Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Government Issued GPS Tracking? by grassroothawaii
April 12, 2011, 2:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Jennell Lewis

Senate Bill 819 was recently shot down after being introduced by Senator J. Kalani English on January 21, 2011. The bill advocated the creation of a new tax establishing a user fee based of the number of vehicle miles traveled. This tax was proposed because the amount of gas consumption in Hawaii is projected to decline over the next several years due to the increasing use of fuel efficient vehicles. The state is trying its best to come up with innovative ways to replace the loss of funds previously relied upon from the state gas tax. But why? Implementing a use tax based on the amount of miles traveled not only takes away the incentive to drive environmentally friendly vehicles, it also unfairly targets those that have to travel further distances for work, school, and other necessities. Demand for gasoline has already fallen 2.4 million gallons across the nation as drivers have recoiled from escalating gas prices. Not to mention privacy and security issues–does the State Legislature need to know you took the scenic route home? Not at all, and yet with this legislation, it would.

Finding yet another form of tax revenue isn’t innovative; finding ways to cut spending and increase government efficiency is.

Jennell Lewis is a policy intern with Grassroot Institute.

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