Yes, both Newsom and Biden want a mileage tax to pay for roads – the question being, how will they do it?

6 Aug

I got a note from a friend of mine regarding a proposed federal mileage tax. I’d heard something about it, and yesterday I read that California is already working on it.

The hold-up is that they don’t know how to collect it. You know, our silly civil liberties. They aren’t allowed to track us, are they?

I hear you – silly Juanita! Just today I got an email from Google, a complete report as to where I had been on my vacation. Even a roadside produce shack. I suddenly realized – we’d used Google maps to get around to various destinations. That’s like putting a tracking device behind your tire!

So welcome to 1984, Big Brother is watching, and don’t trust Big Sis either. I’m going to assume new cars will have the same technology standard, if they don’t already.

State of California’s rationale for the mileage tax is pretty thin – proponents claim that as more people purchase electric cars, gas sales will go down and the Gas Tax will be moot. Then there won’t be any money for road maintenance. Again they throw that at us.

Here’s one problem with that line – gas and diesel are used well beyond cars. As for my family, all of our landscaping equipment, our tractor, our generator, and other items we need in our daily routine require gas. Big rigs that haul our goods, workers that haul their own tools and equipment all use gas. And how about those firefighters – I don’t see them driving electric vehicles in their daily migration between the Dixie fire front and their night quarters in Chico. Those giant bulldozers they tote back and forth all run on petroleum, as do the enormous rigs that haul them. And the planes that fly all the way to and from Sacramento and Chico all use gas.

Furthermore, instead of taxing people TWICE, why couldn’t electric car drivers make up the difference with higher registration fees? When I told a friend of mine that he reminded me that gas is over $4.50 a gallon right now, and over 50 cents of that is the gas tax. According to CBS News California has the highest gas tax in the country. And it goes up exponentially every January.

Powering California Network, “A Coalition of Californians Advocating for Economic Mobility for Working Families,” also points out that both the Gas Tax and this proposed mileage tax are both regressive, meaning, they hit working and poor people harder because they have to drive farther to work.

California also has the highest housing costs in the country. California residents who cannot afford to live close to their work have to drive long distances to get to their place of employment, and as a result, they would have to pay more VMT taxes than those who can afford pricier homes near city centers. In many cases, these commuters driving longer distances are blue collar working families. And those working for minimum wage will be the most impacted. Many hardworking Californians living paycheck to paycheck cannot fill their tanks due to the high cost of fuel. The VMT would be an additional financial burden on them.

Not all people work at the same location every day, some have to drive to various locations in one day. Public transportation is not an option. But, our gas taxes go to pay for trains, busses and bike trails that only serve a fraction of the population. Those people use the roads, but only those of us who buy gas pay for the maintenance? That’s whack.

Now Biden has a proposal for a national mileage tax. Both California proponents and national proponents are saying that a mileage tax could replace the gas taxes now in place, but there’s no guarantee.

It’s a good time to let your representatives know you’re paying attention.

2 Responses to “Yes, both Newsom and Biden want a mileage tax to pay for roads – the question being, how will they do it?”

  1. bob August 6, 2021 at 11:32 am #

    Increase the gas tax AND impose a new mileage tax??? When we already have the highest fuel taxes in the country??? It’s tax, tax, tax and then tax some more. And let’s not forget Demorats run the legislature and have every state wide office.

    And let’s not also forget Coolidge and the Gang want a sales tax increase and host of other tax increases, not to mention bury us in more debt with bonds.

    No matter how much they take, it will never be enough.

    They are nothing but thieves and at every level of government, too: local, state and federal…or should that be feral? These parasites will kill their host.

    • Juanita Sumner August 6, 2021 at 2:26 pm #

      It’s like being in a shitstorm with a tennis racket.

      I was just looking at the Senate and Assembly bills being considered right now, and it’s almost impossible to keep track of this shit. One thing I saw on the bill status page was that ACA 1 – the bill that would have lowered the requirements for passing taxes to create new housing – died in committee for lack of votes.

      This is a good site to familiarize yourself with.

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