California Proposes Tax on Driving
AOL Autos: A California transportation agency recently proposed what could become the most unpopular tax of all time: A tax for simply driving your car.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) of San Francisco is behind the idea and has said that the tax would work by installing GPS units into cars to track the miles that they travel. The vehicle owners would then be charged accordingly, with low-income drivers exempted.
The hope is that a VMT (vehicle miles traveled) tax would cut down on pollution and traffic congestion, while raising funds for things like road construction and surface repair.
Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the MTC, said that the group knew the proposal could be a longshot and could take a long time to implement. Theoretically, it could take up to a decade before the plan would be rolled out in full force. “I don’t want to say it’s pie in the sky. A VMT charge is really an option for the future to be looked at and considered,” he said.
Given the very low popularity gas taxes have been met with in the past, the proposed driving tax seems like a very bold move. Consumers hate frequently being reminded of taxes when they gas up, but this VMT charge would take that to a whole new level.
The Association of Bay Area Governments is slated to analyze a study of the proposal on Thursday.
With a current budget deficit of $15.7 BILLION, I guess the state has no other options but to tax drivers for each and every mile they drive. Nevermind the fact that the state 1) has the second highest gas tax in the nation – 48.6 cents per gallon (add the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and Californians pay 67 cents in taxes for every gallon of gas they purchase), 2) has the highest state sales tax in the nation – 7.25 percent general sales and use tax on consumers, and 3) has the second highest personal income tax in the nation – as of January 2012 the top rate is 10.3 percent.
At this rate, the next thing you know the State of California will have no other option but to tax their residents for breathing!