Anybody Trust Government NOT to Double Tax You: Gas Tax AND Tax by the Mile?

Guest Commentary

By Stephen Frank, September 11, 2016

CaPoliticalNews

We all pay gas tax at the pump.  There is currently a pilot program to charge people by the mile they TransportationTaxIconSwededrive.  Though it is claimed that we will not be double taxed—when was the last time government did not lie to you?  No one is that old.  When the 16th Amendment was passed in 1913 we were told no need to put a limit in the new income tax since the tax would NEVER go over 3%.  That may have been the first Progressive lie.  ObamaCare is the Obama version of the Progressive lie.  Now Sacramento is looking to double tax your driving.

Bob Dunning of the Davis enterprise makes an interesting point—since we pay taxes to create city parks, why not pay a fee to walk through a city park or use its facilities. Or maybe tax you on the use of a library?  Why not?  Government needs the money more than you do, right?

“First, it’s none of the state’s business where or when I drive. If they need more revenue for highway maintenance, simply raise the gas tax, which is the very definition of a “use” tax. Presumably, the more gas you buy, the more driving you do. It’s a direct cause and effect. We don’t need a second tax that basically does the same thing.

And, if you don’t have the stomach to raise the gas tax when it’s absolutely necessary for public safety, get out of office and let someone else do the job.

Unclear is what happens to the California tax if the driver is racking up all those miles in the state of Oregon. Will California send Oregon a check to compensate for the wear on tear on roads in the Beaver State?”

So, if I drive to Dallas and spend a couple of months working in that State will Sacramento tax me for my drive from Dallas to Austin?  Yup.  Think Brown will send to a check to Gov. Abbot?  Hell no.

Taxes

Bob Dunning: Tax me once, shame on me …

By Bob Dunning, Davis Enterprise,  9/11/16

Before you plan that next road trip, be aware that the State of California is seriously considering a plan to tax each of us directly for the miles we drive.

Although we do have a sizeable gas tax that we pay every time we pump gas, the state claims that fuel-efficient cars and the use of public transportation have cut into the revenues the tax generates to maintain our roads.

Makes you wonder what’s the matter with people who drive fuel-efficient cars and take public transportation. I mean, how unpatriotic can you be?

Reminds me of the efforts in Davis to institute a soda pop tax, presumably with the goal of reducing consumption and reducing teenage obesity, but with a side “benefit” of raising a bunch of cash. The flip side of this plan, of course, is that when consumption goes down, so does revenue.

While the California Legislature does not yet have the courage to send Governor Brown a bill actually taxing the miles we drive, it has mandated a “California Road Charge” pilot program to see how such a charge might work. As such, a number of Californians have been enlisted as volunteers, who will keep track of their mileage but won’t actually pay the tax those miles would create if a law were passed.

There are a number of downsides to this proposal and no upsides, given the state’s dismal record at spending our money efficiently.

First, it’s none of the state’s business where or when I drive. If they need more revenue for highway maintenance, simply raise the gas tax, which is the very definition of a “use” tax. Presumably, the more gas you buy, the more driving you do. It’s a direct cause and effect. We don’t need a second tax that basically does the same thing.

And, if you don’t have the stomach to raise the gas tax when it’s absolutely necessary for public safety, get out of office and let someone else do the job.

Unclear is what happens to the California tax if the driver is racking up all those miles in the state of Oregon. Will California send Oregon a check to compensate for the wear on tear on roads in the Beaver State?

Use taxes are nothing new, though they’re frequently applied unevenly. For instance, we pay a gas tax to keep our roads in good repair, but I’ve yet to see any cyclists taxed for using a bike lane.

The same for pedestrians, who have free use of the many sidewalks and greenbelt paths in town. If we’re going to charge drivers an additional use tax, maybe it’s time we start charging cyclists, walkers and joggers a tax on the facilities they use, too.

All pedestrians should be required to wear a city-issued FitBit that is activated any time they set foot on public property. Bicycles will be similarly outfitted with odometers.

We already charge use taxes for publicly owned swimming pools and golf courses, but somehow tennis players are allowed to play for free, though there once was a time when we had to feed quarters into a box to turn on the courtside lights.

You can grab some Kentucky Fried Chicken and picnic in the park for no more than the cost of the chicken, and if you have a ball and a bat and an old glove, you can participate in the national pastime for free at just about any city park. The same if you wish to shoot baskets, kick a soccer ball or toss around a football at the local elementary school.

And what about those folks who sit in the shade of a city tree quietly reading a book? Tax ’em, I say. That tree is sucking up precious water that someone has to pay for.

Better the bookworm than you or me.

 

Editor’s note: In addition to all that is the hidden “cap & trade,” which is really a tax and the proposed County transportation sales tax increase on this year’s ballot as “MeasureAA.”


Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank: Is the the publisher and editor of the California Political News and Views.  Mr. Frank speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows and is a full time political consultant. http://capoliticalnews.com/

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One Response to Anybody Trust Government NOT to Double Tax You: Gas Tax AND Tax by the Mile?

  1. William "Bill" Hicks September 13, 2016 at 7:40 am

    1) The reason they want to tax by the mile may be two-fold a) there are many hybrid cars that get too good a fuel mileage to pay adequately to maintain the roads, b) They really want you out of cars and use public transportation as if we’re either New York or Washington D.C.

    2) Why are people riding bicycles not charged by the mile, or required to have licenses in order to pay for bike lanes, might be a question asked.

    3) Another question that might be asked is where has all the gas tax money gone to? How is it being managed? Would roads be in better condition if the money were not spent in other manners than road repair and maintenance, therefore requiring NO NEW TAXES?

    Reply

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