money and B) quite likely result in an economic benefit, since people and businesses wouldn't be spending so much effort on tax planning, tax analysis, tax avoidance, yadda yadda. And as for helping the poor, again as soon as the politicians get involved, we get pork-barrelling, favoritism, and so on.

Bottom line: minimalist government, not because I think it's wrong to help the less fortunate, but because I think the current system is creating a lot of the less fortunate.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Moves View Post
I'll start by typing that this is somewhat preposterous. Electronic devices in all cars? I mean, really?
This could be a ploy for the government to have GPS trackers in all of our cars. I do not like where this is going at all.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slyder View Post
Why does someone that pays ZERO income tax get a refund....that is just income redistribution

Numbers aren't exact but can be found.

The top 10% pay 65% of all taxes
The top 50% pay 96% of all taxes

The bottom 50% is paying a tiny bit of the taxes

I'm in no way top 10% hahaha but I am middle class as I think most of us on here are, sorry but I can't afford more...

I do support a flat tax system
Slyder, the top 50% make 96% of the income. The top 10% make 65% of all income. That is why they pay most of the taxes. When you take a look at wealth, the top 10% has like 90% of all wealth in the country.

They can pay more.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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We all have a feel for each other and known each other on this forum, and I agree we should help those that can't, work or need assistance do to illness etc. My good friend will never work again and he is in his mid 50's. This is the boy I helped to gear up for snowboarding this year.

What makes me made is the people who abuse the programs, sell the food stamps (cards), can but choose not to take proper care in raising their kids and have kids to young. Who themselves then get into the system.

My wife and I, like many of us, go to work eveyday and work very hard, yes I'm fortunate and thankful for a good job. My point is I try to take care of my family and but we as a society can't keep paying for programms that don't work !!!

I think I am average middle class and I got into a debt and am getting my self out. But with rising fuel, FOOD, taxes, local, state, fed it is getting much and much more difficult to stay positive. I"m trying to save for retirement as NO government SS will be there for me and they want more each time. Every few years I loose tons of money in my 401 do to some crisis, black this, terrorist act, housing crash you name it

Really not sure where I"m going with this but I'm not out to screw or abandond man kind but I also need to meet and take care of my obligations as well and like all of us that is getting harder each year
and I agree with this Donutz:
Bottom line: minimalist government, not because I think it's wrong to help the less fortunate, but because I think the current system is creating a lot of the less fortunate.

Side note: SnowJeeper where you at in WI??
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Don't we already tax cars by the mile don't we already have a gas tax
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPAZ View Post
This could be a ploy for the government to have GPS trackers in all of our cars. I do not like where this is going at all.
Don't worry dawg, they're already tracking your phone

I don't like this at all simply as there doesn't seem to be much of an alternative. Public transpo isn't nearly at what it should be (seriously, go to almost ANY other country) to consider it much of a viable alternative. Plus, even though I teased SPAZ about it, I don't want the government putting shit on my truck/car either. But I'm sure I won't have to worry about that in the future, as they'll just make car makers put it on to market in the US... *sigh*

I'm thinking that this gets shot down real quick by public opinion once it gets more notice. But if they can keep it on the DL until after elections... :/
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