Thursday, January 17, 2013

Saving on Gas With Your Prius - Forget It!

In a previous Blog (The "Nanny State," Taxes and Bad Behavior, Aug 2, 2011) I indicated how governments have come to rely on "sin" taxes to support their budgets, suggesting that prostitution and smoking may be "bad behavior" on moral or medical grounds, but profitable for the tax base of certain states.  A significant decrease in these activities will negatively affect revenue.

Now, it seems, that the reduction in fuel taxes resulting from the increased efficiency requirements for automobiles has adversely affected tax revenues, both federal and state.  Taxes on gas use are said to have fallen precipitously.  Not to worry.  Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon has suggested that the fuel tax be replaced with a VMT tax - a tax to be based on "vehicle-miles traveled."  Drivers who use roads more should pay more for that use - similar to a toll, I guess, but now all roads would, in effect become toll roads.  The tax would be collected at gas stations; miles being calculated by installed GPS systems which would transfer the data and calculate the appropriate tax at the time of re-fueling.

Pretty creative, don't you think?  When one revenue source begins to dry up because of changes in behavior mitigated by a government, another source of revenue must be devised.

But don't think you can get away with a gas-guzzler now.  VMT rates may be related to vehicle-efficiency with higher taxes for the less-efficient.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for share...