Economy

Even Green Drivers Cannot Escape The Road Mileage Tax

Written by Blake Lopez

In California, a system that helps to “pay” for the terrible roads in the state, better known as the Road Mileage Tax Program seeks to tax at an exorbitant rate the Californian driver per mile driven, this way to make up for “damages” a single driver makes in said roads. However, this program is infamous for its lack of proper leadership, as well as poor implementation on a local level, leading to many cities feeling the burden of pothole-ridden streets, especially in racially targeted areas. However, prior to 2022, this program only applied to gas and diesel drivers; serving the role of trying to eliminate carbon emissions from gas and diesel “chuggers”, but as of late, it seems that electric vehicle drivers will now have to share the same burden which regular, everyday, non-propagandized-into-green submission, Americans have to face on the daily. 

Prior to this tax-per-mile program, the main venture of income for the state of California was a tax-per-gallon program, which taxed Californians based on how many gallons of gasoline/diesel they consumed. However, Newsom figured that this program did not siphon enough money out of the average, hardworking Californian, so he expanded the program to include a mile based system, rather than a gallon system. However, this system has angered many Californians, who feel it is total economic suppression of the highest caliber, and are rightfully angered. States like Oregon and Utah, who also at the time of this legislation passing back in 2021 were blue states, have seen similar backlash from their populaces, with some residents of each respective state simply not paying their taxes due to the state. Elaine Povich, a writer for The Pew Charitable Trusts elaborates on this fact, describing how few people [in Utah and Oregon] volunteered for the programs initially because of privacy and equity concern”.  It seems that this new system has hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans greatly distraught at the fact of increased taxes, equating to less economic freedom as a result. The earliest form of “road tax” in California is the toll tax system, where drivers can pay a little extra for a faster, more efficient road on the freeway, often on the leftmost side of the road. It seems that ever since California had the power to tax, it has taxed its residents, far more than any other state in the union. 

However, while these systems only applied to gas and diesel drivers, Newsom has recently passed an edited version of this law, making it so that electric vehicle drivers; who tend to be the very same liberal voters who voted for Newsom in the recall effort, will now have to pay similar taxes. It seems that, in a weird twist of fate, the very people who were the most loyal to Newsom, and voted for him during the recall of California, were the ones who also set themselves up for their own demise. They played their own card, and now they have to gamble on a losing game. It seems that while Newsom proclaims California to be a state which will be completely green by the year 2035, according to the same article by Pew, Newsom is also discouraging those who are willing to make the switch from gas and diesel to electric cars, for whatever reason is unknown currently. 

Additionally, in similar legislation passed only a couple of months ago, electric car drivers now have to smog their vehicles every five years or so, even when in prior years, there were no such restrictions on electric cars. The whole point of smogging a vehicle is to check and regulate how many carbon emissions a car is emitting, but electric cars don’t emit carbon emissions, which begs the question, why even smog an electric vehicle in the first place? This is just a way for the state of California, Newsom, and his lackeys to collect even more of the average Californian’s hard earned dollars. Furthermore, Newsom has also recently passed a bill that outlines how all small pickup trucks are now considered commercial vehicles, even if it is not used for business purposes, rather just to get from point A to point B. This has made many Californians whose primary form of transportation is a small pickup truck. It seems that Newsom, as well as his general office, are trying to make life for the average Californian as difficult as possible, but for what reason is not yet known. Hopefully, Californians will wake up from their slumber, and begin to realize that the man which they have in office does not care about their own well being.

Photo Cred: Alvin Jordana/ The Press Democrat