Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

You're not paying enough to operate your car

As if the prospect of gas at $4 a gallon isn't enough, get ready Portland -- the region's leaders think you need to pay more.

Yesterday's Oregonian reported that statewide gasoline use decreased by more than 4 percent in January compared with the previous January. That's good, right? It means less fossil fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions.

But it also means that gas tax revenue has decreased to the lowest level in more than two years. So what does that mean? It means that when the Oregon legislature convenes in 2009, you should be ready to hear how the state's transportation grid is in shambles and the state doesn't receive sufficient taxes through gas purchases to finance repairs. You should be ready to hear Gov. Ted Kulongoski, in his last biennial legislature, call for a new tax on miles driven -- a new tax based on mandatory installation of GPS devices in our cars to track mileage. And you should be ready to hear the sound of crickets from people who would otherwise complain about Republican efforts to invade their privacy.

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, we have today's Oregonian editorial. You have to read to the last two paragraphs to see that our region's leaders are planning an additional vehicle registration fee to fund transportation maintenance ($54 per vehicle, but it doesn't say if that's a biennial fee to match the DEQ fee). And it ends by noting that legislators "haven't managed to raise the gas tax since the 1991 session. That's something of which every single one of them should feel ashamed."

Ignoring the amount of tax money spent on mass transit options that serve a disproportionately small percentage of the public, it may be that the gas tax should have been raised over the last 17 years. However, I doubt anyone is currently "ashamed" by that when we're already paying through the nose at the pump. No one, that is, except the Oregonian and the regional leaders who never overlook a chance to make you pay more to the government, even when the problem is exacerbated by inaction and ineptitude on the part of the government in question.

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  • At 5/12/2008 12:51 PM, Blogger OregonGuy said…



    I'll check back after Max has been here. I'm sure he has a brief run-down on transportation dollars, and how they've been spent, that will drive us to support an increase in our taxes.

    Remember, Oregon...we do things different (sic) here.


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