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California Wants GPS Tracking Device in Every Car 1351

HTS Member writes "California has a new excuse for more taxes. Claiming losses due to fuel-efficient cars, such as Gasoline/Electric Hybrids, California is cooking-up a new system to punish people who aren't using enough gasoline. They want to tax commuters by the mile. How would this be accomplished? By requiring everyone to install a GPS device in their vehicle, and charge them their "taxes" every time they fuel-up. From the article: 'Drivers will get charged for how many miles they use the roads, and it's as simple as that.. [a] team at Oregon State University equipped a test car with a global positioning device to keep track of its mileage. Eventually, every car would need one.'"
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California Wants GPS Tracking Device in Every Car

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  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @04:49PM (#11681222)
    I am instituting use of the Slashdot search feature to accurately track Slashdot duplicates and tax appropriately:

    November 17, 2004 [slashdot.org] was your first offense. A warning was sent via email prior to the story posting on February 15th, 2005 at 2:39pm CST but daddypants ignored our notification.

    Please note that future violations will result in a hefty fine! ;-)
  • by StateOfTheUnion ( 762194 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @04:52PM (#11681261) Homepage
    Speaking of tin foil hats . . . I'd just get a tin foil hat for the GPS antenae . . . Then as far as CA government is concerned; my car never left home.
  • Brilliant! (Score:4, Funny)

    by justforaday ( 560408 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @04:53PM (#11681289)
    Wow! This is such a great idea! I don't know why nobody came up with it first! As a strong supporter, I would like to nominate my company, TrackingStats4Sale, to aggregate and manage the information that's gathered from this.
  • by FalconZero ( 607567 ) * <FalconZero.Gmail@com> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @04:55PM (#11681336)
    Well at least they'd be able to inforce the speed limits easily....
    I can see it now, you get to the petrol pump and it says

    Welcome to Texaco
    Your total bill including fuel, taxes and fines is $600.
    Please insert your credit card here.
  • by Tsiangkun ( 746511 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @04:56PM (#11681339) Homepage
    I thought it was the "Useless State-sponsored Action Purporting to Attack Terror While Really Initiating an Oligarchic Takeover" -- Monroe Rabin
  • by fastpage ( 125435 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @04:57PM (#11681373)
  • by |/|/||| ( 179020 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @04:59PM (#11681404)
    You don't ever fill up your car. You fill up your "gas can."

    Yeah? So I mow the lawn a lot.

  • faraday car (Score:3, Funny)

    by jgercken ( 314042 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:00PM (#11681432)
    Sir, why is your car completely wrapped in aluminum foil?
  • by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:11PM (#11681632)
    I wouldn't be surprised if California wanted to tax people on every mile they drove, then make its residents *prove* they didn't drive those miles in California.

    But how would that allow them to accomplish their real goal of tracking you everywhere you go?

  • by duranaki ( 776224 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:23PM (#11681877)
    Goon1: We're going to start losing money from gas tax with all these damn hybrids... and don't get me started on electrics.
    Goon2: Right you are. Let's start taxing based on mileage instead.
    Goon3: Well that just sucks. You could drive half your miles in Arizona and get taxed in CA for that.
    Goon1: Good point. Any solution to that?
    Goon2: Well, I own stock in this company that has a lot of IPR in GPS equipment...
    Goon3: How can I get in on that?
    Goon1: Hold it! Let's *all* call our brokers before we go any further. We'll meet back next week.
    Week passes...
    Goon1: Ok. I propose we force everyone to install GPS modules into their cars.
    Goon3: I second!
    Goon4: Really? Isn't that just adding a horrendous one time tax to all car buyers? Increasing the number of goons needed to police the system...
    Goon5: Hey! I'm one of those goons.
    Goon4: Oh yeah. Sorry 5.. I know you'd never make it in the private sector. I guess I'll vote for it.
    Goon3: Anyone worried about the people getting pissed?
    All Goons: Laughter...
  • by shawn(at)fsu ( 447153 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:24PM (#11681887) Homepage
    Ha you fool. You can't drive a pistol....
  • by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <valuation&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:34PM (#11682053)
    "The detector-van spotted the operation of their set, and dispatched license-fee collector to the addresss."

    For a second there, I thought your next words were going to be, "quick, Vyvyan! eat the telly!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:38PM (#11682110)
    My favorite entry from when slashdot last covered this was this entry by SkyShadow [slashdot.org]:
    Yeah, I got a letter about this one a few days ago:


    State of California
    1 Aahnold St.
    Sacramento, CA

    Dear Skyshadow,

    While we in the state of California appreciate your interest in our state and the contributions you've made while living here the last fours years, it has become increasingly apparent that you're not getting the message. So, let us be direct:

    Get the hell out.

    Frankly, all of you refugees from Jesusland are seriously overpopulating our state, and we can't afford it anymore. We figured you might have gotten the hint after we destroyed our public school system with Prop 13. We thought you would have put it together when we started referring to pet owners as "guardians" like they were our fucking kids or something. And, really, we're stunned that electing the guy from "Commando" as our governor didn't make you reassess living here.

    C'mon, how much is nice weather, a neat bridge and decent wine really worth? A crappy 900 sq. ft. house in Walnut Creek with a postage-stamp sized yard is a steal at $400k because of all you idiots flooding in! Go home!

    Anyhow, by now we're sure you've read about our plan to implant a GPS tracker on your car and tax you for every mile you drive. We're proud of that one -- we know you're driving an hour each way to and from work because of the sky-high housing prices around the Bay Area (again: your fault), and we figure that nicely conveys our point. And frankly, if this doesn't get our message across, we're going to have to resort to simply grabbing you out of your bed in the middle of the night and feeding your to that Great White we have on display down in Monterey. Don't think we won't. Hell, we'll feed her your goddamn cheesehead cats, too. Try us.

    Move back to Wisconsin. We're not kidding.

    Love, California
  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:58PM (#11682410) Homepage
    The Great State of California may be surprised to learn that all cars on the roads today already have the ability to report how many miles the vehicle has traveled. This amazing device is usually located either directly below, or in close proximity to the speedometer, and is often referred to as an odometer, or sometimes as a vehicle devaluator.

    If they're really just interested in taxing by the mile, check the milage each year as part of the safety/smog inspection and charge accordingly.

    Not to mention the inaccuracy or GPS.. If a car suddenly appears to jump 70 miles due to interference, will the driver be charged for that? And I guess it's free miles when solar flares drown out the GPS signals? Come to think of it, I like the idea of GPS much better than an odometer.. "I'm not sure who keeps stealing my antenna, officer. Damn kids."
  • Robbery (Score:4, Funny)

    by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:58PM (#11682415)
    Why not just let police pull people over randomly, club them half to death, and take any money that happens to be in their wallet for the state coffers?

  • by pablodiazgutierrez ( 756813 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:59PM (#11682420) Homepage
    Be very careful you Norwegians with your government. It might be tempted to apply this measure to tax you when you go from Haugesund to Trondheim [msn.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @06:10PM (#11682581)
    "Punishing people for buying fuel efficient cars? What a load of shit!"

    Are you a terrorist? All that time we spent crushing innocent women and children heads in Iraq to steal their oil, now you should have the goddamn decency to buy that fucking fuel, at the price of our choosing. Why do you hate our troops?
  • by Hittman ( 81760 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @06:19PM (#11682699) Homepage

    The bottom line? The same-ish number of people smoke and cause themselves harm, but smoke somewhat less than before, maybe about 20% fewer cigarettes.

    That's not what's happening. People are smoking just as much, they're just being more resourceful.

    Ever time taxes go up, a new batch of smokers discover the joy of buying tax free over the internet. Some of them may actually end up smoking more, because their smokes are now so much cheaper.

    And then the state spends money trying to vilify these citizens, who are simply throwing their own tea party, and recover the "lost" taxes that they never would have lost in the first place if they hadn't been so greedy.
  • by GimmeFuel ( 589906 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @06:58PM (#11683156) Homepage
    I don't beleive any state is stupid enough to actually implement such a hare-brained system.

    This is California we're talking about.

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2005 @12:39AM (#11685994)
    > > The president is a ... heavy drinker

    > Let me guess, you were so much happier back when the president was a pot smoker?

    Well, he probably was...

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats