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Idiots in Oregon 
4th-Jun-2003 11:34 am
Halloween 2008- Captain Hammer

In Oregon they're thinking of replacing the gas tax with a "road use" tax by installing GPS devices in all cars to track exactly how far people travel.

I never really thought of Oregon as the place where the government would be interested in this sort of Big Brother type of plan, especially since this removes some of the incentives for having more fuel efficient vehicles.
4th-Jun-2003 10:56 am (UTC)
Do you jest? Oregon has all kinds of freaky state tax issues. for instance, there is no self-serve gas in OR. By law.
4th-Jun-2003 11:38 am (UTC)
I obviously have a poor understanding of the great state of Oregon.

I just vaguely understood it was fairly liberal so the whole tracking everywhere you go with your car idea was surprising (along with removing some of the tax burden from SUVs, etc.)

After reading the entire article it sounds like it's just a really intricate (and stupid) way to raise the gas tax without raising the gas tax.
4th-Jun-2003 12:22 pm (UTC) - Re:
it's part of the whole Wild West aesthetic -- amazingly liberal in some ways and procrustian in others. Like the Republican governor of NM agitating to legalize pot. I think they also have no sales tax at all, and OR residents are allowed not to pay sales tax in bordertowns as well.

(we sold stuff in a bordertown in WA once, and were baffled at first by people expecting a discount because they had Oregon driver's licenses.)
4th-Jun-2003 02:58 pm (UTC)
That is creepy. The cynical argument has been made that it's cheaper for society to let old people keep smoking. They pay high sin taxes, and they die instead of lingering with chronic, expensive ailments. I wonder if anyone has done a breakdown of the social costs of driving (road building/maintenance, conjestion, pollution, accidents, etc.) and how if that differs according to the car's weight.

Let's see... SUVs take up about 1.3 - 1.5 normal cars, increase congestion, spur construction, and increase injuries and fatalities in accidents. Smaller cars weigh less and cause less wear on the roads. Still, if a Honda has twice the milage of an SUV but 3/4 of the social costs, the state is better off with the SUV driver. Maybe they can encourage smaller, horrendously inefficient cars.

BTW, NJ also bans self-serve gasoline. VA has special car registration for advanced vehicles with special perks (HOV access) and special plates. I saw a hybrid Civic with them last weekend.
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