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Mileage tax proposal sticks it to drivers
BRAINSTORMING, according to Webster, "is a group problem-solving technique that involves spontaneous contribution from all members of the group." In other words, people get together informally to discuss how to solve a problem or achieve a goal. There is little structure and everyone is encouraged to express any idea that pops into his or her head.
Sometimes brainstorming sessions produce a
unique new solution; however, there are usually many more unworkable or impractical
ideas that come up.
Separating the wheat from the chaff is the challenge.
Joan Borucki, the governor's choice to head the Department of Motor Vehicles, headed a group that looked into the state infrastructure. While we don't know if her team held a brainstorming session, they did come up with a cockamamie idea that shouldn't have survived the study.
Borucki advocated taxing motorists for every mile they drive and she suggested one-tenth of a cent per mile. This, she believes, would gain the state Treasury more than $300 million per year, money that could be used for highway construction and repair.
How would the state figure this out, you ask? We wondered the same thing.
But they had a ready answer. There are a couple of options, but all would involve placing a device on every car in the state, all the millions of them. We won't go into the technical aspects, one of which involves using GPS satellites, but they all involve some type of tracking of your personal driving.
Besides the scary Big Brother aspects of such a government program, there is the initial cost involved in installing a devise on every motor vehicle in the state.
Would delivery businesses, such as UPS, be exempt and what about motorcycles and off-road vehicles? And there hasn't been a mechanical device invented that someone hasn't figured a way to disable or bypass.
No, we think this is an idea whose time hasn't come. If this is a harbinger of Borucki's management thinking, we believe that the DMV, inefficient as it is, is in for troubled times. If CalTrans is so desperate for funding to maintain our highways, the governor should have the courage to ask for an increase in the gasoline tax, not attempt to foist such an inappropriate program on the public.
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