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Congress Considering Tracking And Taxing Drivers On Every Mile

Cars black box tax

Black boxes in our cars may soon become a reality in all cars, tracking and taxing every mile we drive.

A lack of cash to repair the decaying highway infrastructure reportedly has prompted the high-tech data boxes idea. The black boxes would fit onto the dashboard of our vehicles, following our every move and then handing us a supposedly monthly or yearly bill.

Not surprisingly, Tea Party members and civil libertarian groups such as the ACLU are opposed.

A black box pilot project passed the US Senate last year. Multiple states are pushing for a decision and plan to use the data to determine tax bills, and the funds generated would be at least partially used to pave and repair roadways.

“This really is a must for our nation,” said Hasan Ikhrata, the executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments. “It is not a matter of something we might choose to do. There is going to be a change in how we pay these taxes. The technology is there to do it.”

Off The Grid News recently reported on black boxes in cars and the privacy concerns many groups have. But the issue of taxes takes the proposal to another level.

The middle class and folks in rural areas would likely be the hardest hit by the black box mileage tax. Taxpayers outside of urban areas often drive 40 miles or more to work each morning. The middle class, which must pony up to fund an every-growing federal budget, would be digging even deeper into their pockets if Congress goes forward with this proposal. Ever-increasing gas prices have forced more non-urban dwellers to carpool to work. Also, families wanting to take a cross-country road trip might have to think again.

Discover The Only Way Back To True Freedom And Liberty In America…

“Urban liberals,” the Times said, support the idea because it could “change driving patterns in ways that could help reduce congestion and greenhouse gases.”

In 2012, the US Senate approved a $90 million pilot project which involved black boxes being placed into 10,000 vehicles. The leadership in the House of Representatives thwarted the program after rural lawmakers voiced stringent opposition.

The reason the boxes are being considered is because the Highway Trust Fund – used to pave roads — is broke. The fund is financed by taxes garnered from gas pump sales, and politicians are reluctant to raise the 18.4 percent federal per-gallon gas tax – even though it has not increased in two decades.

University of Minnesota transportation policy expert Lee Munnich stated that the gas tax in simply not “sustainable.” Munnich also said, “This [black boxes] works out as the most logical alternative over the long term.” Pennsylvania Republican Representative Bill Shuster also supports the black boxes as a source of tax revenue for highways. Shuster is the chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

Unhappy with the congressional foot-dragging on the issue, several states are moving ahead with their own pilot programs. Oregon appears to be the most eager to enact a mileage-based tax system, the Times said. The state has convinced 5,000 drivers to put black boxes in their cars. The drivers who elected to put the recording devices in their cars will now pay mileage fees instead of gas taxes to Oregon. Nevada has also recently completed a similar pilot project and New York City is considering one, as well. Illinois is in the midst of attempting the same program on a strictly limited basis solely with trucks. The I-95 Coalition, which is comprised of 17 state transportation departments in Florida, Virginia, Maryland Pennsylvania, and other states, is currently researching how to implement a car black boxes program also.

Nevada Department of Transportation Strategic Performance Management Director Alauddin Khan said, “Concerns about Big Brother and those sorts of things were a major problem. It was not something people wanted.”

The Nevada ACLU said:

It would be fairly easy to turn these devices into full-fledged tracking devices. There is no need to build an enormous, unwieldy technological infrastructure that will inevitably be expanded to keep records of individual’ everyday comings and goings.

How do you feel about the new gadgets being used to assess a mileage tax?

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. HMMMMM. This is a very good reason for bicycling

  2. Yep, another reason for me to increase the rates I charge customers, which means they have to pay more,, which means they won’t be able to order as much, which means I’ll have to cut down on the services i provide, which means I’ll have to reduce the number of employees, which means there will be more people dependent on the government, which means you get to pay more taxes to pay for the people not working, which means …. ah the hell with it. I’ll just go get more food stamps and close up shop. Thank you.

    • This is a great list of events and it’s so true. I love the closing comments of “being taxed for having a job”. I have to share a car with my boyfriend and between he and I both working a full time job and a part time yes that’s 2 jobs each we also go to school to try and get ahead in life and out of the financial rat race. This being especially hard after the government never made any deciding regulations as to the interest rates of student loans and the lenders being able to make up whatever amount they want to charge and get away with it. Is anyone from the working class ever supposed to get anywhere in life other than ending up more poor and poor quality of life the harder you try to get by. We have an old car that does not get good gas mileage and it costs over $100 to fill a tank which lasts us about a week or so. We can barely feed ourselves and keep a roof over our heads as is and now the government is trying to bleed us dry with the forced health insurance and now this potentially; where will this end. I cannot afford any more taxes and what about the funding from driving violations that money is supposed to go back into fixing our roads. I think we should all just put in for visas for other countries in the masses to show our gov. how we feel about their ideas of having total control.

  3. Honestly, as long as tracking devices are not used, I wouldn’t mind paying a per mile tax as opposed to a per gallon tax on fuel. I would accept an equivalent rate comparable to that obtained from a 20 MPG vehicle for 4 wheeled cars/trucks and appropriate adjustments for 18 wheelers and motor cycles.
    Unfortunately, as we know, this would be an additional, not substituted, tax.

    • Well, I for one wouldn’t agree to a mileage tax based on 20 MPG because I chose a car in 2001 (12.5 years ago) specifically because it got 28/32 MPG, and I have consistently gotten 37 MPG for the past 195,585 miles! At a 20 cents/gal tax rate on 5,286 gallons I have paid a total of $1057.00 for maintaining the highways and byways (about $85/year), and since my car only weighs 2030 lb. (Toyota Echo) I don’t put much wear & tear on the roads. But if I had to pay 20 cents/mile I would have paid $39,117 $(3,129/year) in road maintenance taxes—the same as a Chevy Suburban SUV would have paid, and it weighs 5,124 lbs. (2.5 times heavier, therefore more wear & tear on the road).

      So the question is: have the people who want to impose a one size fits all gas tax based on miles driven considered a) the difference in wear & tear that different vehicles put on the roads, and b) how that might affect what choices people would make when buying a new (or used) vehicle? Typically when gas prices go up people buy more fuel efficient vehicles. That same Chevy Suburban would have used 13,039 gallons of gasoline, 2.5 times more than I used, and paid the same road tax for those miles. You can see they would have a cash cow.

      And yes—it would probably be in addition to, not instead of, the gasoline tax.

  4. What is this, a bunch of city slicker libs running this site with that comment that started out “Of course…”
    I don’t even live in the same city I work in. I drive a truck that doesn’t get good mileage, because I have to have something I can carry equipment, tools, etc. in, and it’s an extended cab, so I can carry the tools of my trade, safely and still have room for one passenger. So. It is a big, full-size pick-up.
    It is currently costing me MORE money in gas to get to work than I’m making, because it is slow season, and I just began working at a slower shop than I’m accustomed to, several times the distance away from my home.
    As if gas prices are not already UNCALLED FOR!
    If we were bound up trading with countries we’ve no business doing business with. Who knew I’d see the price of gasoline multiply several times in the first 20 years of my life?
    I am also single and self-employed. I’m already paying plenty of taxes. How about quit giving the money to these ghetto or white trash families, and point out the nice pretty asphalt laid before them that they can take a hike down to find a job and bust their tail like a REAL American.
    And I don’t care someone’s disability; there ARE jobs and special job sites for them. After I met a man who had been hit head-on by a big rig and it destroyed his nervous system, he had to go back into the care of his 70yr old mother, and he worked 7 days a week at a truck stop, where they replaced all their dishes with plastic and metal so he could was the dishes without breaking them, since his arms had uncontrollable, random, massive shakes. He could barely speak anymore, and I saw him fall down a flight of stairs, get up, dust himself off, and walked on with DIGNITY.
    If that ain’t an AMERICAN… Man, you stupid liberals… Think you’ve got it all figured out.
    These damned contraptions and internet are going to be the DEATH OF YOU. When these things shut down, you’ll be eating each other, running wild in your computer-less cities that have no way of communicating with us small town folks who know how to live off the land.
    And I CAN’T WAIT.
    Keep working for the devil, you. Take my pennies.
    What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

  5. …”A lack of cash to repair the decaying highway infrastructure…” It is not a lack of cash at all. What it is is that politicians have spent all the money collected for highway infrastructure on other things.

  6. And, starting next year, we will be taxed for every breath we take.

  7. If the gov. puts a black box in my car I will have it removed!! Enough!

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