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Old 07-15-2011, 07:02 PM  
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Vehicle Mileage Tax?

Quote:
Well That Was Quick: Obama Disavows Mileage Fee Proposal

by Tanya Snyder

The Hill is reporting that the Obama administration has already sworn off a move toward a vehicle-miles-traveled fee. We just reported that an undated draft of the administration transportation proposal included the creation of an office to study the feasibility of implementing such a system to replace the traditional fuel tax.

The Hill?s Keith Laing writes:

Quote:
The proposal was included in a draft of the administration?s Transportation Opportunities Act, but a White House spokesman said it ?was not an administration proposal.?

?This is not a bill supported by the administration,? White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. ?This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not take into account the advice of the president?s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.?
This calls into question not just the VMT fee but all the proposals in the draft bill being circulated. If the White House is walking away from one piece of it, who knows what other elements in the draft have already been removed?
Despite insistence that they won?t consider an increase in the gas tax or other user fees, Obama?s bill would establish a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office within the Federal Highway Administration, which would in turn create a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Policy Decision Group to study the feasibility of a VMT fee.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:01 PM  
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source?.......
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:25 AM  
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Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
source?.......
Did you miss it?
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:44 AM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
Did you miss it?
here's how forum posts work, usually when posting an article you include the link, so people can quickly get to it and see if the site is fair or heavily biased and if it seems like it has any truth behind it, without that it could be any type of rambling with a fake source, I don't want to have to do a web search to try and find the source you came up with and expecting people to do so appears there is a reason you avoided including a link...

also typically when posting a position or article you agree on it is customary to respond to criticisms especially when posed to the priginal poster as this is a discussion forum, not a podium.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:50 AM  
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Maybe you didn't link it because you did not want all the details to be known such as that it was a test for feasibility due to VEHICLES THAT DONT USE TAXABLE FUEL, you posted it as if it was for all cars and the reality is that cars that don't use gas still use our roads and our roads are paid for with taxes on gas, if vehicles don't use gas they are effectively being subsidized by the gas powered vehicles, eventually we will need some other form of income to repair/maintain our roads. besides the likelihood of any system like this ever being used in pretty unlikely due to the complexity.

so something has to be done, what alternative to this measure would you suggest then? how to tax electric/solar/cng cars for their road use, where would this money come from (wonder if you will answer these.....? I bet not, but please prove me wrong)

And please don't respond with a fractional answer of "not like this" how would you actually tax their use of the roadways or otherwise pay for the roadway maintenance/construction?

Quote:
Thanks to The Hill and CQ for reading President Obama’s transportation bill draft [PDF] more thoroughly than I did – they discovered a significant detail that I’d missed. Despite his administration’s insistence that they won’t consider an increase in the gas tax or other user fees, Obama’s bill includes language establishing a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office within the Federal Highway Administration, which would in turn create a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Policy Decision Group to study the feasibility of a VMT fee.

A monitor like this would be installed in cars to track their mileage. Photo: State Brief

The bill language specifically acknowledges the need to include in such a system vehicles that don’t use taxable fuel. That’s a primary reason for the switch – reliance on a gas tax becomes less and less sensible when more and more vehicles are using alternative fuels, or less fuel altogether.

Besides, a vehicle-miles-traveled fee can also sense if you’re traveling into a city a rush hour and charge you a congestion fee, or can levy different charges if you’re leaving one jurisdiction and heading into another.

In addition to conducting field trials to test VMT tracking systems, the bill also seeks to “increase public awareness regarding the need for an alternative funding source for surface transportation programs.” Funding for the program jumps from $20 million the first two years to $130 million the third year, presumably when the field tests get underway, then falls again.

Some field trials and pilot studies of mileage tracking systems have already been conducted. Paul Hanley, a transportation engineering professor at the University of Iowa, conducted a trial over eight months in 12 regions, from major metropolitan areas to small towns. His team gave 2,500 people an onboard computer to track their driving and charge them accordingly. During the eight month study, those 2,500 people drove more than 22 million miles in all of the lower 48 states.

Researchers found that the technology was adequate, that it captured needed data well and that users accepted it. However, the installation of the onboard computers was time-consuming and expensive – potentially offsetting the fees collected from the system.

One of the major concerns that arise with VMT systems is that they’re an invasion of privacy, since they track where people drive. Hanley’s team confronted this problem but found that it was not “insurmountable.”

Every month, the study participants received a bill. They found it invasive when the bill was too detailed an audit of their every movement, but liked that they could figure out where the charges came from. Thirty percent of them felt the VMT tracking system was inherently too invasive, but 70 percent thought it was a viable replacement for a fuel tax.

In the end, Hanley found that VMT tracking, despite kinks yet to be worked out, offers a viable and potentially preferable system to the fuel tax. We’ll be interested in the results of President Obama’s study team – if Congress appropriates the funding to create it, of course.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:26 AM  
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Unlikely or not big brother is trying.
Quote:
CBO: Taxing mileage a 'practical option' for revenue enhancement
By Pete Kasperowicz - 03/24/11 04:17 PM ET

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released a report that said taxing people based on how many miles they drive is a possible option for raising new revenues and that these taxes could be used to offset the costs of highway maintenance at a time when federal funds are short.

The report discussed the proposal in great detail, including the development of technology that would allow total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to be tracked, reported and taxed, as well as the pros and cons of mandating the installation of this technology in all vehicles.

"In the past, the efficiency costs of implementing a system of VMT charges ? particularly the costs of users' time for slowing and queuing at tollbooths ? would clearly have outweighed the potential benefits from more efficient use of highway capacity," CBO wrote. "Now, electronic metering and billing are making per-mile charges a practical option."

The report was requested by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who held a hearing on transportation funding in early March. In that hearing, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the Obama administration is hoping to spend $556 billion over the next six years, much of which would go to federal transportation improvement projects.

Conrad said in response that federal funds are tight, and in asking for recommendations on how to raise that money, he noted the possibility of a VMT tax as a way to solve the problem of collecting less in taxes as people move to more fuel-efficient vehicles.

"Do we do gas tax?" Conrad asked. "Do we move to some kind of an assessment that is based on how many miles vehicles go, so that we capture revenue from those who are going to be using the roads who aren't going to be paying any gas tax, or very little, with hybrids and electric cars?"

Conrad argued some recommendation should be made by his committee on these issues when the Senate considers a transportation spending bill later this year.

CBO's report stressed it was making no recommendations but seemed to support a VMT tax as a more accurate way of having drivers pay for the costs of highway maintenance. The report said miles driven is a larger factor in highway repairs than fuel consumption and suggested that having drivers pay for the real costs of highways "would involve imposing a combination of fuel taxes and per-mile charges."

But CBO's assessment of "costs" was broader than just those costs associated with maintaining highway systems.

"Any given driver?s highway use also imposes costs on other users, on nearby nonusers, on the environment, and on the economy in the form of congestion, risk of accidents, noise, emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants that affect local air quality, and dependence on foreign oil," CBO said.

On how to implement the idea, CBO said it is unclear how much it would cost to "install metering equipment in all of the nation's cars and trucks."

"Having the devices installed as original equipment under a mandate to vehicle manufacturers would be relatively inexpensive but could lead to a long transition; requiring vehicles to be retrofitted with the devices could be faster but much more costly, and the equipment could be more susceptible to tampering than factory-installed equipment might be," CBO said.

The report added that VMT taxes could be tracked and even collected at filling stations. "If VMT taxes were collected at the pump, each time fuel was purchased, information would be sent from a device in the vehicle to a device at the filling station," it said.

CBO also suggested different VMT tax rates might be assessed to different vehicles because heavier vehicles do more road damage, and rates might change depending on whether miles are driven at peak use times or during less congested hours.

CBO did acknowledge that privacy concerns may be a hurdle to implementing a VMT tax because electronic tracking of miles driven might provide too much personal information to the government. However, CBO noted that some have proposed restricting the information that would be transmitted to the government.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:50 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
Unlikely or not big brother is trying.
note: you specifically avoided the big obvious question I posed to you, please answer that, instead of responding about attempts at big brother why not state how you can do it without the big brother issue.
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:00 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
note: you specifically avoided the big obvious question I posed to you, please answer that, instead of responding about attempts at big brother why not state how you can do it without the big brother issue.
The scheme might work for electric cars only but big brother is going for all cars.
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