US Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) introduced H.R. 3311 earlier this year to appropriate $154,500,000 for research and study into the transition to a per-mile vehicle tax system
The article goes on to describe how Oregon already has done some research and testing of of such a tracking system. Tracking the mileage per vehicle in the United States via a GPS-RFID reader technology combination would allow the federal government to accurately tax motorists based on how far they actually drive. Currently, motorist taxes are levied at the gas pump. The bill being discussed would invest nearly $155 million in developing a system that tracks vehicles based on a unique GPS unit installed in each car. The GPS unit would communicate the data it gathers to RFID readers placed along roadsides at a particular interval. The U.S. Treasury Department would be in charge of the research program and would, thus, receive the appropriated tax money for research.
Like all fun government surveillance legislation, this funding and, if implemented, the program itself raises more questions about American's right to privacy. Do we really want the government, or any other agency for that matter, to track our movement and driving habits on a regular basis?
There is a pdf of the bill available for download on the article page.
In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.