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Oregon considering taxing miles driven

January 5, 2009 by  

Some states are looking for ways to recoup lost revenueAs a number of states look at ways to increase revenue, Oregon is looking at an unusual measure: taxing the number of miles driven rather than increasing the gas tax.

Governor Ted Kulongoski has suggested that every new car in the state would be given a GPS tracking device that would keep track of the number of miles a motorist drives.

In this way, the driver ends up paying more for driving further – regardless of whether they have a gas-guzzling SUV or an eco-friendly hybrid.

The move is seen as a way for Oregon to recoup money it is losing from the gasoline tax as residents turn to more efficient vehicles.

Some critics have raised questions about the fairness of punishing people for driving, regardless of their vehicle choice.

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders says, "My fear is that my tax dollars will be used to bankroll a scheme to punish me for using roads my tax dollars already paid for, because someday I might own an electric car."

Others have raised privacy concerns about using GPS to track vehicles’ habits, citing it as another example of the creation of a "nanny state."

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