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is such a wonderful country. I mean it. |
Just about the time I start to
think about having to sit down and write some sappy made up story to fill the
space in this column each and every week, the news media saves me by bringing
some fresh fodder.
Trying to write a column such as this about family
relationships or something equally weird isn't nearly as much fun as writing about
the goofy things our government is considering.
So, having said that…let's
don't have to tell you that as operators of gasoline guzzling
vehicles the people who own the oil deposits in other parts of the world have
us in the palm of their hand. All they have to do is to decide to turn off the
spigot and guess what? We go into the dumper. Our economy would collapse in a
very short period of time.
You already know this, so what's my point?
for the past couple of years, the government (mine and yours) has been pushing
for us to be more efficient and conservative when it comes to using gallons of
gasoline. There has been a push in this country to increase the mileage per gallon
on our vehicles. We have seen new models introduced which get many more miles
per gallon than we have had in the past. Some folks have paid a premium to buy
these vehicles because they think it's the right thing to do. Good for the environment
and good for the country.
So what's my point?
Well, you would
think all of our efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports would
be a good thing wouldn't you? Not having to be under the thumb of other potentially
hostile countries would be wise for us…this is a good thing also, right?
wonderful State of Texas has just performed an audit (July 20, 2007) through their
Dept. of Transportation (TxDOT) which recommends dropping our current 18.5 cent
per gallon gas tax among other recommendations.
This is good, right?
Nope, they want to consider replacing the gallon tax with a flat
tax based on…ready for this? The miles we drive.
Did you get that…the miles
we drive? It seems that since we are getting more efficient though our driving
habits and more efficient vehicles that the tax revenue has been going down. So
the wonderful government isn't receiving the same amount of money through the
gasoline tax because we are doing what? Think hard, there will be a quiz at the
end of the column. Here is the answer.
Using less gallons!!!!!!
what's their answer? Why since you are getting more mileage from your new Prius
or whatever you bought, you are using less gallons, therefore there is less tax
going into the State coffers. So, let's change the system and charge you a fee
based on the number of miles you drive each year……that makes sense.
them...not to me.
The TxDOT audit reports "It is suffering from a lack
of transportation funding due to a stagnant motor fuel tax and increased popularity
of fuel-efficient vehicles." They go on to say "TxDOT is also losing revenue as
more fuel-efficient cars hit the highway."
Duh? You think so?
Their report goes on to explain how this plan was tested in Oregon last year.
What we would do is have the mileage reported annually by using some type of mileage
counter or possible GPS technology. I looked into the usage of GPS for mileage
and it has been proposed in other areas with the idea in mind of charging you
more to drive in certain areas and at certain times of the day or night. Some
toll roads are now charging more for their use during peak periods as opposed
to off-peak hours.
Basically what this boils down to is that the more efficient
we get with our driving habits and the kinds of vehicles we use, then the more
we can expect to be taxed in one form or another. So when we finally get a car
or truck that gets 100 miles per gallon, it won't matter since we'll get charged
a tax for not only the time we use the vehicle but the number of miles we actually
drove. That way if and when they ever came up with a vehicle which could be operated
on just plain old air….we would still have to pay wouldn't we?
country only lets their citizens ride bicycles? Are those taxed?
and taxes…no escaping either one is there?