Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Oregon is NOT a role model on taxes

Hybrids could pay more gas tax U.S. to study tariffs on miles driven, not gallons purchased
Washington -- The federal tax man has an eye on those increasingly popular high- mileage vehicles, gas misers whose drivers love going further between fill-ups and saving on sky-high gas prices...

A switch in the way the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal gas tax is levied could be in the offing, making it more of a user fee than a tax. By unanimous voice vote, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation Tuesday to establish a 15-member commission to report back within two years on ways to ensure enough tax revenue to pay for the nation's highway, bridge and public transit programs.
High on the list the panel will consider is the per-mile fee that is already the subject of a $1.25 million pilot project in Oregon that will use a special "smart'' odometer coupled with a global positioning system in every vehicle, a system invented at Oregon State University...

In Oregon, the state Department of Transportation said it was pursuing the mileage fee because the gas tax is a "declining source of revenue.'' It also said it was aware of privacy concerns about equipping cars with GPS technology.
In related news the state of Oregon is now offering cigarette vending machines in local high schools since people who have quite smoking have made the cigarette tax "a declining source of revenue." Said one public official, "We only care about money."

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