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How do you guys feel about the government tracking your car?

Missile Toad

Member
Aug 30, 2016
598
556
Houston
So, Pete Buttigieg wants to track your car
Pros? Cons?
Allegedly, this is to help out with road-use taxes. However, I could see this being used for a whole host of purposes, both by the U.S. government, as well as the Chinese government (because we all know how well the federal government locks-down its databases).
I kinda think, the lightest, most constrained access to the feds should be allowed. For example, tax the bejesus out of every tire purchase, since that correlates strongly with miles traveled.

Thoughts?
 
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Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,266
3,206
Colorado, USA
Slippery slope. The government has never had a problem collecting enough tax previously so I don't know why we now have to give up our privacy to make sure they have another way to extract even more blood from a turnip. I also will never support the idea of "taxing the bejesus out of" anything because I already disapprove with what the .gov does with most of our money and how they do it anyway. More of it isn't going to magically fix the problem of how it's handled and distributed.
 

CyberGus

Not Just a Member
May 5, 2020
767
1,663
Austin, TX
So, Pete Buttigieg wants to track your car
Pros? Cons?
Allegedly, this is to help out with road-use taxes. However, I could see this being used for a whole host of purposes, both by the U.S. government, as well as the Chinese government (because we all know how well the federal government locks-down its databases).
I kinda think, the lightest, most constrained access to the feds should be allowed. For example, tax the bejesus out of every tire purchase, since that correlates strongly with miles traveled.

Thoughts?

Americans love to spend $10 to avoid paying $1 in taxes, so taxing tires will just encourage people to run them well past the safe limit (or create a black-market for tires lol).

I read the article and there was nothing about "tracking" cars, other than the mileage, which is already done in many jurisdictions during annual inspection.

Moving away from fossil fuels is great, but the US collects about $30B annually in fuel taxes, and that revenue must be replaced from somewhere. We could move toward the Texas model of using privately-owned toll roads for large transportation projects, but talk about tracking...! Each on/off ramp notes your location, with a timestamp, and takes a picture!
 
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Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,430
7,270
Visalia, CA
...I could see this being used for a whole host of purposes, both by the U.S. government, as well as the Chinese government (because we all know how well the federal government locks-down its databases)...

The goal is to tax, the implementations could still preserve privacy.

If the government wants an automatic tracking system, it could contract out to a private group that manages the privacy issue (such as the existing Tesla telematics system) and the government can only get from them what the laws allow such as annual mileage and nothing else. If the government wants more, it can subpoena a private company to comply.

Since there are already so many devices that do track data, privacy has been used by the companies already because they know what we are doing and their advertisements keep following us around.

Also, in some court cases, including divorces, those private data have been subpoena as well.

And of course, the hacking also. No matter how good privacy is honored, it's a moot point if it's being hacked!

In the US, doing taxes relying on honesty and the random audit is to make sure the honor system works. That could be done if the Vehicle Mileage Tax is implemented as well: Taxpayers report the odometer yearly and write it down on their income tax forms. There would be a random audit either by cellphone picture or bring your car in for in-person odometer reading.

In conclusion, it's no more privacy invasion than what we have now. If taxpayers are concerned, they should write and demand an honor self-reporting system with a random auditing method.
 

ThomasD

Member
Nov 22, 2019
862
374
florida
Summer Meza
Fri, March 26, 2021, 2:42 PM


b8edd20aa041c6467f6f9dcbd1c18475

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Friday that he thinks a mileage tax "shows a lot of promise," opening a giant can of worms as to whether the Biden administration should consider such an idea.
Speaking with CNBC, Buttigieg outlined his ideas on several infrastructure proposals, chatting about financing for revamping roads and bridges across the country. Asked about whether he still believes gas taxes are "old fashioned," he said he doesn't believe they're the right long term solution.
A mileage tax, on the other hand, which would charge drivers a cent or two for each mile on the road, intrigues Buttigieg more. "I think that shows a lot of promise," he said. "If we believe in that so-called user-pays principle, the idea that part of how we pay for roads is you pay based on how much you drive."
"The gas tax used to be the obvious way to do it; it's not anymore," he continued. "A so-called vehicle miles traveled tax or a mileage tax, whatever you want to call it, could be the way to do it


So if the government and state charged 2 cents per mile a total of 4 cents per mile would be collected If my math is correct I would be paying less than the gas tax, However we all know that the tax would go up at the federal and at the state level.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,028
3,748
Central Valley
So, what about eighteen-wheelers?

They damage the infrastructure exponentially more than passenger vehicles.

(We need an engineer to calculate how much, cuz I don't know!)

Truckers have not ever paid their fair share through fuel taxes. I am sure the trucking industry will be dead-set against any proposal that increases their operating costs. And if their costs do increase because of this proposal, then we will hear about the spike in retail prices paid by us consumers.

I am not against some sort of usage-based road tax. But I think there are mountains to climb to get a lot of the country on board. Change is hard for most people, and governmental mandated change is feared by many.
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,602
1,914
Seattle
So, Pete Buttigieg wants to track your car
Pros? Cons?
Allegedly, this is to help out with road-use taxes. However, I could see this being used for a whole host of purposes, both by the U.S. government, as well as the Chinese government (because we all know how well the federal government locks-down its databases).
I kinda think, the lightest, most constrained access to the feds should be allowed. For example, tax the bejesus out of every tire purchase, since that correlates strongly with miles traveled.

Thoughts?

No way .. I’m not paranoid, but no government can resist using a massive database like that for dubious purposes.

If you need to tax based on road use, declare odometer usage once a year. Sure, you might be driving out of state or something, but equally other people from outside will drive in-state, so it evens out. The government doesnt need to know WHERE we drive, just how far.
 

Janus

Member
May 30, 2019
235
159
Bay Area
Why not just increase the taxes on gas? The more expensive gas gets, the more consumers will look towards alternatives. Sure, maybe in 20 years there won't be enough gas cars left to make the tax useful. But so what??? In the intervening time, it'll help reduce emissions AND fund infrastructure projects.
 
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