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DMV's Pilot Program

posted Jul 13, 2016, 12:01 PM by Enrique Reyes
California will launch a pilot test program in January 1, 2017 to see what is the impact of taxing per-mile driven rather than per gallon of gas purchased. California has had a shortfall in tax revenue from gas over the years. The reasons for this happening is that people in California are driving less than before and some have opted to drive a full electric vehicle. Now the question is, what will happen if California succeeds with this pilot program and implements taxes on per-mile drive in California?

A major challenge is how to track the miles driven? One way is to install GPS devices on vehicles, but this is not the best practice due to privacy, we, the people, have our lives to protect. Another way is to report your miles on your tax return, but then, how many people will be honest on the number of miles? Another way to report the miles driven is when you do your smog check, as it is in the report, but several drivers have newer cars that don't require smog checks for several years. 

Another major challenge is how report miles driven out of state or in private roads. Will California want for us to simply pay taxes according to all miles driven regardless of the roads and purposes of your trips?  I sure hope California does not expect for us to simply pay for all miles driven without considering the roads or the purposes.

Considering the environment: Wouldn't be better to simply increase the taxes in the gas purchased? California should be a leader when it comes to environmental conscious and promote electric vehicles. If California imposes taxes on the miles driven and not on gas, what is the message that will come across? The message will not be to consider electric vehicles over gas driven vehicles, that is for sure.

Finally, I hope California comes out with a way to raise funds without having the need to raise our taxes. We are being taxed every penny. It is in California's best interest to keep the Middle class happy.