Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A New Tax Even Crazier Than California!

If this new tax idea takes off, and I remain able bodied, I can easily run errands on my bicycle. Well, it will be hard to go to the Hermes Store in San Francisco. 

Just when you think our present tax system can't get any worse, some genius out there is ready to prove you wrong.

As I read my morning newspaper I thought for a moment my hair was on fire. No, it was just the proposal from the Bay Area Metropolitain Transportion Authority that was searing into my brain. They want to study (sorry, your tax dollars at work again!) what they are calling a VMT tax. That is a tax on Vehicle Miles Traveled. I am not making this up.

You are already paying a sales tax when you buy your vehicle. And a tax when you register your vehicle and keep it registered. You are paying a tax on your gasoline. You are paying federal, state, and local taxes to keep those roads constructed, maintained, policed and attended by emergency vehicles. 

If you listen to NPR on your car radio, your taxes are supporting them too! The clothes you are wearing are taxed, the wallet you put your money in is taxed, the food you buy when you use your vehicle to take you to the store is taxed. 

The wages you earn when you use that vehicle to take you to work? Subject to federal income tax withholding, social security and medicare tax.

And now this really stupid idea, which would involve putting a GPS device in everyone's car. Personally, if it is implemented, I will just park my vehicle in the garage and use it for emergencies only. 

It is just the kind of idea a group of professors sitting around the UC Berkeley Faculty Lounge would love. None of them, or the other rich people in the region, would reduce their Vehicle Miles Traveled by one tenth of an odometer reading. They would pay that extra $1300/year and put a little smiley face next to the amount on the check they send in.

I suppose we will need the money here in California, since Governor Brown is going around holding press conferences today announcing the release of billions and billions and billions in tax dollars to build this high speed rail thing. It sounds so good in theory, you feel like a lunatic opposing it. Until you read the fine print and disover they only have the money to build the line between Modesto and Fresno.

And don't have a clue how they will pay to operate the darned it.

I'm not making this up.

Wait I've just throught of a new hitch. How are they going to install those GPS systems in all the vehicles driven around this region by the millions of undocumented aliens that are supposed to be here? If they are undocumented, how can they be GPS-ed? San Francisco, after all, calls itself a "sanctuary city." I've been thinking of going there, annonymously, to create a new identify.

I'm not making any of this up! Gotta go now and check the air in my bicycle tires. I'm not sure if I can make it as far as San Francisco on my Raleigh.

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Don Meuler said...

This is the kind of idea that has been floated up here between Washington and Oregon regarding road use taxes, most of which come from gasoline sales. Oregon would like to tax WA residents who work (and drive) in OR for wear and tear on its roads; WA residents resent paying non-resident state income tax to OR for services not received. GPS tracking would almost make sense determine actual miles driven in (or out of) state...
And let's not forget those electric car drivers who buy little or no gas, but use and contribute wear on the highways...
But, good or bad, next to impossible to implement!

Robin Chapman said...

It is so offensive to me, because it is so intrusive. I wonder what all these different levels of government are going to do when they run out of things to tax?

Don Meuler said...

Oh, it is! Totally going Big Brother on us.