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Some states want to tax you per mile you drive

Several state and local governments want to swap a gas tax for a pay-per-mile tax -- using a little black box to track your car's movements.

By MSN Money Partner Oct 30, 2013 1:32PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyHate paying taxes at the gas pump? Here, take this little black box and put it on your car's dashboard instead.

Filling fuel tank © CorbisThat's the proposal some states and cities want to offer consumers, the Los Angeles Times says. The box would track every mile driven and charge a tax based on the total.

Critics argue the box might track more than that -- things like speed and location.

As it stands, our major roads are funded by taxes on gasoline. But that plan is old, and not working as well as it used to, the Times says:

The push (for a mileage-based tax) comes as the country's Highway Trust Fund, financed with taxes Americans pay at the gas pump, is broke. Americans don't buy as much gas as they used to. Cars get many more miles to the gallon. The federal tax itself, 18.4 cents per gallon, hasn't gone up in 20 years. Politicians are loath to raise the tax even one penny when gas prices are high.

At the federal level, a proposal to test the boxes on 10,000 cars has stalled. But several state and local governments are moving ahead and trying out mileage trackers -- and lots of consumers are signing up.

"Thousands of motorists have already taken the black boxes, some of which have GPS monitoring, for a test drive," the Times says. Oregon is testing the system on 5,000 cars, and Minnesota is trying it on 500. Illinois is trying it in trucks only, while Nevada has already done a test program with 50 cars. At least 17 other states are examining the idea.

There are several ways these devices could be used, including with or without GPS tracking. At least in Oregon, drivers who aren't comfortable with the idea of the government monitoring their driving habits in any way can instead pay a flat fee based on the average number of miles driven by residents, the Times says. In New York City, officials want to give the boxes the ability to pay parking meters.

We already know that many consumers don't mind this kind of technology if it saves them money on car insurance. Does it matter if the box belongs to the government? Would you consider using a government-issued mileage tracker?

More on Money Talks News:

Oct 30, 2013 2:29PM
Tax-Tax and more Taxes! Doesn't anyone have any creative ideas. How about getting an efficiently run government.  I am tired of Washington miss-spending my money.  When will the American public say, enough is enough.  This just sounds like another violation of our privacy.  Soon our lifestyle won't be distinguishable from that of Russia or China.
Oct 30, 2013 2:57PM
I got a special place for them to stick that black box!
Oct 30, 2013 3:48PM

Effe them!!! I drive 140 miles a day and pay $250 in tolls a month 600 in fuel... they can go effe themselves.... plus , car payments, insurance registration + inspection fees WTF!!!!!


WE THE PEOPLE Really should start thinking about taking the power back!!!!!

Oct 30, 2013 2:58PM
Absolutely NOT.  there will not be a black box tracking miles.  All the money put into fuel efficient cars and blah blah and now someone wants to track mileage.  Americans have had enough nonsense.  But maybe we should check out those that propose such crazy thoughts.  What motivates this?
Oct 30, 2013 3:00PM
How about NO tax, less tax, low tax, zero tax.  AND HOW ABOUT COLLECTING OVERSEAS TAX DODGERS TAX AND LUXURY TAX.  Leave the middle and poor americans out of this taxation scam
Oct 30, 2013 2:59PM
Typical Progressive bs and why we should never listen to them.  They whine and bitch about climate change so we change our vehicles and driving habits to get better gas mileage and create less emissions.  Now they whine that by doing so they don't get enough tax revenue.  In reality this is just a way to track your movements and to let the Government intrude on your privacy.  Perfect example of why Americans need to arm themselves to the hilt.  The enemy is called Government.  Orwell saw it and wrote about it.  Why are we so slow to understand that 1984 is now!!!!!!
Oct 30, 2013 3:18PM
This again will hurt the working man. Most people that commute to work commute because they can't afford to live near their workplace.  Therefore, someone trying to make a better life for themselves by living an hour's a way from a metropolitan area because they can not afford to live in the "city" will pay more taxes then someone more "affluent."  How about we get rid of some of the tax loop holes for the ultra-rich first, before we tax the little man to death.
Oct 30, 2013 3:22PM
Aren't we already taxed per mile?  It's called a gasoline tax, and in California it's pretty high.
Oct 30, 2013 2:43PM

This is getting ridiculous. Constant complaining about how much we don't pay in taxes.

Remember once implemented they could issue sppeding tikcets in the mail just from the data collected.
Oct 30, 2013 3:47PM
come on the roads are taxed multi times already, gas tax, vehical registration tax, property tax..  the simple answer is that the government needs to learn how to shop for bids and use money wisely  not as they do these days,  then the current taxes would be more than enough.  for me  I will never have a black box
Oct 30, 2013 3:46PM
big brother watching closer and closer
Oct 30, 2013 3:39PM
Tax The Unions, Tax Walmart, Tax the NFL...............stay the F*** away from hard working people
Oct 30, 2013 3:14PM
                                                           ECONOMY KILLER
Oct 30, 2013 3:22PM

Connecticut's Gov doesn't have a problem raising taxes regardless of the cost of gas. Won't reduce the gas tax just add another revenue stream. duplicate tax...

So again less revenue due to higher gas mileage and reduced driving so what is the solution, RAISE TAXES... No household or private company operates that way. When will they reduce spending...


Oct 30, 2013 3:40PM

The reason gas tax does not work all you have to do is look at how much the state's pay's workers to work on the roads. Its because of the Unions they are killing us. I was a big union person way back when But now they just charge way to much for work to be done. Around $ 35 an hour here in Washington state. This is just a way for the damn Government to get more money from us. and to track your movements like the phone's. Its time to say no more


Oct 30, 2013 3:01PM
hehe sounds like the common folk will have to hold a tea party and forget to invite the people they elected to lead them.
Oct 30, 2013 3:51PM

Tolls, gas tax, now mileage tax?   Might have to have the wife stay home and not drive to work.   Is that what the Government wants?   Sure feels like it.   Can get rid of car, repairs/maintenance, insurance, license fees, ect.   Might come out ahead and in a lower tax bracket.    Wife might even be happier and you know what that means.


Oct 30, 2013 3:57PM

Shouldn't they just make you wear a bracelet and tax you for any movement.  If not how are they going to tax those that walk, or bicycle, etc.  This is just another way to treat people differently under the law, similar to a graduated income tax.


Maybe instead they should just consider a per head tax.  Equal for everyone.



Oct 30, 2013 3:51PM
The gas tax already does that but it leaves out bikes.  Bikes are getting all of the money and not paying for anything.  LICENSE BICYCLES!
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