Vehicle mileage tax proposed to replace state’s gas tax
Taxing mileage is called being labeled a fee – that way, the legislature can impose this fee on all the citizens of California by a simple majority vote in Sacramento. The gas tax is a user tax; the money is mandated to maintain and improve the roads for those who use the roads.
“It should be exclusively for what they claim it’s for, which is infrastructure, road related – that’s bridges, that’s road maintenance, that’s road building. This is what we assume all the money is for,” stated Richard Rider of San Diego Tax Fighters.
But in Sacramento, the reality is different.
“The history is they take the money that’s supposedly a user tax, in whatever form, and use for a non-user purpose.”
Those roads, along with hybrids and electronic vehicles deplete the fund, the roads and bridges deteriorate, and Sacramento looks for new ways to raise revenue – in this case, replacing the gas tax with mileage tax. This is supposed to begin in January of 2016 as a pilot project in an unnamed part of California without identifying what the cost per mile will be.
“When they can’t put a number on it, that’s a sure sign that they’re going to get everybody used to the idea before they quietly slip in what the actual figure it.”
This legislation is fraught with all sorts of problems – privacy is a major one.
“Basically, the government’s going to be in your garage at night, and is this a good idea, people happy with this, maybe some people are, but I wouldn’t be.”
It means every vehicle will have to be equipped with a GPS to track your every move.
“The problem with things like this, that an agency does this and they’ll swear up and down we don’t have to worry about our privacy. We’ve been down that road too many times.”
Fairness is another. Those who have a long commute to work – or those whose job requires a lot of daily car travel will pay more than the average driver. We have the highest gas taxes, second highest gas prices, increased registration fees and we’re 47th out of 50 for worst roads in the nation. The idea is to replace the gas tax and call it a fee, which can be raised without a vote.
“It’s going to be a ruse to raise taxes. And clearly, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, we’re going to be paying higher taxes than we were before.”
One other thing to consider: the Federal Highway Trust Fund is nearly bankrupt. So along with the mileage tax, we may also see an increase in the federal tax on gasoline.