amiguriken: (Default)
( Feb. 27th, 2009 08:59 am)
While the Obama administration has stated that it does not support a plan to charge drivers a per-mile-driven tax, Congress is still looking at this as a viable option.
I, personally, strongly oppose any such move.
First, I do see it as an intrusion, albeit a minor one. It is yet another piece of my personal information that the government will then have, and I think they have too much as it is. Maybe there is no harm in a government agency knowing that I take regular driving trips for hundreds of miles. On the other hand, maybe there is.
Second, I'm already being heavily taxed for each mile I drive by way of gas taxes. Between my state and federal gas taxes (and my state is also looking at a per-mile plan, and the incompetent bastards are very likely to implement such a thing), I think the government already gets enough money out of me for each mile I drive. Especially when you consider that the type of vehicle I drive uses more gas, which means I end up paying more gas tax than your average Toyota driver.
Third, and most important to me personally, is that this tax would be a serious drain on anyone living in a rural area or having to commute to work. In other words, the poor and the middle class. I live in a rural area in Appalachia. In order for me to go to a grocery store, I have to drive ten miles to the nearest town and ten miles back. If I need to go to Wal-Mart, I have to drive nearly thirty miles there and back. When I need to make major changes to my cell phone service--forty-five miles. Due to gas prices, I already try to do everything I can in one trip. So, for instance, when I have to go to town to file a document with the Clerk of Court, I also make sure I do my banking and any shopping I need to do while I'm already there. A trip to Asheville (the nearest city) is a rare thing, usually made when we've got a rather long list of things we need to get that we can only get there. But even though we minimize our trips as much as possible to save on gas, the fact remains that we cannot cut them out of our lives. In rural areas, unless you are completely self-sufficient, you have to drive. And that means that we will be paying the bulk of any "per-mile" tax, tax which most of us cannot afford. Another sad fact of life in these rural communities is poverty. The majority of people in my county live under the poverty line already. With the recession deepening, everyone who has a job desperately needs to keep that job. But they have to drive to that job, and now they're being taxed even more for that. What happens when all of your paycheck is being eaten up simply by getting to work (as happened when gas prices got so outrageously high last year)? The worst thing is that, in North Carolina, I can all but guarantee that the rural areas would see very little of the tax money they paid in. The bulk of the money would be spent on building and repairing roads in the eastern part of the state, where the commuters have to spend two hours on the road just to drive ten miles. And while I feel for the commuters and believe those roads should be fixed, I don't think that taxing the rural population is the answer.
I have other concerns, particularly about a state-based system (how do you charge tourists who come from states with no such requirements? can you legally charge your own citizen for driving in another state?). But ultimately, well, I pay too much in taxes for too little already. I think the government would be better served to I think the government should, oh, I don't know, stop spending all our frakking money on useless projects and ridiculous earmarks and programs that don't work and focus on fixing the programs it already has rather than adding new ones. And do all of this before they start asking me to pay even more.


amiguriken: (Default)

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