California Moves One Step Closer To "Mileage Tax"; Could Require Tracking Your Cell Phone Movements

Just a few months after implementing a massive 60% hike in gasoline taxes, raising them from $0.297 per gallon to $0.417, the state of California is now one step closer to implementing a brand new tax that would charge drivers for each mile driven. 

As a quick example of how shockingly misguided such a piece of legislation would be, the logical conclusion here is that poor people who have been forced out of cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego due to rising rents would now be forced to incur yet another massive tax for simply commuting into city centers to do their essence, in many cases, it would serve as a regressive tax on the poorest families...

So how did we get here?  It all started back in 2014 when California passed Senate Bill 1077 calling for a mileage tax.  The bill kicked off the California Road Charge Pilot Program which sought to design and test various strategies for implementing a mileage tax.

Now, after 3 full years of studying various methodologies for tracking mileage, from requiring a "plug-in" for each vehicle to tracking your smart phone movements to more manual systems that would track odometers, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), according to a newly filed report is officially ready to declare a mileage tax 'feasible'.  Here's what they found:

The Road Charge Pilot Program successfully tested the functionality, complexity, and feasibility of the critical elements of this new potential revenue system - road charge - for transportation funding.


  • Manual options provide the highest degree of privacy and data security, but will in all likelihood be the most difficult to enforce, and could be costly to administer


  • Plug-in devices are the most reliable options, however as new technology emerges this methodology could be obsolete by the time a road charge program is adopted


  • More technologically advanced methods, such as the smartphone application with location services and the in-vehicle telematics show great promise, but need further refinement

Of course, as State Senator Scott Wiener points out, a mileage tax will be a huge blow to all the folks that have been coaxed into electric vehicles over the years by tax subsidies which made them more affordable.  While those folks have been able to avoid gasoline taxes, part of the calculus that supposedly makes them "affordable", they won't be able to avoid a mileage tax.  Per CBS:

But it’s not just a question about money, it’s also a question about fairness.


State Senator Scott Wiener and others are saying that when it comes to road taxes, it’s time to start looking at charging you by the mile rather than by the gallon.


“If you own an older vehicle that is fueled by gas, you’re paying gas tax to maintain the roads. Someone who has an electric vehicle or a dramatically more fuel efficient vehicle is paying much less than you are. But they are still using the roads,” Wiener said.


“People are going to use less and less gas in the long run,” according to Wiener.


And less gas means less gas tax, and less money for road repair.


“We want to make sure that all cars are paying to maintain the roads,” Wiener said.

Yet another reason for California residents to promptly consider a move to Texas...


NoDebt RedPillGirl Thu, 12/14/2017 - 20:24 Permalink

Buy an 87 Caprice, pop the speedo cable out of the side of the transmission and zip tie it out of the way 11 months a year (it literally unscrews from the side of the transmission using your fingers and that same cable inside it drives the odometer).  Save your "nice" car for the weekends and when the Caprice is in the shop for repairs.  Besides, you really want to be commuting a nice car in that insane traffic?I did this for YEARS with old Malibus, S-10 blazers and such to stay under the mileage limit so I didn't have to get my car inspected in PA.  That little trick seems like it might be worth revisiting in this case.  When they go digital, you go analog.   

In reply to by RedPillGirl

Mr. Universe nmewn Thu, 12/14/2017 - 21:27 Permalink

I'm starting to think along those same lines. We pay almost as much state taxes as we do federal taxes. They have ignored all but basic road repair for decades while expanding all social services for illegal aliens. So many work under the table they pay little tax, get cash and welfare benefits, free health care and education. They also have less chance of having car insurance so any accidents involve a 40% chance of a runner or no insurance.Gee let's build another train! Let's build a new $60 billion water project to send water free to big agra to grow cotton in a desert. The Orville Dam is most likely being brought down on purpose. That being to ensure their new water project gets approved and to wipe out conservative family farmers up north. This group of less than pond scum are on par with malware that tries to sell you the solution to the problem they created. Problem is that the beast is never satisfied. 

In reply to by nmewn

Omen IV NoDebt Thu, 12/14/2017 - 22:43 Permalink

"When they go digital, you go analog" so this is a trend - it was disclosed that Strzok - was using a Amateur radio (also called ham radio) describes the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication. The term "amateur" is used to specify "a duly authorised person ... avoid digital recording of communications game is going retro - 1970'S for everything - DIGITAL IS BAD ANALOG IS GOOD !

In reply to by NoDebt

benb Blythes Master Fri, 12/15/2017 - 01:32 Permalink

WTF are you talking about?  God Emperor makes a negative comment on California and posts an off the wall link to some self-absorbed chic’s selfies  and I linked to one of the adds on this fucked up site to show how fucked up it was.Enter  Blythes Master of Nothing on his high horse. You’re late to the game junior. Wasserman-Schultz and the Clinton crime machine had Seth Rich murdered. Crawl back into your hole and don’t come out until you see your shadow… which should be around, say, never.

In reply to by Blythes Master

Kurpak Bigly Thu, 12/14/2017 - 20:17 Permalink

Washington state is trying to get this garbage passed as well, they are in the survey and testing phase.  Track my phone?  Switching to burners.  Track my car via gps? Smashing that little box with a hammer. Requiring odometer readings to register my vehicle? I'll drive wihout tabs. FUCK YOU .GOV

In reply to by Bigly

seek Thu, 12/14/2017 - 19:51 Permalink

Hmmm... massive spy infrastructure, tracking software, cell phone monitoring v. raising the already-existing tax on tires.Seems like an obvious choice to me, but I wasn't educated in California so I much be missing something. It's probably something like "but then illegal immigrants would have to pay to maintain the roads as well." Can't have that kind of unfairness.