In my experience, I’ve found Oregon to be one of the most eco-conscious places in the country. Biking is encouraged, everyone I know recycles and there’s an emphasis on organic and locally grown food.
For those that drive, I’ve seen more hybrid cars/less gas-guzzling SUVs on the road than anywhere else.
According to the state, this always isn’t a good thing.
For instance, in the state’s mind, the more mileage people get from driving their Priuses, the less money they have to pay at the pump. Some would quickly argue that means less of a reliance on foreign oil and large puffs of smoke going into the air. However, they’re forgetting one key component: money.
Every gallon of gas you buy in Oregon includes about 24 cents for tax. That money goes to pay for roads, street maintenance and lining of some coffers, somewhere. Multiply that ‘loss’ by hundreds of thousands of cars that are getting 30 instead of 10 miles to a gallon, and it’s a problem.
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In retaliation, the government has proposed a ‘mileage tax’. GPS units would track how much you drive and when you fill up, voila, the extra tax.
If I were driving a hybrid, or a car that got really nice gas mileage, I’d not be happy….
Think about it: Most money for highway construction and maintenance comes from state and federal taxes on gasoline. If people bought a lot less gas, highways would get a lot less money.
In Oregon, a state task force has concluded this scenario isn’t all that far-fetched. It has proposed a possible long-term replacement for the gas tax, something no one has tried before:
A tax based on how many miles you drive.
Oregon to test mileage tax as replacement for gas tax
and most recent follow up.