GPS Tracking Devices Could Provide Data For Tax
If there is one thing that people like to discuss it’s the price of gasoline. This is because everyone drives and everyone knows what it’s like to sit in front of a pump and watch the dollars go up and up and up as they fill their motor vehicle with fuel. Of course, most people don’t think much about how the price of gas gets to the number that it gets at. They probably assume it’s all based on supply and demand, along with other factors related to the global economy. Naturally, with the United States being a net importer of fuel, gas prices here are certainly related to stability of world markets and efficiency in oil producing countries. However, gas is also taxed by the state in a number of different ways to provide funding for new roads and the maintenance of others. This raises the cost of fuel and the cost can be significant depending on the state the consumer is located in.
VMT taxes are a way that some states are looking to even the playing field when it comes to gasoline taxes because this new form of tax would charge people by the actual total of miles driven. It would also replace the current model of tax in place. How VMT taxes would be assessed would be through the use of locational based technologies that use GPS tracking devices to calculate mileage driven. The GPS tracking system would be equipped on the vehicle of the driver and the GPS device would determine every location that driver has been. Daily driving reports that break down mileage would be used to show exactly how much wear and tear that motorist contributed to public roads. This would make it easier to determine the amount that driver should pay for road maintenance. The goal of the VMT tax would be to make those who drive more pay more for road maintenance.
GPS Tracking: A Privacy Issue
Most stories in the news associated with GPS vehicle tracking tend to be those that focus on privacy rights being infringed upon. Naturally, privacy has became a topic making more and more headlines with stories about the NSA surveillance, domestic drones and more. This is the one problem that VMT taxes will certainly encounter if they are to be applied across the board to every state because the taxes would need to be assessed by mileage driven, which will need to be accounted for using GPS tracking systems. The challenge would be having the majority of people agreeing that having the government monitoring their every move with GPS tracking would be a positive thing.
GPS tracking technology is constantly evolving and making life better for businesses concerned with fleet management and consumers in need of automotive security solutions. The technology is accurate, affordable and reliable, making it the perfect mechanism to be used for taxation. The only problem is that mechanism also provides a wealth of personal data related to driving activity and that will be the hurdle VMT taxes will need to jump.
Would you allow the government to place a GPS tracker on your vehicle if it resulted in lower gas prices?