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Intrepidation

FL considers charging by the mile

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State considers charging by the mile

Isabel Mascarenas 4 days ago

St. Petersburg, Florida - Motorists are fueling up less often these days. Some are buying fuel efficient cars, while others are simply driving less. That means every gallon that sits in a gas station's pump is money the state loses in taxes for road projects, an estimated $7 billion over the next five years.

Instead of raising the gas tax, some state transportation officials are considering charging motorists based on the miles they drive. Keith Craig says it seems like a good idea, "The general idea seems to be fine for retirees who don't drive too much."

This is how the program would work: a GPS type of system would be placed in each vehicle. When you go to fuel up, a device at the pump will calculate how many miles you've driven since the last trip to the gas station and charge you based on those miles.

After giving it some more thought, Craig frowns on the vehicle miles travel tax, known as VMT.

"It sounds like they have more control of me. Not sure I want that and not only that, they could keep track of me."

"Be kind of weird, I think. They might as well put a chip in me to see where I go every day," says Rick Berry. He owns a tree service business and drives about 200 miles a day. "If it cost me money, I'd definitely pass it on to my customers," says Berry.

Some motorists on a tight budget may not have a choice but to pay up. Sheena Fowler adds, "I work during the day. My fiance goes to school at night. Our car is used all day, it doubles our mileage. It would not be good for me."

We tried several times to get a comment from the Department of Transportation in Tallahassee, but no one has responded.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story...storyid=113575

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Yet another state to cross off the list.

An emphatic NO ! to any govt. GPS in my vehicles.

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On one hand this really sucks, but on the other, it's good economics because we need more user-pay systems to curb car use. The revenues from this could be used to put effective mass-transit systems in place.

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On one hand this really sucks, but on the other, it's good economics because we need more user-pay systems to curb car use. The revenues from this could be used to put effective mass-transit systems in place.

Wow!

I completely reject that rationale.

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Florida already has ridiculous toll rates. I drove to Ft. Lauderdale this summer and we went on the Florida Turnpike... there was one toll for $1.50, one for $2.50, and the last toll was $17!!?!? Granted, we were on the road for quite some time (5 hours of driving maybe), but it was just ridiculous that you had to pay $21 to use the damn road.

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They want us to buy more fuel efficient cars that use less gas and they want us to save the planet by driving less. People have a hard enough time in this economy as it is. More taxes to fund bonuses for corrupt politicians won't help anyone but their bank accounts

I believe we pay plenty of taxes, I didn't give the government permission to spend billions of taxpayer money on pointless wars and bailing out banks that helped get us in this mess in the first place. If we weren't sending billions to banks and funding pointless wars, and allowing companies to continue to outsource instead of encouraging them to stay here, while reining in other wasteful spending, maybe the economy would be a tiny bit better than it is currently and maybe we wouldn't owe China billions.

As well, you must know the majority of that revenue will not go towards improving roads or public transit, it'll get wasted on something else

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If FL converted their gas tax from a flat tax to a %-based tax, they'd be fine.

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Wow!

I completely reject that rationale.

You don't believe in user pay for facilities?

It's not like I'm a Smart Car driving granola here, I drive a big truck, and I have to so I can move big things for my work. At the same time, I also commute with mass transit, and realize that many of the people who drive single-occupancy vehicles don't really need to, which infers that using a car is a luxury. My taxes go to fund roads, but our transit system is incurring a massive shortfall this year, and the roads aren't in great shape; something needs to change, and the best way to get that money is to implement measures like road taxes, tolls, or distance based insurance.

I guess it's down to where you're located. I'm in the city, where people don't travel too far to get to where they need to go, but congest the roadways, and that creates many problems. If you're out of town, in a more rural setting, where there is little to no bus service, and your distances are longer, than it's easy to see why there'd be rejection.

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There's no mass transit to where I work, and I don't think walking or bicycling for 39 miles each way is viable.

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You don't believe in user pay for facilities?

It's not like I'm a Smart Car driving granola here, I drive a big truck, and I have to so I can move big things for my work. At the same time, I also commute with mass transit, and realize that many of the people who drive single-occupancy vehicles don't really need to, which infers that using a car is a luxury. My taxes go to fund roads, but our transit system is incurring a massive shortfall this year, and the roads aren't in great shape; something needs to change, and the best way to get that money is to implement measures like road taxes, tolls, or distance based insurance.

I guess it's down to where you're located. I'm in the city, where people don't travel too far to get to where they need to go, but congest the roadways, and that creates many problems. If you're out of town, in a more rural setting, where there is little to no bus service, and your distances are longer, than it's easy to see why there'd be rejection.

What I reject is the notion that the government should engineer a change in my driving habits through a punitive and invasive tax.

I also reject the idea that infrastructure improvement and repair (including mass transit) should come from a mileage tax on drivers of automobiles. It should be included as a regular budget item in a state's general fund.

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On one hand this really sucks, but on the other, it's good economics because we need more user-pay systems to curb car use. The revenues from this could be used to put effective mass-transit systems in place.

They won't. If government put the money towards worthwhile needs, they'd only need a fraction of it.

Message to FL... to cover your shortfall, get rid of the corruption and greed in your political system.

FL is a BIG state... implementing reasonably convenient public transportation would be obscene costly, and in the end, it would go bankrupt. Who cares, the politicians will mortgage it on your grandchildren's backs and they'll only steal half the money.

People point to Europe and Japan's fantastic public transportation, but they have WAY higher population density. Even in our (supposed) gleaming example of public transportation in NYC is slow, obsolete, expensive and virtually bankrupt unless they raise the rates... AGAIN.

There's no mass transit to where I work, and I don't think walking or bicycling for 39 miles each way is viable.

I know where you're coming from. The pundits want you to either move to a neighborhood near work which might be undesirable or expensive, or get a lousy job nearby.

Of course, this does have the plus that the roads would be used less, as the poor lose their cars and homes and are forced into work camps, where they can work off their debit from the hovel right next to the Soylent Green factory. Some days, I'd do anything to chase my fellow drivers off the road... usually I advocate having a big red button on your dash that makes the car in front of you magically vaporize. ;-)

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The cost of outfitting cars w/ GPS alone and cost of managing that seems like it would outweigh any benefit. A better usage tax is a consumption tax--i.e. a gas tax. The more you use, the more you pay..that seems more fair.

I think some countries, specifically the UK, are looking at a use tax like Florida's idea.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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The cost of outfitting cars w/ GPS alone and cost of managing that seems like it would outweigh any benefit. A better usage tax is a consumption tax--i.e. a gas tax. The more you use, the more you pay..that seems more fair.

I think some countries, specifically the UK, are looking at a use tax like Florida's idea.

Except if, you know, use your car mainly for work. Most of my mileage comes from going to and from work. they already take plenty out via income tax, they can go piss off if they want more.

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Except if, you know, use your car mainly for work. Most of my mileage comes from going to and from work. they already take plenty out via income tax, they can go piss off if they want more.

Same here..I drive about 300 miles a week, of which 250 is work (50/day). I don't know what the gas tax in AZ is, but it's probably one of the lowest in the country since it's a red state.

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Well MA just raised the sales tax and there's all kinds of talk about raising the gas tax and other taxes....how abouut they stop the wasteful spending and get their act together before they try to shove more taxes down our throats?

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Well MA just raised the sales tax and there's all kinds of talk about raising the gas tax and other taxes....how abouut they stop the wasteful spending and get their act together before they try to shove more taxes down our throats?

Do they have a budget deficit for this year? Is that why they raised the sales tax? AZ has a $2.93 billion deficit this year, supposedly 24.2% of operating budget. And it's impossible to raise taxes here.

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It's estimated to be around $3 billion. For comparison, NH has a deficit of $190 million. They rejected higher taxes to close the gap in favor of looking for alternative ways.

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What I reject is the notion that the government should engineer a change in my driving habits through a punitive and invasive tax.

It's not a punitive measure. It's use based. It's actually more fair than a per gallon tax since you would pay the same tax in your Camino as someone driving a Fit if you both drove the same distance. Today, you pay more tax per mile than a Fit driver because you drive a less fuel efficient vehicle and the tax is calculated per gallon of fuel.

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It's not a punitive measure. It's use based. It's actually more fair than a per gallon tax since you would pay the same tax in your Camino as someone driving a Fit if you both drove the same distance. Today, you pay more tax per mile than a Fit driver because you drive a less fuel efficient vehicle and the tax is calculated per gallon of fuel.

Still punitive, and an attempt to manipulate.

Unacceptable.

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It's estimated to be around $3 billion. For comparison, NH has a deficit of $190 million. They rejected higher taxes to close the gap in favor of looking for alternative ways.

I'm really starting to fall in love with NH!

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Still punitive, and an attempt to manipulate.

Unacceptable.

No, it's fair. And gas taxes are fair as well--if one choose to drive something less efficient, one pays more. I drive a Jeep that averages 18 mpg, so I'm consuming more than someone in a Jetta getting 50 mpg, so logically, I pay more taxes for the privilege. That's only reasonable.

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Charging by VMT is the most fair, but the Big Brotherish aspects will prevent it from being implemented nationwide. The gas tax has served well as long as there have been incremental increases with inflation. When vehicles have extremely high mileage or use no gas (i.e. electric), it becomes less fair.

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Still punitive, and an attempt to manipulate.

Unacceptable.

It is NOT punitive! It is trying to assign a tax to you based on the amount you use the roads. If it's punative to anyone, it's the Pruis/Volt/EV-1 drivers who pay a much lower tax right now.

Tell me this... is the fact that the Turnpike charges a toll based on the distance traveled + tunnel/bridge costs punitive?*

*I've noticed that the cost per mile between TPK exits is higher if there are tunnels or large expensive bridges in between.

Edit: I'm not saying this is a good idea, I'm just saying that it is not punitive.

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