Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We're On The Same Wavelength!

The governor of Oregon and I think alike apparently - we both think that the gas tax should be eliminated and a usage fee should apply to miles driven, regardless of gas mileage.  He proposes using GPS to do it, and I think that's not a bad solution.  Ideally, I would not just use a flat amount for the calculation, but rather a combination of rates.  For example, you could charge 2 cents a mile on the freeway or 1 cent for surface roads.  You could also vary it depending on what you wanted to do.  If you wanted to route traffic to main thoroughfares, charge more for back streets.  Reverse it for the opposite effect.  I think the applications are endless and the money could actually be used to pay for fixes on the very streets that cars are using.  Of course, GPS would need to be a bit more accurate - it wouldn't be fun to be driving on a frontage road and expecting to get charged a penny a mile but then get nailed for the 2 cents a mile on the freeway that's 20 feet away.


Cheeth said...

My knee-jerk reaction to the GPS idea is that it would be a great way for an intrusive government (sorry, I need to sound more paranoid here - GUBMENT) to know where I am, or my car is, at all times. That's probably not good.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if car thefts would go up under that system? You could hork some poor sods car and drive to Mexico and he'd be stuck with a huge bill. (on the other hand it would probably be much easier to track people that steal cars.) I also wonder if the tax would cause more people to fly instead of drive.

Sorro said...

I would imagine thefts would go down...the GPS device could easily be used to LoJack the car. I don't know that it would increase flying because gas would suddenly be $.45/gallon cheaper. You're just moving to a usage tax rather than a consumption tax.
As far as Big Brother watching you...there is the problem (in addition to accuracy). Perhaps if the GPS device just had a very low power transmitter and/or was crippled in some respects, at least from a taxation perspective.