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Coe says Greens want to charge you for car mileage

By johnboy - 2 October 2012 47

The Quinlan Review reveals that the ACT Greens want to create an additional charge for Canberrans to use their cars. ACT Shadow Urban Services Minister Alistair Coe said today this is an out of touch and hypocritical statement from a party who drive taxpayer-funded cars into taxpayer-funded car parks.

“It is ridiculous that the ACT Greens want to charge people again by the kilometre for car usage and it shows just how out of touch they are with the needs of Canberrans,” Mr Coe said.

“Canberrans, like all Australian motorists, already pay fuel excise, which is effectively a tax on driving.

“The Greens clearly aren’t thinking about the young families that live out in the suburbs that have to drop their kids at school, get to work, take their kids to sports and get their shopping. Nor are they thinking of the pensioners that are already struggling to pay their bills.

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47 Responses to
Coe says Greens want to charge you for car mileage
Martlark 8:15 pm 02 Oct 12

There should be some extra charge for people choosing to drive on congested roads during peak periods. Plenty of extra money is spent catering for an hours peak usage each day. That extra money should be provided by those getting the main benefit. Ie: toll roads!

Thumper 8:10 pm 02 Oct 12

Has anyone thought about how much of a bureaucratic nightmare such a policy would be?

Besides, it punishes those on lower incomes given that they generally have to live further away from work and therefore have to drive further.

Sounds like the Greens are working on a bit of subtle social engineering here. Did anyone mention public transport?

steveu 8:02 pm 02 Oct 12

arescarti42 said :

Considering pretty much all the negative impacts of car ownership on society (e.g. air pollution, accidents, road wear, congestion, etc.) increase with the amount one drives, it makes a lot of sense to tax vehicle use by distance traveled.

Agreed.

It would make sense to reward people for using their car LESS. This doesnt, however mean that its carte blanche for increasing rego even further than it is today (and Im not buying the CTP insurance is to blame one bit argument…)

People may look at the way they use their cars and think about their habits a bit more.

Have some sort of annual inspection system (like in NSW), and in this process measure the pollution a car generates. Use that as some sort of factor against the rego fee as well. So you drive a car that is more harmful to the environment, you pay more rego. Drive one that is kinder to the environment, you pay less. I know its looking at it a bit simplistically, but its got to be better than whats on offer now.

At the moment a very crude instrument of increasing parking fees and rego, on appearance seems to be the only real means by which the govt seems to be discouraging car usage.

chewy14 7:21 pm 02 Oct 12

Jethro said :

I would support car registration being linked to mileage. It makes sense that those who use the roads more and contribute more to congestion, etc should pay more.

Do you support this kind of principle in other forms of government expenditure?

I don’t use schools, ill have my share back.
I don’t use public transport, ill have my share back.
I barely use healthcare, ill have my share back.
Etc etc

There’s plenty of areas that this kind of policy could be enacted but somehow i don’t think the people pushing this type of thing would like the outcomes.

Innovation 7:12 pm 02 Oct 12

I would support a system based on rego and insurance based on distance travelled as well as an increase in charges for heavier vehicles. Too many people drive oversize cars unnecessarily or make car trips without forethought or planning. (I’m sick of sitting at intersections trying to see over the top of single occupant and otherwise (relatively) empty oversize trucks, vans and four wheel drives.)

Although, this would mean that we would all have to pay a lot more for a lot of our goods and services, expect poorer service when other items take longer to get delivered and place the ACT residents at a disadvantage compared to the States. As well, without an improvement in public transport, it would disadvantage those living in outer suburbs who have to travel large distances or can’t afford more than one car (for times when they occasionally need a larger vehicle).

Rollersk8r 7:01 pm 02 Oct 12

Jethro said :

I would support car registration being linked to mileage. It makes sense that those who use the roads more and contribute more to congestion, etc should pay more.

No it doesn’t. It’s ridiculous. The ongoing costs of ownership – petrol, servicing, parking, tolls etc – all go up the more you use it. That’s the disincentive. I’m sure the Greens would also like a say in how much we watch our TVs, or put the heating on, or water our plants. But life is actually about personal choice – we are free to weigh up the costs and make our own decisions.

Jethro 6:09 pm 02 Oct 12

I would support car registration being linked to mileage. It makes sense that those who use the roads more and contribute more to congestion, etc should pay more.

Sandman 5:51 pm 02 Oct 12

Good luck policing such a tax. I can’t speak for others but I can wire up a switch to my odometer that will allow me to determine exactly when it records miles. 20 minutes for a quick switch that works or a couple of hours for a harness integrated switch undetectable without tearing the car apart.

And I’m not even that dodgy. Imagine what the dodgy guys would do.

arescarti42 5:48 pm 02 Oct 12

Solidarity said :

Soooo…. would you support extra tax just for fat people because they consume more resources?

Whether I’d support that or not would depend entirely on whether fat people change their eating habits in response to price. If being taxed would actually induce them to change their habits, then it’d be hugely beneficial for both fat people and wider society. If they’re just going to keep eating regardless, then taxing them is just going to make them poorer (which I suspect would actually be the case).

In the case of driving, I’m pretty sure that increasing the marginal cost of vehicle usage does actually induce people to drive less.

Rawhide Kid Part3 5:47 pm 02 Oct 12

watto23 said :

Surely penalising fuel inefficient cars more in rego is much more efficient. If some drives a small car or hybrid car 100kms a day versus someone in their V8 driving 50kms a day,

I bet I can drive my Gas powered V8 more efficiently and with less wear and tear on the roads than most Hybrid drivers I see these days.

bundah 5:09 pm 02 Oct 12

The Greens are running a close second to Poocockhead as far as credibility is concerned!

watto23 5:01 pm 02 Oct 12

Surely penalising fuel inefficient cars more in rego is much more efficient. If some drives a small car or hybrid car 100kms a day versus someone in their V8 driving 50kms a day, has to pay more under the alledged greens plan then it clearly hasn’t worked. Although I’m all for discussion on ideas like this, the ACT needs to sort the whole transport plan out. The light rail idea is bad because its not going to be a rapid transit solution. Whether its busways or light rail, we really need to provide a quick transport option between town centres, otherwise regardless of what it costs people will drive, because timewise its far more convenient.

As it is right now people pay more to drive and park, because its more convenient and quicker than buses. Penalising this is not going to change anything.

Solidarity 4:47 pm 02 Oct 12

arescarti42 said :

The piece of text in question for those who are interested:

“While the ACT has registration fees based on vehicle size
it does not have anything based on distance traveled. The Greens are supportive of a
mileage-based car user fee.”

For what it is worth, the real value of excise has been falling for over a decade as it hasn’t been indexed to inflation since 2001.

Considering pretty much all the negative impacts of car ownership on society (e.g. air pollution, accidents, road wear, congestion, etc.) increase with the amount one drives, it makes a lot of sense to tax vehicle use by distance traveled.

Soooo…. would you support extra tax just for fat people because they consume more resources?

arescarti42 4:27 pm 02 Oct 12

The piece of text in question for those who are interested:

“While the ACT has registration fees based on vehicle size
it does not have anything based on distance traveled. The Greens are supportive of a
mileage-based car user fee.”

For what it is worth, the real value of excise has been falling for over a decade as it hasn’t been indexed to inflation since 2001.

Considering pretty much all the negative impacts of car ownership on society (e.g. air pollution, accidents, road wear, congestion, etc.) increase with the amount one drives, it makes a lot of sense to tax vehicle use by distance traveled.

pirate_taco 4:21 pm 02 Oct 12

I checked http://act.greens.org.au/policies/act/transport for their policy on a milage based car user fee, and it doesn’t exist.

I’m not supportive of a mileage based car user fee, but I’m not opposed to discussing whether it could be a better solution in some situations.

The biggest component cost of rego by far is CTP insurance.
I’ve mused on CanberraRIDERS recently about whether it’d be a more equitable solution to switch CTP insurance onto licenses (a person) instead of as part of rego (a car), but that would hit dual licensed, single vehicle families harder.
We could then reduce CTP premiums for a person who undertakes training courses and maintains a good driving record, something you can’t do if you insure a car for your bad driving.
If the twin licensed, single car family are good drivers then you could balance the system so that they end up paying less, while those more likely to cause CTP claims through bad driving will end up paying more.

Perhaps a kilometres travelled system could be a fairer system for CTP insurance if we continue to insure the car, with cheaper CTP for vehicles that are not used very often. You have a lower risk of being in an accident if you aren’t driving much.
The downside – it’d disproportionally penalise those who travel long distances to visit family and friends, as distance travelled isn’t directly related to your risk of causing an accident.

Glen Takkenberg
Pirate Party ACT for Ginninderra

Opinions are mine, and not those of Pirate Party ACT.

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