Liberal lawmakers who have advocated over the years for more gas efficient and hybrid automobiles to reduce carbon emissions are now upset with the diminished tax revenue brought in by lower fuel consumption. Consequently, they are now pushing for a “road usage charge” to replace the current tax law and regain the lost revenue.
Proposed Senate Bill 1077, sponsored by Democrat Senator Mark Desaulnier, would require California drivers to pay tax for each mile that they drive rather than pay state taxes applied per gallon at the pump. San Diego’s Fox 5 reported that according to state officials, Californians now consume 14.5 billion gallons of gas per year–which is down roughly 10% from the 16-billion gallons they were guzzling a decade ago.
Of course this new bill, if enacted, would come much to the chagrin of hybrid and plug-in car buyers, who have paid exorbitant premiums on their vehicles in order to achieve savings at the pump. The “road usage charge” would significantly negate financial savings that consumers expected to obtain by purchasing the gas-stingy vehicles.
Energy policy analyst Charles Langley pointed out to Fox 5 that monitoring motorists could be difficult and imprecise. The options would be to locate a GPS monitoring device on your vehicle, or have an official come out every year and assess your vehicle mileage