Southern California may tax drivers per mile driven

For years, Southern California lawmakers have tried to steer clear of decisions that make driving more expensive or miserable, afraid of angering one of their largest groups of constituents.

But now, transportation officials say, congestion has grown so bad in Los Angeles County that politicians have no choice but to contemplate charging motorists more to drive — a strategy that has stirred controversy but helped cities in other parts of the world tame their own traffic.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is pushing to study how what’s commonly referred to as congestion pricing could work in L.A., including converting carpool lanes to toll lanes, taxing drivers based on the number of miles they travel, or charging a fee to enter certain neighborhoods and business districts.


I’ve spent about 40 years of my life in California and have never been south of Bakersfield. SoCal traffic is the Number One reason I’ve avoided that place like the plague.
My buddy David lived in LA from the time he was in his teens until he was about 30. He lived something like 20 miles from his job, had to take 4 different freeways and took a good hour each way to drive it on a normal day. Fuck that shit. Anybody that would continue to willingly put up with that has me seriously questioning their judgement.
Hell, Fucking Bay Area traffic between Modesto and Tracy where I worked was bad enough. It was bumper to bumper but at least it moved along at 70 mph – until there was an accident. Then my 45 mile, 45 minute commute turned into a couple hours.

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24 Responses to Southern California may tax drivers per mile driven

  1. Aesop says:

    And they’ll enforce such a notional tax…how, exactly?

    “It’s the damnedest thing, I swear, but I looked at my odometer, and it appears I drove zero miles all last year! And the year before that, too!!”

    Especially given that you can make a license plate that will fool readers in about 20 minutes, with some cardboard and poster paint.

    Toll booths? They’d be rammed in about a hot minute, and survivors set on fire.

    If Moonbeam hadn’t decided both in 1975 and again in 2010, that he wasn’t going to spend any of the billions raised by the state’s gas taxes on building new freeways and roads, the interstates here would be eleventy lanes wide by now through the major cities, and traffic still moving at 65MPH 24/7/365.

    Instead, they stole the money to subsidize Julio and Maria and their 47 anchor babies, and to buy Perrier and designer tents from L.L.Bean for homeless drug addicts. Oh, and build a low-tech slow-rail line to nowhere, starting in some Central Valley Turd World sh*thole.

    You can mess with a lot of things in CA and mostly get away with it, but the car tax was what got former Gov. Gray Davis recalled and replaced with the Governator, and if Gabbin’ Nuisance or anyone else among the jackholes in the legislature thinks they can do what they like, this’ll be a fine way to find out the error of that assumption.

    It’d be like swimming with sharks in a wetsuit made of a side of bloody beef.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Uh-huh. You bet. All that open rebellion sounds nice in Fantasy Land but let’s face reality here: If it was going to happen, it already would’ve with your bi-annual smog checks, overtaxed gas, shitty roads and your through-the-roof vehicle registration costs.
      Nope, y’all are going to take it just like you have everything else. Your only recourse is to move.
      BTW, you won’t be the one reporting your mileage – the State will get it from your smog checks.

      • Aesop says:

        The Gray Davis recall argues somewhat differently.

        Though I have no doubt the coasttards in their McMansions will roll over for this.

        The problem for that for planning purposes, is that all of CA is not Malibu.

        At any rate, cracking odometers and rolling them back is going to become a growth industry if they pass this silly horsecrap.

        I can also predict a sharp rise in vehicles registered and tagged in bordering states. Just as a coincidence, you understand. Especially since the red districts all border OR, NV, and AZ. And I can rent (or even buy) a p.o.s. trailer in Yuma or Vegas outskirts or Dirtpatch Desert whatever for less than the tax, and eliminate those reg fees and mileage taxes, forever, which’ll pay for itself immediately. And for a bonus, cut my car insurance a metric fuckton per month.

        There are other ways around this less involved I won’t even bring up.

        Taxing per mile will always only fleece those both stupid and lazy, and they pretty much deserve it, since they probably voted it in.

        (TPTB here already don’t even bother to pull over likely illegals in beater cars more often than not, because they never show up, and it just wastes the cops’ time and clogs the court docket and the impound yards with abandoned vehicles. You probably even saw that in NorCal before you left. They spend all their enforcement time in the rich white districts, because they’ll pay the tickets. Now see if anyone who never lived here can guess why traffic is so out of control.)

        But hey, I could be all wrong.
        Look at how there’s not a single AR-15 clone anywhere in CA since 1989’s AWB here.

        Oh, wait, except for the 5M of them sold after all those bans.

        And, hey, look how well those plans to legalize and tax pot here are working out.

        Be as pessimistic as you like.
        The reality is, every population has a breaking point where they’ll finally say “F**k it!”.
        Even the Surrender Monkeys in Paris have figured this out.
        About 5 minutes too late.

        People will work around every genius idea government has, and find a workaround or twelve.

        Remember, these are the Democrat geniuses in Sacto we’re talking about.
        Putting together Legos or a Lincoln Log house kicks their ass eight days a week, and even the Ninth Circus throws out half their laws immediately.

        There is truly no upward limit to how much stupidity Sacramento will try.
        But their faceplant failures are a daily occurrence, and everyone knows it.

        • Wirecutter says:

          Dude, listen to yourself. You’re arguing about how successful y’all’s resistance is while sitting in the worst shithole city in the worst states as far as taxation and control.
          It’s not working. In fact, it’s getting worse.

    • czechsix says:

      LOL, bullshit.

      The fucking French in their yellow vests would do more than any SoCal population would ever do. I lived in that SoCal shit hole for over five fucking decades, finally gave up and got out. About the only shining light that ever happened was Prop 13, and we’ll see how long that lasts under the new management.

      The majority of Californians, especially the urbanites, will just say “oh well”, bitch a bit, and that’ll be entire “resistance” movement.

    • Scruff says:

      Pay by the mile is a reality truck drivers (owners) have been dealing with for years. It’s not that complicated to implement, and a real pain in the ass to comply with. I.F.T.A. is the acronym, and now that most modern vehicles are running an onboard computer it will be easy to force it upon all vehicle owners. There was no nation wide outrage when it was shoved up our ass, ( first they came for the trucks, but I was not a truck owner ) now everyone else can feel our pain.

  2. WestcoastDeplorable says:

    Back when I worked at the Pacific Stock Exchange building in downtown LA, I commuted daily from Redlands and one Friday it took FOUR HOURS to get home! Normal trip was 60-90 mins. And we’re already paying an extra .17 a gallon in taxes. It’s bullshit!

    • STW says:

      My parents moved from Redlands when my dad’s commute changed from the rock plant on Alabama St. to one in Irwindale because it took so much longer. That was in 1974. His commuting tolerance was much less than yours.

  3. bogsidebunny says:

    Learn how to drive in reverse and the State will owe you money.

  4. Will says:

    I hear ya, Kenny. Finally making plans to exit this state and move back to America.

  5. Mickey says:

    My commute to SF Civic Center is 17 miles door to door. No bridges. If I was to drive my truck to work, that would take me, at best, 50 minutes. Both ways. It’s never “at best.” Add in an accident, or rain, or glare from the sun, or just your average moron driver, and it’s always much worse. Then when I got here, where the hell would I park? $3.25/hr at a curbside meter or $25+/day in a garage. And don’t forget the almost $4 gas and the almost $500 annual registration for my “oversize vehicle,” an F150. Oh, and the decent odds your car will be burglarized/vandalized every once and a while. So I ride my motorcycle and lane split (legal here in CA) the whole way. It’s insane. This place is truly a sh*thole.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I can remember when Bay Area traffic wasn’t that bad. The biggest frustration for me has always been the “No Left Turn Between the Hours of…” signs.
      I can also remember being able to drive all the way to SF without having to stop even once on the freeway in the Livermore Valley. Those days are long gone.

      • Mickey says:

        It’s the worst it’s ever been. The valley too. 5/205/99 and all the little connectors. Too many people and not enough road. Here in the Bay Area, rather than build more lanes and add more parking spaces, they are taking away vehicle lanes to add bicycle lanes and cutting parking spots to encourage bicycling/public transit. Why? Because fuck all the normal people, that’s why.

        • Wirecutter says:

          I lived in Ceres, just below Modesto. Traffic started getting real bad on I-5 and 205 right about 1991 when I started working at the Safeway warehouse, so I used Hwy 132 to 580, then off at Patterson Pass Road/Mountain House Parkway. Like I said, it was still heavy traffic but at least it moved.

          • Mickey says:

            Yeah I took that route a few months back. The “locals shortcut.” Traffic the whole way. So many navigation apps are leading people off the main routes onto the side routes and it’s all chaos now.

            The only real solution is the one you eventually found-leave California! I’m working on it.

            • Wirecutter says:

              Funny, but it was only like that during rush hour. I’ve been on both 580 and 132 in the middle of the day after getting out of work early and not have a car in sight behind or in front of me for miles at a time.
              Hang in there and get out when you can.

    • crazyeighter says:

      Good for you, but aren’t those Botts Dotts slippery as shit in the rain?

  6. ya_right says:

    Charging by the mile in a parking lot….hmmm.
    Now if they start charging by the minute, that would generate some serious change.

  7. Andrew says:

    Well, at least the stupid hybrids and electric vehicles will finally pay their fair share, maybe.

    Ah, who am I fooling? They’ll be exempt somehow.

  8. John McGee says:

    There’s a pile of rumors that Gov. Pritzker is wanting to do that in Illinois also.

  9. just sayin says:

    one thing people forget with this “tax”, other countries call it a “congestion tax”, all it really is, is, only the wealthy are allowed to drive through certain areas, eg, “My time is worth more money than yours, so get your shitty run down car out of the path of my limo to l can arrive at my destination sooner”.
    see how it works? walk peasant!

  10. Bill says:

    As if I need one more reason to move out of this asinine state.

Play nice.