Saturday, May 21, 2005

From the OMFG Department

In how many ways is this just sick and wrong?!

Oregon tests novel mileage tax

This fall, the state will launch the nation's first high-tech experiment to tax drivers for the miles they travel rather than the gas they buy.
But what is the real motivation?


Driver advocates and environmentalists said they will be watching the new program to make sure that it charges drivers fairly and that it does not give consumers an excuse to keep driving gas-guzzling cars.
So it is basically a tax on SUV owners? Nasty, wasteful Earth-haters. However comma,


When drivers fill up, specially equipped gas pumps will read the mileage and charge 1.2 cents for every mile driven instead of the state's tax of 24 cents per gallon of gas.
Let's do the math, shall we? Suppose yer driving one of those earth-hating SUVs. You've got a 25 gallon tank. It gets, oh say, 17 mpg. Under the old system, to fill your tank from empty costs you $6.00 in tax (25 gal x $0.24). However, under the new system, the state only makes $5.10 (25 gal x 17 mpg x 1.2). So, actually, this tax actually ends up costing fuel efficient cars MORE. Say you drive a a nice Yugo, which gets 35 mpg. But only a 15 gal tank. You end up paying $6.30 in tax. A hyrid with a 10 gal tank, getting 55 mpg? $6.60 in tax.

Ah, but they realize this.

Chris Hagerbaumer, a transportation specialist with the nonprofit Oregon Environmental Council, said the state should impose such a new tax slowly. "The issue is, if we make a flat switch, we would lose the incentives for people to purchase fuel-efficient cars," she said
So, in order to ensure the health of their new cash cow, while simultaneously ensuring that people can't drive their Mustang SVOs, they've got to factor in a few "exceptions":

Drivers also could be charged less if their car is more fuel-efficient,
Yeah, that'll happen. So there will be a sliding scale where the tax is higher on certain cars, and lower on others? Hmm. Sounds fair. Who decides where the lines are drawn? And then of course, there is another added "feature":

The cars also will have Global Positioning Systems (GPS) so drivers will not be charged for driving outside state borders...

Tracking cars' locations also could allow extra fees for traveling in congested traffic areas or during rush hours.

So depending on where you drive, you can get charged more. And when you are shackled in the middle of gridlock, through no fault of your own, the meter is still running. And of course, Big Bro gets to know where you are at all times, and what your driving habits are, but of course, that could NEVER be tied to your vehicle registration and so track you personally. Really. Promise. Scout's Honor.

This kind of ignerrant crap makes my blood boil. The state of Oregon is finding ways to anally penetrate its motorists for more cash, but tries to wrap it up all pretty-like in an enironmentally concerned way, because it's all about the children, and baby whales and harp seals. Then they pat us on our collective heads and tell us to run along, they've got us it all under control.

This actually does fit just a little TOO neatly into the Green Agenda (to which the Oregon Socialistopia lives in fauning adoration) to believe that it's solely about the money. It clearly penalizes people for have the gall to drive to work every day, rather than sit in a park in their Birkenstocks protesting the lack of Sani-Potties for homeless people.

Maybe, just maybe, instead of comitting institutional larceny, the PTB should look at how much they are paying their union road crews to stand around, leaning on their shovels, dragging a 3 month job out into a year-and-a-half odessey of mismanagement and driver frustration. Anyone who has driven in Washington or Oregon knows the joy of miles and miles of orange cones, and no visible work getting done. But no, instead, let's pass the cost for our clueless negligence and incompetence on to the folks who can least afford to pay for it.

Arrggrgghhkkkggllnnnnhh!

Update:
WELCOME to Garfield Ridge readers. Coffee's on me, donuts are .24 cents a piece, or 1.2 cents a mile.

UPDATE II:
Dave at Garfield Ridge provides some further blather about the issue. Try as you may to paint this outhouse to look pretty, you can't escape the fact that it's still full of sh*t.