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California Wants GPS Tracking Device in Every Car

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the now-this-is-a-good-use-of-engineering dept.

Privacy 1351

HTS Member writes "California has a new excuse for more taxes. Claiming losses due to fuel-efficient cars, such as Gasoline/Electric Hybrids, California is cooking-up a new system to punish people who aren't using enough gasoline. They want to tax commuters by the mile. How would this be accomplished? By requiring everyone to install a GPS device in their vehicle, and charge them their "taxes" every time they fuel-up. From the article: 'Drivers will get charged for how many miles they use the roads, and it's as simple as that.. [a] team at Oregon State University equipped a test car with a global positioning device to keep track of its mileage. Eventually, every car would need one.'"

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Patriot Act (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681212)

They want to tax commuters by the mile. How would this be accomplished? By requiring everyone to install a GPS device in their vehicle,

I am hardly a tin foil hat wearing type but, the problem with this is that like every other means to create databases that track/document individuals or groups, they will eventually end up being mined for data that will likely violate your right to privacy. Just remember, Bush is pushing for the Patriot Act again and databases like this will simply be folded into devices like the Patriot Act.

As an aside: gawd, I hate their use of "patriot" that way, does anybody know the etymology of the word "patriot" with respect to this legislation? Whose idea was it to use "patriot" and why? It seems like the worst/most transparent type of label possible for such a group of laws that seek to strip away personal freedoms and rights to privacy.

A lot less invasive (4, Interesting)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681244)

Why not have the car's mileage checked annually and just get a tax statement then ? I don't have a problem with the concept of people who use the roads paying more for the roads . . . I just don't want to be tracked everywhere I go.

Re:A lot less invasive (3, Insightful)

def (87618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681283)

I suspect they only want to tax your use of california roads, not any road you drive on.

Re:A lot less invasive (5, Insightful)

anonicon (215837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681406)

You're new around here, aren't you? ;-)

Actually, given state governments' needs for more funds since federal funding is drying up, I wouldn't be surprised if California wanted to tax people on every mile they drove, then make its residents *prove* they didn't drive those miles in California.

Chuck

Re:A lot less invasive (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681415)

Yes, good point, I knew there was a good reason they needed to know what road I was on. How about binning vehicles by how many miles per gallon they achieve . . . and taxing appropriately at the pump by how many miles the drivers is going for that purchase ?

Re:A lot less invasive (1)

tOaOMiB (847361) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681310)

Actually, there is a problem with this. The GPS system would allow CA to tax only those miles driven in the state of California. Even better, they could tax different roads differently if they wanted.
However, you certainly wouldn't want them taxing your roadtrip from LA to Boston and back again, when it wasn't their roads you were using!

Prove the mileage is on CA roads? (0, Redundant)

KingFatty (770719) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681325)


Checking the odometer won't work because you will be paying taxes for all driving, including driving on roads that aren't in CA - driving that CA shouldn't be taxing you for.

Re:A lot less invasive (1)

bmongar (230600) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681333)

Well then they would be taxing you for non california miles. If I drove do vegas and bought gas in nevada I'd be taxed twice for the miles, once for the odometer and once for the gas tax in nevada.

Re:A lot less invasive (3, Insightful)

|/|/||| (179020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681349)

Yeah, but how do they know you were driving in state? How do they know you weren't doing laps around your own property?

That said, this is total bullshit. The day somebody wants to put a tracking device in my car is the day I buy a pistol.

Re:A lot less invasive (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681364)

Because odometers are considerably easier to tamper with without detection than GPS transmitters?

And my milage doesn't indicate how much I use the road, especially in California, the land that practically invented the "30 minute drive to anywhere in the city, even next door".

Re:A lot less invasive (1)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681379)

That would really suck to be taxed for driving out of state then.

Drive you car out to Oregon, or Nevada and California gets bonus taxes if they are only going to check your odometer.

Tin Foil Hat for the GPS (4, Funny)

StateOfTheUnion (762194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681261)

Speaking of tin foil hats . . . I'd just get a tin foil hat for the GPS antenae . . . Then as far as CA government is concerned; my car never left home.

Re:Tin Foil Hat for the GPS (1)

de_boer_man (459797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681347)

And then when you filled up your car, you would be flagged as one in violation of maintaning a vehicle with an operating GPS.



This car moved zero miles, but used 30 gallons of gas? Call big brother immediately!

Re:Tin Foil Hat for the GPS (5, Funny)

|/|/||| (179020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681404)

You don't ever fill up your car. You fill up your "gas can."

Yeah? So I mow the lawn a lot.

Re:Tin Foil Hat for the GPS (1)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681394)

If they want to tax on the miles you drive when you fill up, then it's likely that they can also keep track of how much gas you're using. If your GPS unit says you travelled 100 miles this month but you've filled up with enough gas to go 10 times that distance, it'd probably raise some flags...

Re:Patriot Act (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681263)

that is par for the course with this administration.

"Clear Skies"
"Clean Air"
"Healthy Forests"
"No child left behind"

Re:Patriot Act (1)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681268)

Whose idea was it to use "patriot" and why?

I honestly can't answer the who... However, PATRIOT is an acronym for "Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism." The "why" is probably along the lines of "this was introduced because of 9/11 and 'Patriot' is the buzzword of the times."

Re:Patriot Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681270)

Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism

Clever, huh?

[anti-slash] News flash: Michael has been fired (-1, Offtopic)

jihadi_fungus (839057) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681271)

For public distribution (13 Feb 2005):

Anti-slash [anti-slash.org] confirms: Slashdot's editors are dying.

In another devistating blow to slashdot's editors, it was learned that Michael was fired as an editor on slashdot. We at anti-slash are proud to have brought about this partial victory by our unrelenting jihad of bringing their injustices to light.

The specifics of this case are documented in this post: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=138099&cid=115 70041 [slashdot.org]
Quote:
I got this from a verified source who's in the know:

Long story short, michael was canned for his abusive and egotistical personality.

Rob's been building a list of complaints by users about michael's abusive patterns but he never acted on it. Well, michael managed to bitchslap one of Rob's old college buddies' accounts along with a couple of paid accounts, word eventually filtered down to Rob, and he had kittens. He convinced michael's OSTG manager to track him down and drag him into a conference call.

Rob laid down the law and started reading off complaints and michael raised his voice, saying that if Rob had a personal problem with him that he didn't need to go over his head and involve his manager in it.

During the shouting match, michael's editor flag was revoked. He was in the admin area at the time and he noticed.

At this point he went totally ballistic and started screaming about how this was why he moved, to get away from "arrogant elitist bullshit". (this is a direct quote.. michael actually did move from New York to Canada to protest George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001. Andover kept him on since it was only an all-remote job anyway.)

michael's manager ducked out of the call to page (read: wake up) Hemos (overseas on business) to three-way him into the call, to try and calm everyone down.

There was some more shouting, and michael's manager told him that things aren't working out well, and that he's going to recommend that his employment be terminated.

michael just hung up, and that was the end of the call as well as michael's employment with OSTG.

This can be confirmed by visiting http://slashdot.org/authors.pl [slashdot.org] . Michael is not listed.

Fact: Slashdot's editors are dying

Re:Patriot Act (4, Informative)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681273)

does anybody know the etymology of the word "patriot" with respect to this legislation?

It is actually the USA PATRIOT Act, which is an acronym for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism".

Re:Patriot Act (5, Funny)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681339)

I thought it was the "Useless State-sponsored Action Purporting to Attack Terror While Really Initiating an Oligarchic Takeover" -- Monroe Rabin

Re:Patriot Act (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681290)

Its like the Ministry of Freedom.

The Bush Adminstartion is adept at the use of Newspeak.

Re:Patriot Act (3, Interesting)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681330)

Wouldn't it just be easier to just raise the gas tax? Another alternative that would be less invasive would be to make people pay a different tax rate based on the mileage their car gets. Another way would be to make it part of the inspection process. When you take your car in for inspection they take down the mileage. It seems like there are lots of solutions to this that don't involve putting a GPS in every car.

Re:Patriot Act (5, Funny)

FalconZero (607567) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681336)

Well at least they'd be able to inforce the speed limits easily....
I can see it now, you get to the petrol pump and it says

Welcome to Texaco
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Your total bill including fuel, taxes and fines is $600.
Please insert your credit card here.

Re:Patriot Act (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681346)

does anybody know the etymology of the word "patriot" with respect to this legislation?

Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT Act)

Whose idea was it to use "patriot" and why?

Well, it was obviously done so that anyone that voted against it would be a non-PATRIOT. Oh, and make sure that you type it correctly. It is the USA PATRIOT Act. When someone asks why it is capitalized that way, you can explain that it an acronym conceived as propaganda to push through crappy legislation.

Re:Patriot Act (5, Informative)

Erwos (553607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681367)

I'm confused as to how you track people with a GPS device. GPS is _passive_. All GPS satellites do is emit a signal. They can't track anyone - the Pentagon has zero idea of how many people are using GPS at any particular time, let alone who they are.

The state could conceivably rig the _device_ to remember where you were, which is a problem, but properly designed, the state could simply have it remember mileage. GPS is very good at determing velocity (and acceleration).

Additionally, if this was a self-reporting tax (ie, show the number on the LCD to the tax man), potential for abuse would also be minimized.

This is not to say CA's idea is a good one, but I get annoyed when people see "GPS" and assume that means they are being tracked.

-Erwos

Re:Patriot Act (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681389)

Whose idea was it to use "patriot" and why?

Because it sounds better than the "Give up all your rights" act? The "Clear skies act" is another great example along these lines. Personally I think there shouldn't be any name attached to legislation, but instead just a number. Naming legislation allows people to misrepresent what is actually being voted on. I keep waiting for the "Each vote against this bill kills a kitten" act.

Re:Patriot Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681410)

As an aside: gawd, I hate their use of "patriot" that way, does anybody know the etymology of the word "patriot" with respect to this legislation?

Semantic games, if you vote against something called the patriot act you are obviously a traitor. It's an acronym too, but the words don't really mean anything.

We Know (1)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681215)

We Know [slashdot.org]

Yeah, but... (0, Redundant)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681252)

...that one was posted by samzenpus, this one posted by Zonk.

Completely diffrent.

Written warning for violating Slashdot dupe law! (5, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681222)

I am instituting use of the Slashdot search feature to accurately track Slashdot duplicates and tax appropriately:

November 17, 2004 [slashdot.org] was your first offense. A warning was sent via email prior to the story posting on February 15th, 2005 at 2:39pm CST but daddypants ignored our notification.

Please note that future violations will result in a hefty fine! ;-)

OT: I don't hate dupes so much. (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681296)

Sometimes I might not motice the originals; the dupes would be good in those cases. If anything, News 12 [news12.com] in my city dupe far more with their news I think, often repeating it.

Californians are gay (1)

Hot Summer Nights (771962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681224)

They all use Apple computers.

Why whine about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681228)

The roads has to be maintained.

Re:Why whine about this? (1)

emtox (665111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681299)

Isn't that what part of the tax on gas goes to already?

IF it goes through... (1, Interesting)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681229)

I see more people carpooling (I pay the taxes, you buy the gas)...or even better, more people riding bikes (for those lucky enough to live in bike-friendly towns).

Re:IF it goes through... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681327)

Next up: GPS installed on your bike!

Re:IF it goes through... (1)

tOaOMiB (847361) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681360)

Of course, bikes use the roads too. Are you going to continue biking once they install these GPS trackers on your bike as well?!?

Re:IF it goes through... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681380)


I see more people carpooling (I pay the taxes, you buy the gas)...or even better, more people riding bikes (for those lucky enough to live in bike-friendly towns).


Fine. Make that a GPS tracker on ervery person then. Remember! Carpooling is theft of service. (Don't let the transportation pirates rob California if the revinue it needs to develop new revinue generating schemes.)

Annual Inspection (3, Insightful)

degraeve (780907) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681233)

Why not just read the mileage once a year when you get your car inspected and base the taxes off that?

Re:Annual Inspection (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681300)

Because that's more easily cheated.

Re:Annual Inspection (1)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681337)

While I think the idea is brilliant, it does have one critical flaw: Out-of-state travel. If there were some way to account for that easily, I think this would be the best solution hands-down.

Re:Annual Inspection (1)

babokd (857897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681390)

because you don't want to be taxed for any out-of-state drving that you do.

Never happen (5, Interesting)

Cyberglich (525256) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681234)

what are the smoking!!! I have a GPS and I can tell you this will NEVER work. 1. GPS is useless in areas with lots f tall buildings like Boston for example (my last trip there my gps was a total joke. Jamming the receiver would be a piece of cake do to the low power nature of it and if they try to get clever and make it so my car won't go with out a signal there going to be a lot of cars stuck in parking structures.

So what happens when you cut the power? (2, Interesting)

Trigun (685027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681235)

If the unit doesn't get power, it can't operate. Or you can pull it off your car and leave it in your driveway. Fill up cherry cans instead of your car.

This article is very familiar.... (1)

flahavin (702194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681236)

wasn't this already a topic a month or two ago?

Why not? (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681241)

Although I'd really like if said tax helped lower the price of gas. Maybe less people will drive 'cause of it, and less gas will be wasted; supply might go up a bit.

Re:Why not? Because you are dreaming! (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681319)

I'd really like if said tax helped lower the price of gas.

You are dreaming, or smoking.

Governments do not lower taxes once they have established them.

You will have a Gas Tax and a mileage tax.

Yeah tax by the mile... they tried that (2, Informative)

Uruviel (772554) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681246)

Yeah tax by the mile... they tried that here in Holland. It didn't require a GPS device though. It worked with certain portals. Once you had passed one it would add an amount of miles to your pile.

It will never pass (1)

Space_Soldier (628825) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681249)

This law can lead to:
  • speeding fines.
  • privacy issues.
Feel free to add more. I can't think of anything else right now.

Great idea! (1)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681253)

Now we can finally get rid of those pesky gas taxes!

Re:Great idea! (1)

danielobvt (230251) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681331)

Why would you think that? This would be a great way to support that income source.
Think about it, how often do governments cut taxes? Think of the milage tax as a good usage tax, and gas taxes as a good way to punish those wrongdoers who are still using inefficient cars.

Re:Great idea! (3, Insightful)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681371)

Silly poster - the gas tax won't go away, this is just a bonus tax!

Re:Great idea! (2, Insightful)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681392)

RIIIIIIGHT. This is gov't we're talking about. Assuming and idea like this actually makes it into law I would bet a lot of money that it will be in addition to gasoline tax.

Something smells awfully fishy about the story anyway. If more and more people are moving to higher gas mileage cars (doubtful since the environmentalists have been screaming blue murder that average gas mileage in cars is decreasing as of late) then the simple solution would be to increase the gasoline tax. There has to be another angle.

Over-engineered solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681255)

Sounds typically Californian. Why not note the odometer yearly and asess the tax?

what a load of horse $hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681257)

thats all i got to say about that.

-F. Gump

Improbable (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681258)

Need I count on my twelve fingers the many reasons this will not fly?

Also, the whole tone of the submission seems pejorative.

Re:Improbable (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681374)

you insensitive clod, the Surgeon general hates sigs not comments!

That's not a tax. (2, Insightful)

Red Rocket (473003) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681260)


That's a user fee.
Pay-per-mile highways.

Re:That's not a tax. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681365)

>That's a user fee.
>Pay-per-mile highways.

Why not have it both ways? -- If this is a road impact tax - modify the charge/mile by a weight multiplier. Light efficient hybrid cars and motorcycles do less road damage than commercial semis (which already pay an additional road tax?) and heavier, less efficient, passenger trucks, SUVs, etc.

Re:That's not a tax. (1)

Jpunkroman (851438) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681376)

I believe it is also called the Garden State Parkway. 35 cents, 35 cents, 35 cents...

So where does this kind of thing end? (4, Interesting)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681264)

Should there be a per-book checkout tax to help fund the libraries? How about taxing people more if their kid's teacher spends more time helping them than the other kids (10 cents per question answered)? I like the idea of higher taxes for people who use the road more since they are contributing more wear and tear to the roads, however applying this kind of mentality in every case doesn't sound like a good idea.

By the way, rather than a GPS unit on every car, why not just institute a smart toll system instead? Wouldn't this be cheaper, not to mention not being quite as scary from a privacy standpoint?

what about? (1)

DeusExMalex (776652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681269)

so what happens when people start to realize that they're getting boned? they start taking city busses? it'd be pretty damn funny to watch the government eat the bill for the roads once everyone decides that they don't want to be tracked via their cars.

This is so ABSOLUTELY DUMB!! (5, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681272)

Claiming losses due to fuel-efficient cars, such as Gasoline/Electric Hybrids,

After decades of pushing for more fuel efficient cars, now they want to punish you for owning them.

And the next logical step will have to be requiring drivers to have them just to drive in from out of state.

Then the Federal government will have to standardize the units so that Oregon units cross-operate with California units.

Followed by insurance companies using them to determine not only how much you drive now (which is often done by the odometer), but do you drive in more dangerous areas, and hence should be charged more.

It will never end, except the the consumer will pay and pay and pay for something they never wanted in the first place!

How much for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681274)

So how much tax could California collect from a smog producing riding lawnmower throwing out the toxic fumes of 900 efficient cars. What prevents people from filling up with a hooptie that has a 100 gallon gas can in the trunk and taking it home then filling up the car? Or better yet recycling the tinfoil hat for, uhmm, more constructive purposes.

But what if it burns out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681279)

A jab with 220v will do nicely, by accident or on purpose. Or wrapping with aluminum foil. Either way, what then?

Why GPS? (1)

MongooseKY (760783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681282)

Not that I support their cause in any way, but to nitpick, why use GPS? Commercial vehicles have long tracked milage without using technology that could be used to track one's whereabouts. If they simply must know how many miles you drive, why not use an electronic odometer rather than tracking your actual movements? Or is it not just the milage they are interested in? Hmmmm.....

Re:Why GPS? (1)

MongooseKY (760783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681407)

Gads... milage=mileage :(

Paying for Use (1)

Trolling4Columbine (679367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681285)

What a concept, really.

Sorry, conspiracy theorists, this has nothing to do with "punishing people for not consuming enough gasoline". This is about making people pay for what they use. Think of toll roads.

Now I'm not saying that the planned implementation, by any means, is sound. The concept makes perfect sense, but only if it replaces a current gas tax system. Otherwise it's just another tax.

Joy. (2, Informative)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681288)

This smacks of influence by the oil industry to hold on to its revenues while the people are moving to more efficient alternatives (hybrid cars).

It's not like you can't find the GPS unit and remove it, or just disconnect it so it won't show up until the annual inspection.

And here in Texas, there's an alternative to it - tollways. Beltway 8, the Westpark Tollway - they get tons of traffic every day, and at a buck-twenty-five a stop, they rake in plenty of cash, too.

Brilliant! (3, Funny)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681289)

Wow! This is such a great idea! I don't know why nobody came up with it first! As a strong supporter, I would like to nominate my company, TrackingStats4Sale, to aggregate and manage the information that's gathered from this.

Huh? (1)

kreyg (103130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681291)

Oregon State University equipped a test car with a global positioning device to keep track of its mileage

I thought every car already came with a device that did just that...

Re:Huh? (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681393)

Probably no where near as accurately.

Time to register out of state... (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681295)

Here in Massachusetts the powers-that-be routinely go after people who live in the state but register their cars out of state, usually up in New Hampshire. Mass. has some strict regulations about auto insurance, but NH doesn't require insurance at all. So some people who live near the border with NH register their cars in NH. It also saves on state excise taxes. Of course once or twice a year the local news carries stories of how the police troll the neighborhoods looking for cars with NH license plates parked in MA driveways so that they can give out tickets (if the same car is seen there multiple days). I can see a similar huge upswell of out-of-state registrations in CA if this draconian Big Brother law is passed.

We already have such a device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681298)

It's called the Odometer.

Easily Defeated (1)

acidkillUSF (523372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681301)

I can see this being easily defeated, just wrap the device in tin foil.

Before you leave your house, wrap the device in foil, go about your business, and unwrap it when you get back home. They will never know you left you home, and cant prove you did anything wrong.

I will never live in such a state (3, Insightful)

MicroBerto (91055) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681302)

I think this has already been mentioned here, but here's my solution:

Don't live in California.

This is going to do so much damage to costs in business (think of anything that delivers). Why would I want to start my business in Cali when I can be far more successful in other states? I personally won't support it.

It's also hypocritical. It punishes success.

More taxes... (1)

KoriaDesevis (781774) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681305)

And they wonder why so many businesses left California for Oregon. Go figure. I guess this is a way to scare away residents now, too.

Another Loss of revenue (1)

Mr. Falco (856087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681309)

Come on this is not cool. Its worse then a cumsumption tax. This is going to cause mass problems. I don't need big brother charging me for useing the freeways they are not trunpikes.

This is bull (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681329)

How can anyone in their right mind make such a tax?

Aren't republicans against raising taxes?
Shouldnt we be raising taxes for people who are using lots of gas?
Aren't we trying to avoid being completly dependant on the middle east?

Maybe they're confused. We're start global warming on mars not earth!

No problem (4, Informative)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681332)

Just fit one of these [edmo.com] above the antenna. You can fake any journey or lack thereof that you choose.

What about tolls? (1)

jstave (734089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681334)

A per-mile use tax is in place in a lot of states. Its called a toll booth. Are there no toll booths on CA highways?

Obviously (5, Insightful)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681338)

This is just stupid. What if you own a large ranch and drive around in it, not on public roads? What if you drive on (private) toll road freeways, like the one we have in Southern California? What about the people who will obviously find a hack for the system? What if you pick up your gas in a large plastic tank and avoid paying fees? This is ridiculous, and whoever thought this up should face electoral consequences.

Better Way Without Privacy Problems (2, Insightful)

reporter (666905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681343)

Installing a GPS tracking device in each vehicle is a sure violation of privacy. That device could be used to monitor where, not just how far, each person travels.

A much better way to handle this problem is to simply track the number of miles that each vehicle is driven, from the moment that the vehicle has Californian license plates. California already has a system for mandatory smog checks. The technicians at the smog station transmit the results of the smog checks directly to the state computer system.

The technicians could also tranmit the odometer reading as well. Then, the state government could simply determine the number of miles that you have driven the car since the last smog check and could then send you a bill for the use of Californian roads.

Yeah - that's fair (3, Insightful)

ripetersen (526485) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681345)

So both my Ford Focus and Giant Urban Assault Vehicle get to pay the same tax, sure the UAV uses more gas, and tears up the road more, but if we both put 50 miles on the cars, then we both get taxed the same.

Mile Tax Solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681351)

Tin foil! I knew this hat would come in handy some day!

For those not in the know, a pretty thin layer of tinfoil will block GPS signals quite effectively (faraday cage), thus negating the ability of this system to charge you for miles.

And of course, they're not going to be able to prosecute you for losing signal, due to the aforementioned problems with GPS signals in urban envoironments.

Breathing is next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681352)

They next make us all were flexible bands around our torso and then assess a charge each time your lungs expand and contract ... gotta pay for all those clean air initiatives ...

Ultra-hypocritical (5, Insightful)

StateOfTheUnion (762194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681353)

So the same government that is mandating zero emission and reduced emission car sales is now trying to take away the consumer incentive for high efficiency vehicles? This is blatantly hypocritical . . .

I would be in favor of jacking up the gasoline tax instead. This would put more pressure on the enviromental offenders that drive SUV's and other inefficient vehicles. Afraid that this will punish businesses? Give them a tax credit or tax rebate for business vehicles that are legitimately needed for the business.

This would kill people like... or would it? (2)

iibbmm (723967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681356)

I live in South Orange County (mission Viejo) and work in North Hollywood (about 70 miles each way). My employer covers me for $0.375/Mile for my commute, but I wonder how much they would actually hit me with taxes, and if my employer would cover it. All GPS musings aside (everyone else will bitch about that), this tax would really kill people that have to pay for gas to drive far to work every day, and reward those who can afford to live close to their office. Is it a new trend to tax the more needy before taxing the more priveledged? Oh wait... durr.

department of redundancy department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681361)

Isn't this why we have freeways instead of toll roads already? We have taxes already on our gasoline, so if you want to save money, get a more efficient vehicle.

What I would do to fight this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681363)

Continue to drive a gas guzzler and make sure I don't consider purchasing a hybrid later. Bad governance like this shouldn't be rewarded with a favorable outcome.

Interesting Idea... (1)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681369)

Certainly, it encourages carpooling and other mileage-saving techniques ("Hey neighbor, I'm going to the supermarket, need anything? You can return the favor next week.")

The tax can't be *too* much, or using a delivery service becomes more economical. Also can't you write off some expenses driving to/from work??

Either way, there's a disincentive to "just drive around"... which is good for people's wallets, and the environment. Of course. the CA. gov't might see even more decreases in revenues because of this...

The Bush crime family (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681370)

Welcome to a world controlled by the Bush crime family. Those thugs are the ones ramming this through in CA. They hate our freedoms and want to steal them from us. These virtual chains have already be discussed at length at:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/

Please visit.

I have one word for them (3, Funny)

fastpage (125435) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681373)

Recall.

if only... (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681386)

...i could force my employer to give me more money when i cant balance my budget...

Won't fly (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681391)

Too much of a violation of privacy. Why not just tax all of these Hummers piloted by housewives talking cell phones I see here everyday in SoCal?

Hype? Sensationalism? (5, Insightful)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681396)

This article smells of Sensationalism. Note the lack of detail in the article.

Officials in car-clogged California are so worried they may be considering a replacement for the gas tax altogethe

Who are these "Officials"? The Governor of California? A low-level bereaucrat? There are plenty of low-level bereaucrat in sector 7-G who consider ideas which never really materialize.

Changing the tax structure at this level in California or Oregon would require some approval by the State sentate and legistlature.

Smells of sensationalism ...

Easy solution... (1)

NitzerX (232382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681403)

Banned those pesky fuel efficient vehicles!

Mandatory Hummers for everyone!

George Orwell only missed it by 21 years... (1)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681411)

What's next, tracking not only how many miles you drive but also your destinations?

Cost of enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681413)

Besides the privacy issues, the cost of enforcement will be huge. Probably half the tax collected would go into setting up GPS units and having accountants go over this stuff. Besides, what happens for visitors from out of state?

Why not just increase the gas tax a bit. This will encourage people to use cleaner cars.
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