Black Boxes, Behavior Modification & Vehicle Mileage Tax (VMT)
Dan Titus, 5-11-2016 – Updated 5-24-2017
Tax, tax, tax…at the pump & tax by mile…
Jerry Brown just passed a bill that will raise $52.4 billion in taxes and fees for road repairs. The measure is called Senate Bill 1 or the Road Repair and Accountability Act. The bill also hits buyers of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). For the first time, owners of clean-energy cars will pay $100 each year.
On May 19, 2017, the California Transportation Commission held a Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee Meeting in San Diego. The video below documents some of the testimony at that meeting.
Big Brother, Big Data…
Quotes & Comments From the Meeting
Privacy – 4th amendment – Big Brother – Data Collection Without Probable Cause – Behavior Modification
- Consumers will opt into data collection for HOV lanes, toll lanes and bridges… Does this sound familiar? ObamaCare: You can keep your doctor if you want. The opt in appears to be there because VMT data collection would be potentially illegal otherwise?
- Automakers (GM) will own your autonomous car. They will own the data and they will pay for it. “Information is not available for any other purposes that paying for miles driven on the road. Period.” Where have we heard that before?
- Behavior modification – …if somebody comes out with the idea that we’re going to use the amount of miles you drive as some form of a punitive measure to regulate your behavior this program is dead, dead, dead. It will just never happen… Jim Madaffer, California Transportation Commission, 12-2015
No Cash – Cashless society
- VMT subverts legal laws through telematics*. Toll roads already use transponders.
- Miles could monetized through extended value and be traded like stocks.
- Incentive – Starbuck’s. “ We’ll pay for your miles if you buy a cup of coffee.”
Competition to VMT
- Busses compete with VMT. “if busses use VMT to promote bus use, the program is DOA.”
- Ridesharing: Uber and Lyft.
- There is a California Transportation Commission Pricing Committee.
- Consumers would have to opt in.
- Congestion pricing: “anything except for the mileage for the purposes of charging to pay for transportation”. So in addition to VMT fees, you will be also charged for time of day congestion.
- Cities could charge more to drive in their city.
- DMV registration $$; VMT, bill incrementally so consumers don’t feel the pain. Imagine that you show up at the DMV to renew your driver’s license and you are told that you owe the State money for the miles you traveled in the past: “Sorry, we won’t be able to process your request until you pay your bill.
* Telematics is a method of monitoring a vehicle. By combining a GPS system with on-board diagnostics it’s possible to record – and map – exactly where a car is and how fast it’s traveling, and cross reference that with how a car is behaving internally. This technology can be used for road charge systems and track your vehicle miles traveled in order to bill you.
You have been a good steward of the environment. We are now going to punish you for your efforts.
Technocrats in government like to measure and control things. That’s why they want to force a black box into your car so they can monitor your driving. They believe that they can’t control what they can’t measure. They now are salivating at the opportunity to tax drivers by the mile using wireless technology, which would report your vehicle mileage to the government and then you would receive a bill for the number of miles that you drive. Their goal is to change your behavior so that you drive less in order to reduce CO2 emissions.
Vehicle Mileage Tax. $95 million to study how to modify your behavior to get you out of your car and make California the blueprint for the country.
“…if somebody comes out with the idea that we’re going to use the amount of miles you drive as some form of a punitive measure to regulate your behavior this program is dead, dead, dead. It will just never happen…” – Jim Madaffer, California Transportation Commission, 12-2015
Technocrats want to invade your privacy and tax you by the mile because they claim that they are not receiving enough gas tax revenue. People were good stewards of the environment and purchased fuel efficient cars, carpooled, and gave for the greater good. We did our part; we reduced CO2. Now they want to change our behavior by instituting a punitive vehicle mileage tax (VMT) to reduce driving and institute the ultimate goal of getting us out of our cars in order to reduce CO2 emissions. This scheme is ludicrous, because their real goal is more and more revenue, period. They simple see VMT as another way to gouge the consumer by perpetually changing CO2 emission goals.
California has cleaner fuels and reduced miles travels, but the technocrats want more. The benchmark keeps changing. It is all about control.
A. How Government Sees Things
1. What’s the Problem?
Government claims that they cannot cover road costs with current gas tax revenue.
2. What’s the Cause of the Problem?
People are using hybrid cars, which is decreasing the amount of taxable gas sold because people are driving less.
3. What’s the Solution to the Problem?
Institute a behavior modification program: a tax by mile scheme to charge and bill consumers by the mile.
4. Implement the Solution to the Problem
Implement test program3
5. Follow Up and Adjustment
Institute higher and higher CO2 emission standards, driving up the tax for each mile driven.
B. How People See Things
1. There is No Problem – Government Created the Problem
Government is stealing money from the gas tax fund for other purposes.
The government claims that they do not have enough money for roads and road repair because people are driving more fuel efficient cars and that hybrid vehicles are reducing the amount of fuel purchased; therefore, they are not receiving the gas tax money that they used to. This is a false claim because, according to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), only 13 % of gas tax money goes for new roads and construction. The rest of the money goes toward land conservation schemes and mass-transit: trains, and busses. They have gas tax revenue money, they are just misappropriating it. According to their 2016 RTP/SCS, SCAG wants:
“short-term adjustments to state and federal gas excise tax rates and the long-term replacement of gas taxes with mileage-based user fees…” 1
2. There is no Cause to the Problem – Government Created Artificial Crisis
Forced CO2 reduction standards are creating an artificial crisis, which is driving up the cost of gas production. Government is forcing gas producers to use renewable energy in their production process, driving up costs, which are passed on to consumers. This is part of the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). SCS exasperates gas tax revenue because in discourages driving – Go figure, the government wants people to drive less, but wants increased gas tax revenue.
Government’s Ever Changing Goals and Rational
Even though our air is cleaner and we are on track to reduce CO2 to 1990 levels by 2020, SCAG wants more. According to their Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy for 2016, there are ever-changing goals.
Executive Orders S-3-052 is an Executive Order of the State of California signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in June 2005 that set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for the State of California and laid out responsibilities among the state agencies for implementing the Executive Order and for reporting on progress toward the targets. Specifically, the Executive Order established these targets:
The first and second goals were enshrined into law by the legislation known as AB 32, or the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which gave the California Air Resources Board broad authority to implement a market-based system (also known as cap-and-trade) to achieve these goals.
California Executive Order B-30-15 signed by Governor Jerry Brown in April 2015 added the intermediate target of:
By 2030, reduce GHG emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels – Note: San Diego is suing Governor Brown as he has no legislative authority to enact this.
C. ACTION ITEM
Say NO to Increased Gas Taxes and VMT Taxes…
1. Contact Your California Legislator
2. Contact Your Congressman – Say No to National VMT
1 SCAG2016 RTP/SCS – Page 8 http://scagrtpscs.net/Documents/2016/draft/d2016RTPSCS_ExecSummary.pdf
3 California’s Road Usage Charge Pilot Program to Begin
Caltrans News Flash #85 – California Road Charge Pilot Program: 7-6-2016