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#42463 - 12/22/08 10:54 AM Re: Go F Yourself Governor Patterson [Re: Smike]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5979
Loc: 212 land
ok can we once and for all agree on this STUPID TAX LAW????

Why would you think these webpages promote agreement? If artificially sweetened soft drinks promote obesity, why not tax them as heavily too? If there is consensus on the definition of junk food and drink, why not tax them heavily as well?
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#42465 - 12/22/08 02:59 PM Re: Go F Yourself Governor Patterson [Re: oenophore]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
 Originally Posted By: oenophore
artificially sweetened soft drinks promote obesity, why not tax them as heavily too? If there is consensus on the definition of junk food and drink, why not tax them heavily as well?


That's part of what I'd like to see, but what is more important is that supposedly healthy food really be healthy. We really don’t need sugar and salt added to every darn thing you can buy! I don’t think most us us are born craving so much of either – we are conditioned to expect and like it. The second link agrees:

 Quote:
How could these non-nutritive sweeteners possibly be associated with weight gain and the metabolic syndrome? The authors of the Circulation study led by Ravi Dhingra, MD, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, think that the high level of sweetness “may lead to conditioning for a greater preference for intake of sweetened items.”


These days it is all to often not because our diet is due to food that is not cultural or local, it is because that’s what packagers and manufacturer’s can easily profit from.


I’d be glad to see it happen

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#42466 - 12/22/08 03:07 PM Re: Go F Yourself Governor Patterson [Re: Smike]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
I don't think the articles resolve the issue. If people drinking diet soft drinks have a tendency towards gaining weight, and if it's a causal relationship, then one could argue for a tax on all sweeteners, not for just getting rid of the proposed tax on non-diet drinks. Either result would be consistent, so I'm not sure which way the articles cut.

On a more general note, I've read that weight issues are a complicated interplay of genetics and environment. On the other hand, I think it's pretty obvious that people are offered far larger portion sizes than in decades past. I find 20 oz. sodas to be too much, but that's about all one can find in vending machines and some stores these days.

I particularly enjoyed the beverage association's claim that we need to get kids exercising more. While that's probably true, it takes a whole lot of exercise to burn off calories, and it's far better never to ingest those extra calories in the first place. But I guess it's too much to expect folks to advocate responsible use of their product when there's money to be made.

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#42497 - 12/31/08 01:43 PM If you think Patterson's proposal is outrageous .. [Re: strat]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5979
Loc: 212 land
Kulongoski to pursue mileage tax

By Hasso Hering
Albany Democrat-Herald


A year ago, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced it had demonstrated that a new way to pay for roads — via a mileage tax and satellite technology — could work.

Now Gov. Ted Kulongoski says he’d like the legislature to take the next step.

As part of a transportation-related bill he has filed for the 2009 legislative session, the governor says he plans to recommend “a path to transition away from the gas tax as the central funding source for transportation.”

What that means is explained on the governor’s website:

“As Oregonians drive less and demand more fuel-efficient vehicles, it is increasingly important that the state find a new way, other than the gas tax, to finance our transportation system.”

According to the policies he has outlined online, Kulongoski proposes to continue the work of the special task force that came up with and tested the idea of a mileage tax to replace the gas tax.

The governor wants the task force “to partner with auto manufacturers to refine technology that would enable Oregonians to pay for the transportation system based on how many miles they drive.”

The online outline adds: “The governor is committed to ensuring that rural Oregon is not adversely affected and that privacy concerns are addressed.”

When the task force’s study and test were in the news in 2006 and 2007, critics worried that the technology could be used to track where vehicles go, not just how far they travel, and that this information would somehow be stored by the government.

In more than one interview with the Democrat-Herald and others, James Whitty, the ODOT official in charge of the project, tried to assure the public that tracking people’s travels was not in the plans.

The task force’s final report came out in November 2007. It was based largely on a field test in which about 300 motorists in the Portland area and two service stations took part over

10 months, ending in March 2007.

A GPS-based system kept track of the in-state mileage driven by the volunteers. When they bought fuel, a device in their vehicles was read, and they paid 1.2 cents a mile and got a refund of the state gas tax of 24 cents a gallon.

The final report detailed the technical aspects of the program. It also stressed the issue of privacy.

“The concept requires no transmission of vehicle travel locations, either in real time or of travel history,” the report said. “Accordingly, no travel location points are stored within the vehicle or transmitted elsewhere. Thus there can be no ‘tracking’ of vehicle movements.”

Also, the report said, under the Oregon concept of the program, “ODOT would have no involvement in developing the on-vehicle devices, installing them in vehicles, maintaining them or having any other access to them except, perhaps, in situations involving tampering or similar fee evasion activities.”

Equipment for the Oregon test was developed at Oregon State University.

Whitty said last year it might take about $20 million to establish that the mileage tax is commercially viable. Eventually, GPS devices would have to start being built into cars, and fueling stations would have to be similarly equipped.

The gas tax would stay in force — Kulongoski has proposed that it be raised 2 cents — for vehicles not equipped to pay the mileage tax.
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#42498 - 12/31/08 05:45 PM Re: If you think Patterson's proposal is outrageous .. [Re: oenophore]
Ralph Offline
member

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 142
Way to promote fuel efficiency. Tax people more than the current rate because they're getting better gas mileage.

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#42499 - 12/31/08 06:05 PM Re: If you think Patterson's proposal is outrageou [Re: Ralph]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
 Originally Posted By: Ralph
Way to promote fuel efficiency.


It's not about fuel efficiency. It's about paying for road upkeep and repair.

The federal government (and, apparently, Oregon) finance road projects through a gas tax. If we were able to achieve the goal of shifting to vehicles that don't use gas, what would happen to the revenue that keeps roads drivable?

The proposal is a user fee for road upkeep, not unlike toll roads, and those who use the roads more will pay more (supposedly with some offset for those in rural areas). I'm not saying whether it's a good idea or not, but I don't think it's inherently unreasonable.

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#42500 - 12/31/08 06:38 PM Re: If you think Patterson's proposal is outrageou [Re: Daniel]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
 Originally Posted By: Daniel
 Originally Posted By: Ralph
Way to promote fuel efficiency.


It's not about fuel efficiency. It's about paying for road upkeep and repair.

The federal government (and, apparently, Oregon) finance road projects through a gas tax. If we were able to achieve the goal of shifting to vehicles that don't use gas, what would happen to the revenue that keeps roads drivable?

The proposal is a user fee for road upkeep, not unlike toll roads, and those who use the roads more will pay more (supposedly with some offset for those in rural areas). I'm not saying whether it's a good idea or not, but I don't think it's inherently unreasonable.


That (bold) would matter if there were significant numbers of non-fuel-using vehicles on the road, but that won't be the case for a long time. The gas tax *is* appropriate for road upkeep because the heavy vehicles that use the most fuel per mile are heavy, and heavy = more road wear. (No, I can't cite a reference for that, but you can't tell me that a Ford Excessive SUV doesn't bounce a bit harder than say a Honda Civic. States know this; that's why there are GVW limits on light duty roads.)

Gas tax is also better for CO2 emissions.

Gas tax doesn't require new hardware on vehicles AND at filling stations.

Gas tax doesn't threaten Big Brother ("We know where you've been driving") intrusion, even though I doubt that would ever be an issue.

Paying a mile tax and a fuel tax only to get a rebate of the latter is needless gov't overhead.

Bottom line - no reason to adopt mile tax.

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#42501 - 12/31/08 08:09 PM Re: If you think Patterson's proposal is outrageou [Re: Mike Rawdon]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
The gas tax *is* appropriate for road upkeep because the heavy vehicles that use the most fuel per mile are heavy, and heavy = more road wear. (No, I can't cite a reference for that, but you can't tell me that a Ford Excessive SUV doesn't bounce a bit harder than say a Honda Civic. States know this; that's why there are GVW limits on light duty roads.)


It's also why trucks pay higher tolls on the NJ Turnpike than passenger cars. And, for now, gas efficiency probably makes a pretty good proxy for weight.

 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
Gas tax is also better for CO2 emissions...


If I had an electric car, should I be exempt from road upkeep charges? (Hybrids are partly electric already, regardless of weight; electric cars for local use may not be too far away. And electric cars and other alternatives may have CO2 emissions, depending on where their fuel source is coming from.)

There are other ways of funding road projects. We could do so out of general revenues. And I'm not arguing against a gas tax; I've been a big advocate of increasing it for a multitude of reasons. And I'm not arguing that a mile tax is necessary or needed right now. I'm only suggesting that it's not inherently a bad idea.

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#42502 - 12/31/08 09:01 PM Re: If you think Patterson's proposal is outrageou [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5979
Loc: 212 land
I expected more outrage here, yet I'm not disappointed. The intrusive tracking of registered vehicles bothers few; the popularity of E-ZPass seems to bear that out.
I've read of a case last month in which a criminal defendant was able to establish an alibi via his Metrocard showing that he was not at the crime scene at the time led to his acquittal. So there may be something positive about such tracking.
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#42506 - 01/01/09 02:32 PM Re: If you think Patterson's proposal is outrageou [Re: oenophore]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
Why would they have to track the actual vehicles? Why not just record the mileage during a yearly inspection... And have people call in their mileage quarterly like you can do with the power/gas companies?

There, tax is there for driving amount... And no big brother!

I'm a freaking GENIUS!
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