The Gas Tax plus the Mileage Tax

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Several states are in the process of “pilot” programs to tax drivers for driving – on top of buying gas, if they don’t drive a device (i.e., a battery powered vehicle). The argument being that the mileage tax is needed because of all the device-owners who are not paying taxes on gas.

Of course, the bait-and-switch is the belief that gas taxes will “wither away” – like the state, in Communist theology.

You have to have faith to believe this – in both cases.

What will happen is that drivers will pay taxes for driving as well as for gas – assuming they don’t drive a battery-powered device. Device owners will just pay twice as much for the device – and wait five times as long before they can drive the device.

The state having as much interest in eliminating a tax as a tapeworm has in being eliminated from its host.

The taxes on gas – and diesel – will increase, so as to “incentivize” people to stop driving vehicles that aren’t devices. This is going to happen sooner rather than later because devices are not selling well all-of-a-sudden on account of the realities of owning a device having percolated into the general consciousness. Like the “vaccines” that never vaccinated anyone.

Devices are, by and large, bought as second vehicles by people affluent enough to afford a vehicle to back up their device and who can afford to pay the taxes and insurance on both a vehicle and a device.

And that pool has largely dried up, resulting in a mismatch between the (effectively) government mandated manufacture of more and more devices and the dwindling number of buyers for all of these devices. It isn’t even so much because they are devices, although that is a compounding factor. The chief factor is that devices are luxury-priced items and most people cannot afford to buy luxury-priced items. It’s why there are more Dollar stores than the kinds of stores that cater to the people who would never think of setting foot in a Dollar store, except in an emergency.

But as long as there are dollar stores, most people will go to that store because they can’t afford to shop in the stores that the people who avoid Dollar stores patronize. That is essentially the situation with battery powered devices vs. those that aren’t. And that is why it will be necessary to make it just as expensive to shop at a Dollar store – so to speak – as it is to patronize the stores where most people can’t afford to shop.

One way to do that is to increase the taxes on gas and diesel so that it costs at least as much to drive a vehicle that is not a device as it does to buy a device. The latter can be financed. And so could a $200 tankful of gas. But the latter would likely be financed using a credit card, at an interest rate of 26 percent, compounded monthly. The device could be financed for the next six or seven years at a much more favorable rate. Assuming you can afford the monthly payments.

Either way, most people will not be able to afford it – which is precisely why this double-taxation is going to happen. And there is another, subtler reason, for the new tax. Two reasons, in fact.

The first one is that the mileage tax is less about taxing and more about mileage. The tax is the excuse they need to keep track of how far (and probably also how often) people drive, no matter what they drive.

This will be done electronically – and telematically – by simply having the vehicle transmit regular/annual reports to the taxing authority regarding how far it has been driven (where it was driven being just as easily uploaded). It would not even be necessary to send the vehicle’s owner a bill for the mileage taxes “owed.” (This business about “owing” money to the government for services forced on you and that you may not even use is a subject for another time.)

Modern cars – meaning “connected” vehicles – have telematics that both send and receive “data” from (and to) the vehicle’s manufacturer and so, implicitly, to the government. This by the way encompasses pretty much all  vehicles made since – roughly – 2010 or so.

But what about older vehicles that do not have this capability? It is possible, of course, to have the odometer read by a government apparatchik but that would require an annual Odometer Check by an inspector. And it is possible – so the apparatchiks will say – to”cheat” the government by rolling back their odometers or simply disconnecting their vehicle’s speedometer cable – which in older, pre-electronic cars is what drives the odometer – to avoid the driving tax.

And – regardless – a disconnected vehicle cannot be monitored. Checking the odometer reading once year will reveal how far the vehicle was driven but not how it was driven or when it was driven.

A disconnected vehicle cannot be remotely/electronically prevented from being driven, either.

Expect the apparatchiks to attempt to require that older vehicles be connected – ostensibly in order to collect for driving them. But also to effectively push vehicles that aren’t connected off the road by making it impossible to legally keep driving them. By imposing a requirement that is effectively impossible – economically as well as technically – to comply with.

The latter being the oily-but-clever method by the apparat to effectively push vehicles that aren’t device out of showrooms without actually – technically – outlawing them. You can still build a new vehicle that isn’t a device says the Biden Thing. We’re not outlawing anything! So long as it averages better than 50 MPG and also “emits” essentially no carbon dioxide.

Similarly, you’ll be allowed to drive a vehicle that isn’t a connected device.

So long as you get it connected – and are compliant.

. . .

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  1. Some states like Illinois already double tax gasoline, with the gas tax and regular sales tax. It’s even worse than you think too. Why? Because the gas tax is applied first so you are paying sales tax on the already applied gas tax!

  2. Why are you worrying about mileage taxes after all, soon, you will be living in fifteen minute cities and personal vehicles will be outlawed. Your “apartment “or “pod” will furnish everything for you as you will not need very much anyway, only a couple changes of clothing per year und you vill own nutink, eat ze bugs und be happy. That is what’s left of our world after the WEF is finished with murdering off 95% of humanity.
    That’s the future those wise all knowing sages in the World Economic Forum have in store for what’s left of humanity after they’ve forced euthanasia on anyone over 60, the mentally incompetent and physically disabled.
    Living in mountain or backwoods retreat will be useless as they will turn all the technology against you. “They” that is those in charge will bring to bear every form of technology to root out the last of the hold outs no matter where they are. Foreign born foot soldiers will have no problem with wiping you out to please their masters.

  3. I have to get emissions tested every 2 years.

    The mileage is recorded every time I go through the test station.

    As a result, the state already has the information it needs to levy a tax (in a handful of counties, anyway).

    If they do that, though, I guarantee it won’t be popular.

  4. You guys are all speculating that states might also charge you tolls to use the roads – CA is already doing this:

    We have some big roads with 3-4 lanes in each direction where 1-2 lanes are being turned into toll lanes. Cars with 3+ people can use them for free, as can government vehicles. In order to use them, you need a transponder which tells the system how many people are in the car, and there are cameras to double-check this. The privileged classes (government workers and illegal immigrants) don’t pay toll, of course. These tolls are expensive, usually costing $1-2 per exit, which are mostly less than a mile apart. What these express lanes have done is tremendously increase traffic by reducing the normal lane count and increasing accidents. The express lanes are usually moving lots faster than the other ones, and people drive like idiots, so they go from the slow ones to the fast ones and get rear ended at high speed.

    So, we pay high gas taxes here, we also pay yearly property taxes on the car, now, our highways are turning into toll roads, and there’s this per-mile surcharge too. I have a house in the mountains, in red CA but I live in blue CA and it’s a 150 mile drive. It’d cost me $90 for a round trip to my mountain cabin if they pass this.

    • Hi, OL,
      I live in Corona, 92882, @ the eastern terminus of Santa Ana Canyon, site of the very first toll road in CA, AFAIK.

      For that route, your assertions are incorrect. The toll road was built in the median of SR91, originally by a private consortium from Orange County. It did not, and does not, reduce the capacity of the freeway (SR91), and it is not possible to switch back and forth between the toll lanes and the freeway. Besides which, Cal Trans has added free lanes since the toll road was built.

      Speculation, but it is possible that SR91 could be double decked at some point, it being one of the most congested highways in CA. All depends on funding. SA Cyn also hosts a Metrolink light rail line, which uses BNSF trackage.

      > The express lanes are usually moving lots faster than the other ones,
      Yes. Congestion pricing (variable toll rate) is designed to ensure that those who choose to pay toll get something for their money, namely a faster trip.

      Full disclosure: I do not use the toll lanes, and never will.

      • There is definitely a war on autos and auto drivers in CA, though.
        Recently, our City Council, in its infinite stupidity (IMO) decided it would be a terrific idea to narrow the main east-west thoroughfare from two lanes to one. Whether this actually happens remains to be seen. The street (6th St.) is home to many, many automotive related businesses, and was in fact SR91 before the Riverside Freeway was built.

        I can’t imagine these business owners taking this lying down, once they get wind of the proposed project, but, who knows? This is some kind of *stupid* wokester poisoned Kool-Aid, of which CC has definitely taken a giant swig.

  5. I’ve said many times. Will not happen in rural america. They won’t care, won’t do, and won’t be hassled.
    I’ll bet that deep red states will even ‘protect’ their people over this overreach. See it happening now, and has been happening.

    • Yep. Rural Central WA, farms and ranches lots of side by sides & quads out on the county roads. Supposed to be on 35 MPH roads only but that’s not followed nor enforced.
      Sheriff is good ol boy and wants to be re elected.

      I even see them in town picking up supplies at the farm co-op.

      So, keep a family rig in reserve for trips and run your day to day with a lower cost easy to maintain side by side.

  6. Here in Taxachusetts they record the mileage when you get your annual saaaafety inspection, which of course gets passed on to the state and your insurance company, since they’re all “connected”. In fact I just got a (not) “friendly reminder” from my insurance company that my sticker is due this month and I had better get it done promptly. The “or else” is implied.

  7. ‘Several states are in the process of “pilot” programs to tax drivers for driving’ — eric

    It’s not just Commiefornia. A pusher organization called Road Use Charge West has 20 state members:

    This web page claims that Oregon and Utah already have enacted road use charges, while Cali, Colorotten, Hawaii, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Washington state are running pilot programs.

    Since ICE vehicles are not going to be replaced by EeeVees, we’ll end up with a horrid combination of both gasoline and mileage taxes — complete with one-shot ‘rebates’ in election years, to bribe the bleating sheeple with their own money, as they deliriously defecate themselves over their lucky ‘windfall.’

    ‘The history of the present US fedgov is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.’ — Declaration of Independence [edited for anachronism]

    • Add in the WA “carbon tax” that has our state average over $4 a gallon now. King County average around $4.86

      Finally someone stepped up with the money to get it done, there is an initiative qualified for the ballot this Fall to remove the cap and trade idiocy.

      The liberal legislature passed three others into law, hooray!

      “ Three citizen initiatives designed to lift restrictions on police vehicle pursuits, prohibit income taxes, and establish a “bill of rights” for parents of K-12 students are set to become law in Washington after winning approval in the state House and Senate on Monday”

      Wait a minute, their strategy is to tie them up in court now especially the parents rights law. Great. Our court system is totally left and the WA State Supreme Court is totally owned by the teachers union you can bet the these will be declared “unconstitutional”. The carbon tax repeal is clear cut constitutional so they’re banking on the avocado toast crowd in Seattle to vote the repeal down this Fall.

        • Well, it used to work. More and more it doesn’t matter here since like I stated, the courts will overturn any approved initiative if it strays too far from the lib doctrines.

          The Rossi / Gregoire gov race years ago a fine example. He won till the THIRD recount with all the “found” ballots put Fraud-oire over the top. The Keystone Repubs actually got this mess into court and of course lost. Courts: “gotta count every ballot to keep it fair!”

        • Nah. Sparky is just giving all the other boxes one more chance before reaching for that last one. As we used to say in high school back in the late 70s, “That’s white of him.”

  8. Collectivists would rather tax you to death, gotta squeeze blood.from a wagon load of turnips.

    Wouldn’t it be more efficient to know the volume of air breathed in each day and tax that amount of volume?

    The big nose people would balk, you can tax carbon dioxide, not the air.

    Have to tax by nose size, hook noses are taxed the most of all.

    You can tax anything and everything, might well be air and noses both.

    It has become absurd.

  9. ‘if they don’t drive a device (i.e., a battery powered vehicle)’ — eric

    Mirrors on the ceiling, the pink champagne on ice
    Regan said, we are all just prisoners here of our own device

    Last thing I remember, I was running for the door
    I had to find the passage back to the car I had before
    Relax, said the tax man, we are programmed to receive
    You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave

    — Eagles, Hotel Commiefornia

    • >Relax, said the tax man, we are programmed to receive
      Relax, said the White Man, we are programmed to deceive.
      You know it in your country as “speaking with forked tongue.”

      • …and it reminds me of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s version of “The Taxman”, when he sings, “…if you try to walk, I’ll tax your feet”. I guess one should not give the greedy governments (state/local/Federal) any ideas…

  10. Tolling of surface streets is coming. The same optical technology which allows a self-driving car to “see” the road will allow the authorities to track individual cars as they navigate the streets in a given area.

    Manhattan will be first followed by other big cities.

  11. People who still think that government cares about the little guys after what we’ve been forced to endure just since 2020 are chumps. The government REALLY cares about the interests of the medical-industrial complex, the military-industrial complex, the censorship-industrial complex, and billionaire psychopaths.

    As for a vehicle mileage tax, IIRC, the Biden Thing’s Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, is ALL IN with such a tax. Cars that are “connected” will be able to communicate with government how and how many miles the driver drove the automobile. However, for people who drive an older automobile that doesn’t have such technology, it’s possible that government could decree a MANDATE for people to install a smart meter like device in their vehicle’s OBD port if it has one. After all, governments implemented face diaper mandates for people to go to public places, which eventually led to mandates for people to take an experimental pharma product.

  12. We were supposed to run out of oil. All the experts said so. We were “wasting” the resource. It had to be limited and doled out by need. And taking a long bet on the CBOT futures trade was a wise decision, all the experts agreed.

    Then the Soviet Union collapsed. And the Saudis took on too much debt and had to keep production up. And then there was fracking, and tar sands, both of which were assumed to be too costly to produce until someone figured out how to do it cheaper. Suddenly there was oil everywhere and the long gamers got fleeced. “Fool me once, won’t be fooled again!” said the Texas oil president.

    There’s too much oil. And too much energy overall. Have to put limits on human progress, or maybe the people at the top might not be at the top anymore. Better focus all effort on maintaining the status quo at all costs. Give the people too much prosperity, or mobility, or computing power, and pretty soon they’re speaking their minds and buying ski passes at “your” resort. Now you have to rub elbows (and wait in line) with the hoi-polloi too. Pretty soon your tattooed and pierced daughter is bringing home the riffraff to meet you. No, that won’t do at all.

    So divide and conquer, tax and limit “unapproved” technology. Put the genie back in the bottle before it hurts you even more.

    • First of all, let’s get rid of the term “fossil fuels”.
      Naturally-occurring hydrocarbons are “abiotic”.
      Hydrocarbon products are constantly being created deep within the earth by yet-unknown processes well below the layers that contain fossils. Keep in mind that hydrocarbons migrate upward and pass through “fossil layers” picking up remnants of “fossil” material; hence, the present-day scientists’ stupid mistaken assumption that hydrocarbons are derived from “fossils”.
      Oil interests are drilling wells at 5,000 feet, 10,000 feet, and 15,000 feet and deeper, and coming up with oil deposits well below the layers and levels where “fossils” were known to exist.
      As Russia gained much expertise in deep-well drilling and coming up with oil deposits far deeper than that of the level of “fossils”, abiotic oil at extreme depths was actually a Russian “state secret” for a long time.
      “Peak oil” and “fossil fuels” are discredited dishonest concepts that environmentalists and others are latching on to, in order to display their hatred of oil being a renewable resource as well as to push prices up.
      Follow the money.
      Naturally-occurring hydrocarbons have done more to advance civilization than any other influence. It is the discovery, creation and utilization of ENERGY that propels civilizations upward and onward.
      We have more oil underneath our feet than the rest of the world. In fact, we became energy independent under Trump. That trend was reversed with the Biden regime.
      For a good treatise on abiotic oil, please google L. Fletcher Prouty. He is a scientist who gives a good explanation of “abiotic oil”.

    • That would be much better. A charger is already connected. It could even debit your account on a near instantaneous basis, kind of like the gas tax added in does. Every time you fill/charge, the ticker for the tax goes up in real time.

      But as Eric says in today’s article, it’s not about the roads or even the money. It’s about the control.

  13. State of California has recently solicited drivers to participate in the “pilot” program for the planned mileage tax. For older, non-connected vehicles, the required reporting method is a monthly photo of the odometer.

    State *claims* the gasoline tax will be phased out, ITLR.

    • My understanding is that, in the Before Time, the high cost of fuel in European countries was a major factor in keeping vehicle sizes, and engine displacements, small. Whether the high cost of fuel was due to taxes, or other factors, I do not know. But, if la benzina costa multo lira, a 500cc FIAT might be just the thing. Ein Amerikanische Strassenkreutzer mit V8 would be totally out of the question.

      And now…
      With government mandating (excuse me, persondating) smaller cars with smaller engines, they Just Can’t Figure Out why motorists are buying less fuel. Sweet Jesus! Six billion shortfall on revenue from the fuel tax, Leroy! What to do?? Why, TAX the mofos some other way, of course!

      • La benzina costa multo lira is why Ferraris had V12 engines of 3.x-4.x liters displacement, as Italy taxed cars based on engine displacement. And viel Marken für Benzin is why, except for the Grosser 600 Mercedes, most S-class Mercedes Benzes were made for export.

        In a way, the EU took a more sensible approach than CAFE: Carmakers could build what they wanted and people could buy what they wanted—and if you could afford the molto lira and viel Marken for la benzina, or if you cared about other things in a car than its gas mileage such that it’s worth the lira/Marken, then no problemo, signore!


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