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Nanny State alert: Meet the mileage police

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 16, 2008 04:04 PM

First, they hand us our Obama-approved tire gauges.

Next, they police our odometers. Fresh from North Carolina, here’s the latest Nanny State proposal: Monitoring our odometers and taxing us accordingly.

With gas-tax revenues plummeting, the state of North Carolina is looking seriously at taxing motorists for how far they drive.

If the “road-use tax” is implemented, it would at first be simple – with the state checking your odometer annually and taxing you based on how many miles you have driven. But transportation experts say new GPS technology could allow the state to charge people different rates based on when and where they drive, in an attempt to manage congestion.

Talk of a Vehicle Miles Traveled tax has long been discussed as a necessity in a decade or so, because cars are becoming more fuel efficient, and states and the federal government are losing gas-tax revenue.

But there is now a sense of urgency about the new VMT tax. When gas hit $4 a gallon this summer, Americans sharply curtailed their driving. And when the economy cratered this fall, the driving rollback continued, even when gas prices plummeted.

The 21st Century Transportation Committee suggested that, in addition to the gas tax, motorists pay a quarter-cent for each mile they drive, with the first 2,000 miles annually free. A motorist who drives 12,000 miles a year would pay $25 – possibly due when the driver gets the car inspected.

Reader Scott in N.C. e-mails: “My wife and I started a manufacturer’s rep business in July of ’05 serving the plumbing and heating industry. We derive 100% of our income from commissions. We have, as a startup business, endured $ 4.45 per gallon gas prices this year while traveling an average of 6,000+ miles per month. Our territory stretches over both Carolinas. Our liberal NC legislature now says due to the decrease in consumption of gas their gas tax revenues are off and must be replaced. Here is the irony…they want to punitively tax those of us actually still driving and buying gas and therefore paying the gas tax. Mind you these are the same people who push “global warming” and demand an end to fossil fuels. You can’t make it up. They want to use a tracking device on every car to monitor and verify the miles which is a huge invasion of our privacy. Please help bring attention to this rediculous policy initiative.”

From another N.C. commenter: “And another thing, I am sure this is a democrat-led tax initiative. The article states that the tax revenue has plummeted because we are driving less and therefore consuming less gas. Isn’t that *EXACTLY* what the democrats wanted? This sounds exactly like the proposal last year to raise water rates in Charlotte because the people did exactly as they were instructed and reduced usage during the drought. This is beyond stupid. I’m writing my state rep. today.”

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