Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Really Dumb Ideas

There are a lot of things wrong with implementing a VMT tax. And, frankly, part of the problem is this stupid obsession with technology. The only cheap/efficient way to do it is to have it be recorded off your odometer at your annual car inspection (assuming your state has such a thing), with the fee being collected by your licensed mechanic and then passed onto the state as a part of your inspection fee. There's no need for GPS monitoring. That's both stupid and weird. But that's potentially a big annual bill for people. Much better to collect it bit by bit in the largely invisible way it is done now.

Currently gas stations collect/remit gas taxes. There are a relatively small number of them. Collections and enforcement is a pretty simple process. Adding an entirely new taxation/monitoring/collections/enforcement authority for the entire population is madness. Going to send out the car boots for nonpayment? File civil suits and liens? Revoke licenses? What?

The idea that you can't increase the gas tax but you can add an exciting new and complicated and invasive fee is madness. Just increase the damn gas tax. Yes in our electric car future that might be a problem, but it's a problem that's a long way away.

(ht reader a)