Posted by Author H. Michael Sweeney
When the Tax Man has a GPS tracker in your car, you dare not go anywhere you don’t want (someone) to know about… because we are talking about ‘public information’ in this case, which ANYONE can access.
Time for another Boston Tea Party… let’s throw a congressman into the harbor!
by H. Michael Sweeney
copyright © 2013, all rights reserved. Permission to repost hereby granted provided entire post with all links in tact, including this paragraph, are included.
Update: (the day after penning): Extra paragraph of additional problems this proposal has which have not been considered by ‘government’ in their zeal to screw up our lives. Toward bottom, marked with RED.
Why the Anarchists may have it right after all?
What you will learn reading this post…
- There is a new gas tax headed your way SOON…
- It uses a chip plugged into your car with a GPS sensor…
- It determines what roads you are on by taxing authority…
- It bills you accordingly… but…
- The GPS unit will know exactly where you’ve been, and when…
- And that information is available to ANYONE upon demand
What is mileage-based gas tax?
Milage-Based Gas Tax?
I first heard about this on Lars Larson’s radio show, which originates locally, though it is a nationally broadcast show of suitably politically-incorrect content for my tastes. But it is something that apparently got its start and was first mentioned publicly some months earlier. If you haven’t heard about it, it is called a ‘milage-based gasoline tax.’ Currently, what we have is a ‘per-gallon’ gas tax. There is, though they don’t seem to want to tell us this when talking about the new and improved idea, also a Tire tax for the same reasons/uses.
The current system has been in place ever since Congressionals and Councilmen first learned they could tax anything they wanted, pretty much, and get away with it. The idea was to levy a ‘special tax’ for highway projects, maintenance, and related la-tee-dah in a way which targeted drivers, only; they wear it out, they pay for it, not the guy who does not even own a car.
But there are arguably a few problems with the notion, one being that you might buy your gas in a low-tax rate community and then commute to another region, perhaps another state, where the rate is higher, thereby ‘cheating’ the taxing authority by destroying their roads for free. Taxes vary by authority (city, county, state, federal), some authorities adding nothing, some taxing heavily. Tax-free wear and tear with wanton abandon.
But no taxing authority has ever complained very much about that sort of thing. No, the real complaint is, they are worried about one thing; now that gas mileage is going up, they are collecting less revenue than ever, even though road wear is increasing as new drivers hit the pavement (with their tires.) Darn kids, anyway.
And really darn those electric car drivers who don’t pay ANY gas tax (just tire tax). So, someone decided, that instead of simply raising the tax rate (as appropriate, on gas and/or tires — depending on the kind of vehicle) to compensate… which just takes a few votes and notifying gas stations and tire shops to change their pricing systems… they instead thought to do something… ‘Obama-like.’
If congressmen thrown into a harbor drown, does that mean they were witches?
The New and Improved Gas Tax
They succeeded. They still have to do the vote thing and notify gas stations (only), but they have a few extra things to do, as well. All of them are going to add costs to government, and require a whole new bureaucracy to be staffed:
a) They must purchase some pretty expensive GPS tracking gizmos for issuance to drivers, and figure out how they are going to do that, and teach them how to install them correctly, or do it for them. They call these gizmos OBUs (On-Board-Units). I like gizmos, better. Fascist gizmos, in fact, as we shall see.
b) Two, they have to figure out what they are going to do about cars that are old enough that they don’t have a place to plug the gizmo into, at all, or have newer cars but are already using the gizmo’s plug-in socket to modify their engine’s performance and/or economy favorably… and find some suitable way to punish those jerks for having more interesting (collectable) or economical (paid for, easy to repair, better performance) cars than the rest of us. Envy is not a sin, it’s just part of the ‘buy one today’ mental process.
c) Create some kind of billing system (they are talking invoices, and payment methods). We are talking having to pay a huge chunk tax bill at some undetermined interval for all mileage driven since the last time we paid. Yeah, the poor will find that a lot of fun.
d) Establish some kind of official methodology, rules and regulations, fines and punishments for failure to perform to said rules and regulations, and supporting infrastructure to collect the information from the GPS trackers and enforce said rules and regulations, forthwith, henceforth, and with prejudice and malice for all.
e) Figure out what to do when a gizmo fails to function properly, undoubtedly placing some kind of huge punitive liability on the owner of the car for ‘breaking it.’ Stupid people is as stupid people do (sorry, meant to use that line talking about the legislators).
If a congressman is proven to be a witch, does that mean they are also fascists?
So right off the bat we see this is going to be nothing more than a way for some government contractor somewhere (who promoted this idea as being ‘swell’ while dropping off big checks at the Congressman’s offices) to get rich, and some government people to get promoted to head a whole new Division and command a bunch of staffers, get a State provided car, a budget to squander, and a big paycheck. It will also be a money-maker for the various court systems which will enjoy seeing new faces guilty of ‘gas tax fraud,’ ‘destruction of gas-tax monitoring systems,’ and other fun sins which will undoubtedly be added to State Statutes.
Drown all fascist witches in Congress!
Now the Bad News
But that’s not the worst of it, but don’t worry, I’ll break the bad news to you gently, saving the worst for last. To start, there is a problem with their little scheme in terms of fairness. Currently, on a per-gallon tax basis, someone who drives a gas-guzzler pays more tax (buying more gas per mile) than someone who drives an economy vehicle (and we already mentioned electrics). A poor person pays the same as a rich person per gallon, there is equity and fairness. Since it is paid per gallon, it is affordable as long as we have enough to buy the gas in the first place.
The new system (official describing document) however, at least in trial setups as being sponsored in Oregon, Nevada, and Washington, will punish anyone who has an economical vehicle and reward those with gas guzzlers. So, by default, it also punishes the poor who cannot afford SUVs and huge trucks. It punishes them further by saving up their indebtedness for tax over some period of time for a large (and largely unplanned for) tax bill. It works like this:
You STILL pay gas tax at the pump, roughly 30 cents a gallon in Oregon. But when you get your gizmo monitored by (an undetermined method), you will be charged 1.5 cents per MILE driven, and then credited a portion of that back to offset the fact that you already paid a gas tax at the pump. But the kicker is how they come up with that credit. Below, I employ rounded mileage figures for ease of calculations and paraphrase like dialog from the radio show. On the show, the new program was being explained in somewhat vague details: even though they only have 18 months to get the system up and running, they DON’T KNOW YET exactly how they are going to run it — thus the actual figures may be different, but the INTENT was explained to be as follows:
a) Someone who has a gas Guzzler such as a big truck or SUV will get a 2 cents credit per mile. At 10 miles per gallon, before the new system, it cost them 30 cents to go ten miles. Under the new system, it will cost them 10 cents per mile. This subsidizes manufacturing, sales, and use of gas guzzling vehicles to those who can afford them. Guess who lobbies for this legislation.
b) Someone with a ‘normal car’ will get 1 cent credit. At 30 miles to the gallon, they paid 10 cents to go ten miles; 1 cent per mile. Under the new method, they will pay 15 cents; 1.5 cents per mile. Shame on them for having only a ‘normal’ vehicle when they should be driving a gas guzzler. This is where most poor people will be stuck: having to pay 50% more tax, and getting stuck with the bill in unexpected chunks.
c) Someone with an economy vehicle will get a half-cent credit. At 45 miles to the gallon, they paid 7 cents to go 10 miles; .66 cents per mile. But these low life’s need to be taught a lesson, so it will cost them 8 cents under the new method; .8 per mile. Again, since the poor can’t afford a new car with better milage, they pay more than the low life’s who can (but neglected to get that SUV).
d) An electric vehicle owner used to pay nothing (save tire tax, which everyone still pays), but under the new system, those criminally penny-pinching villains will be punished by having to pay 15 cents to go ten miles. Gosh! They get the same treatment as if they were poor people!
Which way to the harbor?
Update: In my zeal to meet a deadline, I missed a couple of things that have apparently also escaped the thinking of government planners. The little socket they wish to use for the Gizmo is where DEQ and auto mechanics test engine performance. As I earlier alluded, its where people can plug in performance altering devices for more horsepower, or towing capacity, or better economy. It’s also where Breathalizer devices are plugged in that prevent drunks from driving. And, its where ‘Snap Shot’ driving devices used by certain car insurance companies and driver education classes use to monitor driving habits for safety’s sake. So this tax is going to make all of that go away. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), and Flo, and the rest of us can all piss off, thank you very much, and defer to the tax man. End update.
Obviously, the Obama-wannabes have figured out that electric cars do more damage to roads than low milage cars, the same damage as normal cars used by the poor, and much more damage than trucks and SUVs. And you though you knew everything. Well, know this:
Anyone have a bus for the congressmen?
Privacy is out the window
The winning strategy seems to be a GPS-based gizmo because that way they know what road you are driving on (but that does not mean the builder and maintainer for that road will necessarily see the tax money). But that also means that when they collect and compute your taxable driving history, their system will have access to the when and where of your travels.
The problem with that is this: because the gizmos remain the property of the State, the data they collect is considered public property, in this case, public information. ANYONE can petition the State to reveal public information, unless specifically sealed by a judge for a limited number of allowable reasons, non of which allow blanket assignation. It’s IN THE CONSTITUTION.
I speak for Oregon, of course. But most states have similar laws. And make no mistake; this new taxing scheme is coming to you, soon — one, three, and five states at a time. The fascists are coming, the fascists are coming!
That’s OK with me. I will just go get one of those 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles DHS purchased for ‘personal defense.’ It is, after all, a personal matter to me, and I do need to defend my homeland from fascists. I swore an oath to do so.
The tax man may cometh, but he may not walk away with my money… unless he brings a SWAT Team. But I lament too much. There is good news in all this. If you don’t drive any miles, you can more easily afford GMO crop control.
- Oregon Mulls Tracking Driver Mileage for Tax (blogs.automotive.com)
- Behind the scenes brainstorming for fuel tax alternative (thegazette.com)
- Advantages of GPS Vehicle Tracking (kattyjames.com)