Technology stalls Minnesota's statewide mileage tax idea

  • Article by: Pat Doyle , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 28, 2013 - 7:50 AM

 The idea intrigued Kathy Gillen: Pay highway taxes by the mile instead of the gallon.

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staransicklMar. 27, 1310:06 PM

Hold the press!!! The government is trying to find yet another way to squeeze as much money out of us as it can!? Say it at so. Sorry but big sis does not need to know everywhere I drive with her GPS.

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sayyid412Mar. 27, 1310:28 PM

Leave it to the government to: (1) directly subsidize people buying fuel efficient cars so that they'll burn less gasoline and harm the environment less. (2) pay for people to destroy old cars on the theory that old always means less fuel efficient, and burning more gasoline is bad, And then (3) freak out that when people burn less gasoline, they buy less gasoline too. Because really, if there's one thing the environment really needs, it's to make it less cost effective for consumers to buy fuel efficient cars. Let's tax that activity so we get less of it. I can't believe we wasted $5 million on a feasibility study on something that is such a transparently bad idea all around.

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twagner89Mar. 27, 1310:56 PM

$5 million and 13 months for a program that doesn't make much sense to begin with. Just dumb.

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mdcastleMar. 27, 1310:56 PM

If we want to replace the gasoline tax with a reasonable mileage tax that's one thing (although I hate sales taxes and user fees in general because they hurt the poor a lot more than the rich) but I have a feeling that pretty soon it would cost $100 a mile for me to drive my SUV alone in Minneapolis in rush hour.

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jpcooperMar. 27, 1311:21 PM

Hummmm?? Have users pay a tax/fee based on their use? Can we apply this to Metro Transit? How about schools, Only pay a tax/fee if you have kids using in school?

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alansonMar. 27, 1311:32 PM

So let's treat gas guzzlers and Prius drivers alike? Please bureaucrats, consult your inner environmentalist. The gasoline tax is the closest thing we have to a carbon tax, and a carbon tax is the most efficient tool to encourage reduction in usage of fossil fuels. It's easy to raise more money using a gas tax: just raise the tax. The mileage tax is just about the worst tax idea proposed this year (even worse than Dayton's ill-conceived tax on business services and the state's ridiculous tax on electonic pull tabs).

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whatzitMar. 28, 1312:19 AM

at some point folk WILL wake up. So you were silent while they taxed the "rich", silent when they taxed the "smokers", silent when they told you how big a soda you should buy, and a death of a thousand other small cuts at our civil liberties. I always thought at some point folk would wake up, perhaps this is a galvanizing moment? more likely than not though we will just have to take it in the backside

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unicorn4711Mar. 28, 13 1:16 AM

If someone can figure out how to avoid the gas tax by creating automobiles that don't burn gas, isn't that really awesome? I'd rather we triple the gas tax and license fees than install GPS on all our cars for government monitoring. No?

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robotdudeMar. 28, 13 1:41 AM

I have to laugh at how they are trying to misuse technology because the high school programmers they hired don't know jack. I've spent 30 years gathering sensor data for manufacturing processes. It took me 5 minutes to figure out a cleaner, easier way to do this and I would have charged a fraction of the $5M in a test study. And it would work. Guess they just don't teach engineering and programming very well anymore. They're still trying to figure out how to make money selling $7.25 beers. Hey guys. Go get a Pica computer and learn how to program before you tackle a project like this.

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MN's loneliest REPMar. 28, 13 3:18 AM

Alanson....if this idea is allowed to move ahead, government won't treat all vehicles equally. mdcastle has it right, they will then set your mileage tax based on the vehicle you drive...so us SUV drivers will pay 3-4X than a Prius driver. One way or another big brother will get his revenue....count on it. Especially with guys like Mr "tax the rich boy" Dayton in office.

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