Monday, November 03, 2008

VA proposes auto mileage tax; MA state income tax could end


A Virginia state legislator is proposing a mileage tax to pay for transportation projects. There is a blogger entry (“Virginia Intelligent Transportation Systems”) dated Nov. 3, here. The source for that story was an article by Holly Hobbs in the Loudoun Times-Mirror, and relates a proposal by state assemblyman David Poisson (D-northeast Loudoun County). GPS systems could track driver mileage at the pump or at state inspections, but might be viewed as an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. The General Assembly convenes in Richmond in January. The link is here.

An earlier story (Oct. 7, 2008) on Blogger had described a road test of the mileage tax idea in the Triangle, VA area. As of this writing, the blog has not yet linked these two entries with a category.

In October 2008 I wrote about a Dallas company that offers auto insurance by the mile, here.

During the 1970s it became common for auto rental companies to offer unlimited mileage, especially on weekends or multiple-day rentals, an opportunity that was particularly important in western states. There have been predictions that it would stop, but they didn’t materialize. The first time that I ever rented a car was for a job interview in 1969, when I was getting out of the Army, and everything was by mileage. It would be tempting for states or localities to charge auto renters a mileage tax (or carbon tax) as a “green” option if for no other reason (except maybe for hybrids or electric cars).

Also, visitors may want to read about Massachusetts Question 1, an initiative to be voted on Nov. 4, to "end the state's current 5.3% income tax on wages, interest, dividends and capital gains" by the beginning of 2010, with reduced tax in 2009. The wiki reference is here.

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