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That $0.40 you pay per gallon isn’t enough

You’ve got to be kidding:

Drivers could be paying their share of the state’s highway improvements based on how far they’re driving, under an idea being floated by some state legislators.

The system would work something like this: You pull up to a gas station, and a transmitter in your car tells the pump how far you’ve driven since you last filled your tank. The state charges you pennies for each mile you’ve traveled instead of the usual 21.4 cents per gallon you’ve been paying with every fill-up.

Members of the Senate Transportation Committee have been informally discussing the possibility of a “user fee” system, in which a Global Positioning System device would transmit your mileage to a gas pump and charge accordingly.

If you happen to be walking down the street and see a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, please kick him in the balls and tell him Uncle said that was ’cause you’re fucking stupid. If it happens to be a woman, the shin will do. Equal rights, and all. More:

“Gas tax revenues are static, and they don’t necessarily increase with the transportation needs that have to be met,” said Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “We need to look at more forward-thinking concepts … like doing away with the gas tax and going to a user-driven system.”

Mr. Norris, I propose instead we place a transmitter on legislators to measure how much time their head spends up their ass. Then, we tax them based on that amount of time. It seems you can just go ahead and sign over your wealth to the state. Here’s the deal, sparky:

People don’t like taxes. And people damn sure don’t like transmitters telling big brother where they are or how much they drive. It’s not forward-thinking, it’s creepy big-brother nonsense and it cannot stand. More still:

The state Department of Transportation faces a projected shortfall of about $2 billion in the next 10 years. Meanwhile, its take from the gas tax — 21.4 cents per gallon on regular and 18.4 cents on diesel — has been the same since 1989.

With that and the fed tax, Tennessee drivers pay about $0.40 per gallon in taxes. Remember that next time some lame politician is attacking big oil for jacking up gas prices.

Via MKS.

Update: Terry points out Mr. Norris, despite my prior complaint, is actually not retarded.

17 Responses to “That $0.40 you pay per gallon isn’t enough”

  1. ben Says:

    Uh, like, if you drive more, don’t you use more gas, and hence pay a higher proportion in tax than if you drove less? The fuel tax has a built in tracking system. Argh! How stupid do they have to be? Awful stupid, and politicians prove consistently that they are, to propose this crap with a straight face.

    It’s gotta be a kick in the crotch for this one, male or otherwise.

  2. Masked Menace© Says:

    Heh.

    But then won’t the eco-freaks be paying the same in taxes in their tiny death-trap hybrids as the guy in the gas-chugging Gargantu-SUV?

  3. #9 Says:

    Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee is typical of the new age Republican. Put that “R” behind your name and go forth to make a better world by raising every tax in sight.

    This is the single dumbest idea ever brought forth in the State of Tennessee. If our representatives would understand the “their” spending is the problem maybe we could make Tennessee a better place to live.

  4. countertop Says:

    Of course, this is probably going to bring less revenue in as 1) out of state cars and trucks won’t be subjected to the tax and 2) they will have a heck of a difficult legal problem on their hands since they can’t prove what percentage of those miles traveled where actually traveled on Tennessee state roads as opposed to out of state roads or private property (farms, race tracks, etc)

    No, I think kicking the women legislators in the shins just isn’t painful enough.
    Not sure what is, but that certainly is not

  5. Robert Says:

    I just love that this is a tax on fuel economy. It is an absolutely great way to say, “You Prius drivers aren’t paying your fair share.” It would be saner by far just to raise the gas tax, since I would wager that the damage a given vehicle does to the road is proportional to the fuel economy. The only logical reason to do it this way is to make sure those vehicles have GPS’ aboard. Are there enough people who drive primarily on private property to make this worthwhile? Farmers? Large Industrial complexes? They used to let those people buy reduced-tax diesel with a dye in it identifying it as private road only diesel.

    The next logical step is premium roads and peak hours that will make this scheme more complicated than your cell phone bill.

    If you want to raise taxes, raise taxes, but don’t invent a whole new and additional tax scheme that will require a new bureaucracy to enforce, and absurd capital costs for all gas stations and vehicles on the road.

  6. BobG Says:

    Mr. Norris, I propose instead we place a transmitter on legislators to measure how much time their head spends up their ass.

    I don’t think they could afford it, even at their inflated wages…

  7. Rustmeister Says:

    What’s funny is every major city in TN except Nashville is close to a state line.

    Close enough to get your gas in KY, MS, AL, GA, etc

  8. SayUncle Says:

    and knoxville.

  9. rich Says:

    “Gas tax revenues are static, and they don’t necessarily increase with the transportation needs that have to be met,” said Sen. Mark Norris

    This bonehead comment deserves a kick in the nuts regardless of any later clarifications. The revenues aren’t static, period. The revenues track with consumption, meaning the more gas that’s sold, the more revenue is generated. Put simply, in deference to any Congress critters reading this, the more miles people travel, the more gas they buy, and the more tax they pay. Taxing by the gallon produces exactly the same revenue stream as taxing by miles traveled.

    Did you follow that Sen Norris, or should I simplify it more for you and your idiot colleagues?

    The only thing “static” about the tax is the amount per gallon sold, and there’s no sane reason why that should fluctuate.

    Of course, sanity is not something I’ve come to expect from legislators.

  10. Phelps Says:

    No need to kick the women in the shin. It hurts them plenty to get kicked in the cooter. Not as bad as when we get kicked, but more than a shin.

  11. Kristopher Says:

    Better gas mileage in newer cars are exactly why these fools are pushing this crap.

    They will continue until one of them loses his seat over it.

  12. Standard Mischief Says:

    Better gas mileage in newer cars are exactly why these fools are pushing this crap.

    Yea, it wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact they could then gps track all their citizen^H^H^H^H^H subjects now would it?

    …..under an idea being floated by some state legislators.

    Excuse me if I screwed it up, I only skimmed because I don’t live in TN, but did the Tennessean name those state level legislative-critters that were even considering it so we could start the hatin’, or is this just a scheme to “run it up the flagpole” and perhaps see if anyone shoots at it?

  13. Nate Says:

    Whenever I hear a politician use the term forward-thinking, I cringe.

  14. straightarrow Says:

    Ben, I bet they mean in addition to the per gallon taxes. Doncha think?

    They campaign for better fuel mileage on all vehicles and now they are seeing that people are going farther on fewer gallons. They consider that money lost. You see they don’t think any money is ours. They think it is all theirs and we only get to hold it for awhile.

    If you think this is nuts, look at cigarettes. These bastards ban smoking everydamnwhere, (no, I don’t smoke) then raise taxes precipitously because fewer people are smoking and smoking people are smoking less for want of a place to do so until they get back home and some places are trying to outlaw it there if there are children in the home.

    Just think how much it is going to cost us all not to smoke when everybody quits or the American tobacco producers take my advice and sell no product in the U.S. In the first case, we will be taxed for fresh air. Think I’m kidding, Minneapolis, Mn. has already tried to pass a breathing tax.

    In the second case, if you want to see the National Guard take over private corporations and force former employees to continue production in the newly nationalized factories, pay attention if American tobacco manufacturers should decide to discontinue domestic sales. Not likely, but they should. That would do more to expose the true agenda of our nannies than almost any other thing that could be done. They are not going to give up that tax money voluntarily.

  15. straightarrow Says:

    Health concerns can go piss up a rope if it means they don’t get our money. If we all think about it, we have all seen this in action.

  16. Manish Says:

    First off, agreed. This is silly. Arnie proposed something similar in California..probably has something to do with his Hummers..nah perish the thought.

    Having said that, gas taxes don’t nearly cover the cost of providing transportation by the government.

  17. Larry Says:

    http://www.nashvillepost.com/news/2006/12/1/state_senator_furious_at_tennessean

    Nashville Post follow-up story clarifying both Tennessean reports were wrong. Looks like the boys on Broadway are just trying to sell more papers……