In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has proposed installing GPS mileage tracking devices on all vehicles as a way to collect taxes on miles driven. What do you think about the MTC's proposed miles-driven gas tax? Would you be in favor of it or not?
I DON'T AGREE with this entire tax concept at all. With all of the new tax increase proposals in the works, we will soon be expected to sign over our paychecks to the government and be allowed an allowance at the rate we are going. Control spending, stop over spending, audit and cut redundancies -- in other words catch up with the private business sector.
REALLY? THIS IS seriously the lamest idea I've heard all day, and this comes on the heels of all of us paying for Chevron's colossal error yesterday. They burned up part of their refinery and we will all be paying for it with higher fuel prices for months!
I already pay crazy high property taxes and Mello Roos, not to mention a few other Antioch taxes. Then I pay sales tax on everything I buy and it's one of the highest in the nation -- just paid sales tax on my new car and it was a lot. Then I pay a boatload of taxes for all of the gas I buy and taxes on parts
And now they want to put a GPS in my car and tax me even more? They have lost their minds? I have to think I'm not alone in thinking that! I'm not voting for any additional taxes, no matter how worthwhile, and I'm not voting for any politician who wants to raise my taxes and I don't care if they are in my "party!"
I CAN'T IMAGINE anyone being for this ridiculous proposal. I for one, would be opposed to such a way to tax people for miles driven.
WHAT A POTENTIAL waste of taxpayer's money. And, there is also the potential for "big brother" to help us poor folks do the "right" thing, as seen by the politicians. You can achieve the same tax goal (if it is really about mileage driven for tax purposes) by having DMV read the odometer once or twice a year. Why buy expensive new technology when you have old technology that works just fine for the same purpose?
THE PERSON WHO thought of this idea should be shot! I would be the first person on the streets leading the band against this ridiculous idea of a fair tax. It would not only lead to higher prices across the board, but a slow down of our economy.
WHEN I READ this article a few weeks back, the rapidly thinning hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. W
ho in the heck do they think they are? We are already charged a gas tax in addition to a zillion other taxes. This is "big brother" in action folks -- we cannot in any way shape or form allow this to happen. We already have that man in Washington robbing from the rich to give to the poor. This one would rob everyone!
I FEEL LIKE I'm becoming part of a science-fiction movie, such as "Minority Report" or perhaps the star of a new "Truman Show" -- are you kidding me? So, I'm supposed to be watched, tracked and then charged as well? No, I'm not in favor of this tax! It's always more taxes, not less spending, more oversight and accountability, and actual good ideas and adequate planning. Not sure if you've looked at the tax breakdown per gallon of gas lately, but California gas tax ranks second only to New York at a whopping 48.6 cents/gallon; add Federal taxes to that, and you've got 67 cents/gallon for us! Then, on July 13, The Metropolitan Transportation Commission decided to increase it's commissioners from 19 to 21 (AB 57), and it has 10 top managers making $228,000 to $360,000. In the overview of the MTC, you see they are responsible for regularly updating the Regional Transportation Plan, a comprehensive blueprint for the development of mass transit, highway, airport, seaport, railroad, bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Based on our commute times, congestion, and road conditions in the Bay Area, I'd say they don't need any more staff or tax money. Lastly, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to deduce what this tax would do to the cost of goods and services in the Bay Area as well. We try our best to live as clean and eco-conscience as we can given the location of good jobs and housing in the Bay Area. Don't start dictating where we can go and when, then charge us for what you perceive is unacceptable or excessive. This idea is as crazy as a bullet train for $100 billion dollars!
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission's mileage tracking and taxing proposal has a number of unjustified intrusive violations that come to mind -- privacy and constitutional breaks. There is no way a sane person could support this idea, unless they believe all the propaganda that goes with the attempts to further tax the public. Just looking at what its overall immediate financial effect upon the public, ultimately it could very well push many into untold losses. Instead, MTC should look into installing a per-word monitor upon themselves and all the chest-pounding politicians, and taxing them accordingly. If their only solution to the unknown reasons for the per mile tax proposal is more taxes, then they need to quit and be replaced with more competent thinking individuals. MTC's proposal smells of too much gas fumes being inhaled by them!
Ralph A. Hernandez
This week's question:
Five Liberty High School football players were recently kicked off the team and may face charges following a hazing incident, which included the improper use of Icy Hot against junior varsity players at a Sacramento football camp. Some in the community are up in arms whereas others say the incident, while wrong, should not be treated as a crime. Is there such a thing as a harmless prank? When does a prank go too far?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.