As anyone who drives and lives in the San Francisco Bay area knows, the traffic is awful. In a double eff-you to drivers, the city loves charging exorbitant fees for messing up when you drive (towing costs about $450, parking too far from the curb, when you can find any, is another $50 and enforced to the millimeter, et cetera). So, yeah, you can drive, but do it well or you’ll pay for screwing up.
As a way to potentially combat traffic and make up for decreasing gasoline revenues (thank you fuel-efficiency!), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments authorized a study to determine the effectiveness and reasonability of a per-mile-traveled tax on drivers.
The proposal calls for GPS-like devices to be installed in cars of drivers in the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay region, with charges ranging from a penny to a dime per mile. The mileage tax could raise up to $15 million per day. And also provide the government with a really easy way to monitor your every move.
This is all very logical from a governmental standpoint, as San Francisco has done everything imaginable to make driving in the city a nightmare (and prohibitive). Why not throw people tracking and more taxes in the driving mix?
But fear not, SF residents. The plan won’t likely be in place for at least a decade, giving drivers plenty of time to protest the heck out of the measure.
A similar program was discussed in the past for New York City, though it was masked as “congestion pricing.” The proposal never made it to the New York General Assembly.
Some European Union countries already charge a per-mile carbon-dioxide emissions tax, and a majority of Europeans were recently in favor of higher taxes for driving more. It helps to keep cities like Munich, London, Paris and Brussels easier to drive in.
Something to consider when forming an opinion. (And try and ignore my sarcasm when you do that.)