Big Brother Is Only Logical
Does anybody else pick up a willful naivete in Gerald Bastarache’s advocacy for a mileage tax?
To measure these miles, the commission calls for “in-vehicle or after market Global Positioning System (GPS) devices” that would track the way we drive. The per-mile charge would depend on whether the driving is on crowded urban freeways during rush hour (higher charge) or lightly traveled rural roads (lower charge).
The goal of the mileage tax is still to collect the funds we need for good highways through user fees, but in a more logical way than we do now.
The report says the amount charged for cars could range from 0.9 cents per mile to match current trust fund revenues, or go up to 2.3 cents per mile to “maintain and improve” the annual investment level.
The levels of taxation require careful calibration to ensure fairness. But compared with the current system, fairness should be relatively easy to achieve. …
Privacy is sometimes cited as a concern, but privacy is protected when the data is kept within the vehicle. The many tracking devices already in today’s vehicles, such as OnStar, E-ZPass and LoJack, are effective without compromising privacy.
“Careful calibration” in a system of taxation that varies by location and maintenance needs? Chilling.
Moreover, consumers can have some trust in private companies, because if they violate that trust, car owners can cancel their services and even rip the units right out of the cars. If the violation is sufficiently egregious, the entire business model could tank. Taxpayers, by contrast, would not be permitted to “cancel” the service, except via indirect application of the political process, even when bureaucrats and government officials find the excuses to violate trust far too compelling to ignore.