Blown To Bits

Oregon Contemplates a Mileage Tax (GPS-enabled)

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 by Harry Lewis

The Governor of Oregon says his state needs to wake up to the downside of high-efficiency automobile engines. With cars getting more MPG, they won’t use as much gas. You thought that was a good thing? Not if you rely on gas taxes to pay the bills.

So instead the idea is to go to a mileage tax. As explained in a Corvallis newspaper, the system would work like this. Cars would have global positioning systems, which would be used not to track their locations but to log their mileage. At the gas station, the mileage would get uploaded and (during the transition period) you’d get a rebate on the gas tax.¬†Eventually the system would become universal, and automakers would build the GPS into the car.

Supposedly this kludge protects privacy, but of course it doesn’t — the state would know the exact dates, times, and locations of every fill-up. And how long do you think it would take before law enforcement, the insurance industry, or Homeland Security would find it “essential” to collect and upload just a bit more information about vehicular movements?

In any case, why not just have motor vehicle inspection stations report the odometer reading when cars are inspected? In Massachusetts that happens annually, and the odometer reading is one of the data that is taken down. This plan sounds very fishy to me.

2 Responses to “Oregon Contemplates a Mileage Tax (GPS-enabled)”

  1. Blown to Bits » Blog Archive » Tracking Your Car in Massachusetts Says:

    […] Commonwealth’s web site. It sounds vaguely like the Oregon proposal about which I previously blogged, which didn’t make a lot of sense as it was described — a GPS monitor used only to log […]

  2. Frances Crigger Says:

    My computer beeps at me when I try to add the blog feed to my feed reader. Any idea as to what I could be doing wrong?