Article by Colonel Nogov on Aug. 7, 2015
Oregon, the state I’m temporarily located in, is green. Super green actually. Oil is a demon here. The hypocrisy is astounding, and completely lost on them, but that’s another issue.
So in order to wrestle this demon, Oregon promotes energy conservation. The last time I checked, Portland was the 2nd largest market per capita of hybrid cars. Love ’em or hate ’em, hybrids get a lot of miles per gallon of gas.
Well, can you guess what problem this has caused? The gas tax has dwindled of course. Ouch! According to government anyway. Revenue stream drying up. What do we do? We “need” that money.
Ah. Tax by the mile instead (or in addition to, not fully worked yet.). There’s a test program going on right now where volunteers are being taxed by the miles they drive. I mean seriously, who’s volunteering for this shit. But anyway.
So, let’s reach deep down into our thinks and imagine what this means for enforcement. It will be difficult to enforce. Not that I care about that. It generally amuses me to watch government chase its tail. But this difficulty of enforcement will lead to some horrific solutions and consequences.
Freedom of movement will be restricted. Freedom of movement has always been restricted to a certain point. Drivers License. Car registration. Mandatory liability insurance. But once you had these thing, you were generally free to go about your business with only the occasional police armed robbery occurring known as the traffic citation. Fortunately there’s no DUI checkpoints allowed in this State.
The gas tax was relatively easy for the government to enforce. There’s only a few thousand gas stations you have to strong arm to collect your taxes for you. But now, millions of drivers are going to have to be harassed in some way or another to collect the taxes.
Maybe it will be as simple as reporting your odometer reading at the beginning and end of the year. But that would be easy to cheat on. Who’s going to check. What if I drive my car out of State, do I get charged for those miles also or do I keep track of them and reduce them from my odometer reading reporting. No. No. This is unacceptable. Maybe we need to force everyone to install some sort of governor/tracker that is automatically transmitted to a government agency. We have to stop these people from evading their mileage tax.
If you don’t pay your mileage tax or are caught cheating on your mileage tax, we will enforce harsh penalties. We will suspend your driving “privileges”. We could also impound (steal) your vehicle. We could also lien your real property.
We aren’t collecting enough money in mileage tax, we must raise the mileage tax. It’s only a penny per mile, but it will help maintain the roads, they’ll say.
What about commercial truck drivers? Maybe they’ll decide, you know what, it’s not worth the effort and risk to haul goods into or through Oregon anymore. I can’t afford to have my license revoked or my truck confiscated. Or the tax makes it unprofitable now. It ends up being double taxation if the drivers fill their tanks in a different state and pay a gas tax to that state and then must pay a mileage tax to Oregon whether or not they fill their tanks there or not. Higher prices for goods is a certainty, one way or another.
What about people who were cutting living expenses by using a high fuel efficiency car? They were cutting both their fuel bill and their tax bill in an effort to improve their living conditions or simply make ends meet. Now the tax savings is gone. Here is the government coming along and showing its true colors with the bold statement, “we don’t give a fuck about people or energy conservation, we just want your money!” Obviously the incentive to conserve fuel from a tax perspective is removed. The guy who was making the conscience decision to reduce his energy consumption by getting 50 miles per gallon in his hybrid car no longer gets a break on his tax bill. He now pays the same amount of tax as the gas guzzling guy driving the monster truck that gets 5 miles to the gallon since they’re both paying by the mile driven and not the gas used.
How about mileage tax check points? The government can’t conduct DUI checkpoints, but mileage tax checkpoints. Brilliant! Can I see your drivers license, registration, and mileage taxes receipt certificate. Have you been drinking? Where are you headed? I think I smell marijuana, oh wait that’s legal now, I can’t use that false premise anymore.
Remember the penalties if you can’t afford or fail to pay. No more freedom of movement. Get yourself a good pair of shoes. But then again, maybe that’s what Oregon wants. Super green. Is that horse shit I smell all over the muddy roads and piled up high? Bring back the horse and buggy!