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    Great Falls Tribune: Miles tax a bad idea that would invade privacy of everyone

    The Great Falls Tribune has an article about a system that would track drivers’ mileage in order to tax them. Related: a story I posted in March about California considering “a proposal to chart global warming gases from California cars and trucks by requiring motorists to report odometer readings during annual vehicle registrations.”

    The Tribune reports:

    Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has proposed taxing drivers based on mileage, rather than gas consumption, to finance road maintenance. But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has said such a tax “is not and will not be the policy of the Obama administration.”

    This proposal threatens the privacy of drivers. It would probably mean putting a GPS device in every car. Once the government tracks your movement for tax purposes, we are on the path to total surveillance.

    Even Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., worries about a “Big Brother system tracking your every move,” though she also has called the mileage tax a “brilliant idea.” […]

    Some environmentalists think the mileage tax would reduce driving and pollution. But it would actually encourage gas-guzzling by reducing the price per gallon.

    To compensate, some propose a higher tax on cars with worse mileage. But this would effectively mean both a consumption tax as well as a new invasion of privacy.

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