Author Topic: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...  (Read 25691 times)

Manedwolf

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Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« on: September 16, 2007, 07:41:04 AM »
Quote
To blunt the impact of declining gas tax revenues, according to the panel's outline, the state should impose a system of "direct road user fees" - also known as mileage taxes - similar to those under study by some other states, including Oregon and Colorado. With such fees, motorists would be charged for every mile they drive on all major state roadways - not just the Massachusetts Turnpike - using technology that allows the state to track their mileage and bill them automatically. According to the commission, such fees could bring in more than $5 billion.

 shocked

Can't say I'm surprised, though. And the sheep there will probably vote for it.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/09/16/major_hike_in_gas_tax_fees_urged/

BTW, for anyone who has to go into that state, I wouldn't even advise riding the T (the subway) anymore. Just a couple of weeks ago, a power failure stranded trains alone in tunnels for over 40 minutes without any power or communications. That's right. In a place where nobody can legally be armed, pretty much, (even tasers or pepper spray!) but most of the criminals are, a train deep underground with no power and no communication with the surface. No.

Devonai

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 01:24:26 PM »
I wish I could just sit back and laugh at Mass, but everything they do to kill themselves will also trickle up to New Hampshire in one way or another.
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HankB

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2007, 03:26:44 AM »
From the linked article:
Quote
In future years, the tax would be boosted annually to reflect higher costs of living.
I thought taxes increased the cost of living, rather than reflecting it? Clever use of words, sort of like saying a tax increase is "asking people to contribute . . . "

The part about downloading GPS or mileage data to a gas pump looks like it has potential for some creative computer hacking . . .  grin
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El Tejon

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2007, 03:40:36 AM »
The T is deep underground???

Not the Blue or Orange line?  I ride the Blue to the hotel and the Orange from the hotel to the school and it's above ground for the most part.

Never had a problem (with the T, I did get jumped in Boston Commons this June), but I don't go back until January. shocked
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Manedwolf

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 03:57:19 AM »
The Red Line goes pretty well underground for most of its run.

And yeah, muggings in broad daylight in Boston Commons are...um...common.

Don't carry pepper spray, though. It's a felony with a maximum two-year prison sentence last time I checked, despite the fact that actual assault gets the mugger back out on the street in a couple weeks.


El Tejon

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 04:57:59 AM »
6 AM!  It was 6AM when they tried to jump me.

This is here I could have shot them and they would know that so it would have never happened.  Out there they knew that they had a safer work environment and that's why they made a play for me.
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Manedwolf

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 05:17:10 AM »
This is why I don't go there anymore unless I have to.

Tasers are illegal and a felony.

Pepper spray is only legal for state residents with a FID Restricted, never for out-of-staters. (and they make people go to the warzone of Roxbury to pick it up, if they live in Boston!)

Gun? Ha, like I could ever get a CCW for MA, since I don't have a place I work there as an excuse. Besides, it's $100 a year, plus some cop might misunderstand their own laws and fault me for having a CCW piece that's patently not on their Approved For Sale List.


Paddy

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 06:25:39 AM »
Quote
To blunt the impact of declining gas tax revenues, according to the panel's outline, the state should impose a system of "direct road user fees" - also known as mileage taxes - similar to those under study by some other states, including Oregon and Colorado. With such fees, motorists would be charged for every mile they drive on all major state roadways - not just the Massachusetts Turnpike - using technology that allows the state to track their mileage and bill them automatically. According to the commission, such fees could bring in more than $5 billion.

The summary of the commission's recommendations does not contain precise details of how such a system would work in Massachusetts. In Oregon, a pilot program tracks the total miles motorists drive using global positioning devices installed in their vehicles. When they fill up with gas, sensors at the service station download the mileage and levy a fee on top of the charge for the gas.

Consumers with the GPS devices are exempted from the Oregon gas tax; people without a GPS unit continue to pay the gas tax.

Sounds good to me.  Everyone pays proportionate to their use. I'd go one step further, too, and tier the per mile charge according to vehicle weight.  The bigger, heavier vehicles would pay more.  So if you wanna drive a bigazz SUV, you can pay a higher per mile rate than if you drove, say for example, a Prius or Echo.  grin

HankB

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2007, 06:44:04 AM »
RileyMC, then in order to be consistent, I take it you support user fees for schools (only people with kids in gov't schools pay school taxes), public transportation (busses and trains are 100% funded by fares), libraries (people are billed when they check out a book), bike paths & bike lanes (paid for entirely with a mileage-based tax on bicycles) etc.,?

Note, also, that they're seeing declining revenues in gas taxes, due to people driving Prius and Echos . . . these are the people, those evading gas taxes, who ought to pay more, rather than being subsidized by those who drive larger vehicles.
Trump won in 2016. Democrats haven't been so offended since Republicans came along and freed their slaves.
Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain
Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods. - H.L. Mencken
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain

Paddy

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2007, 07:06:21 AM »
RileyMC, then in order to be consistent, I take it you support user fees for schools (only people with kids in gov't schools pay school taxes), public transportation (busses and trains are 100% funded by fares), libraries (people are billed when they check out a book), bike paths & bike lanes (paid for entirely with a mileage-based tax on bicycles) etc.,?

Depends on what kind of society you want, but yes, in principle,  I would support individual user fees for those things.  The current systems does smack of socialism, does it not?

Quote
Note, also, that they're seeing declining revenues in gas taxes, due to people driving Prius and Echos . . . these are the people, those evading gas taxes, who ought to pay more, rather than being subsidized by those who drive larger vehicles.

Au contraire.  The lighter and more fuel efficient vehicles get more miles per fillup, but they'd still pay proportionate to their use (although at a lower per mile rate, on the theory that lighter vehicles cause less 'wear and tear' on the roads.)

Seems to me that's a completely libertarian view, is it not?

Manedwolf

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2007, 07:07:05 AM »
The government tracking your every move with a GPS is libertarian?

You've got a funny definition, there...


K Frame

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2007, 07:13:06 AM »
So you'd support increases of anywhere from 10% to, say, 300% on virtually ever product that you purchase?

Or are you excluding those really heavy vehicles -- 18-wheelers and delivery trucks and vans -- from this scheme?
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Paddy

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2007, 08:24:10 AM »
So you'd support increases of anywhere from 10% to, say, 300% on virtually ever product that you purchase?

Or are you excluding those really heavy vehicles -- 18-wheelers and delivery trucks and vans -- from this scheme?

I don't know where those numbers came from and I'd question the top one. However, let's say, for the sake of argument, they're correct.

First, anyone can 'opt out' by continuing to pay the standard road taxes at the pump-included in the per gallon cost-just like now-and avoid the GPS system altogether.  But, will those standard rates will be subject to some volatility, unlike now?  Each driver will make an assessment of which method is less expensive; the heavy road users with heavy vehicles may very well 'opt out'.  Now, unless the per-mileage-tiered rates are adjusted to increased to cover the 'shortfall', those at-the-pump taxes will go up.  Something's gotta give.  The wild card here is the state's insatiable demand for money.  Now, they are limited to whatever taxes they collect based on fixed per-gallon rates.  Without this built in limitation they could theoretically manipulate both per mileage and at the pump rates to boost revenue (and you know they'll do it).

So, the state must be restrained.  Total annual revenue collections must be capped.  Start with an amount not to exceed  revenues collected the year prior to GPS system startup, plus a defined annual inflation adjustment increase.  That's it.  That's all they get, with one exception.  If the people of the state vote in some huge multibillion dollar road/bridge/highway building measure, that cost will have to be apportioned into the rates.

So, back to the question of product cost increases to consumers because of the higher road taxes (theoretically) paid by 18 wheelers.   I don't see where increased transportation costs are a 'given'.  These trucks already pay extra state and federal fees in addition to per gallon taxes.  If those extra fees were simply supplanted by the GPS system, there would be no increased transportation costs.  It would depend how the rates are set.

K Frame

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2007, 08:28:09 AM »
Those are hypothetical costs for the subject of discussion.

Given, however, the "unintended consequences" factor in plans involving governmental revenues, I don't consider it outside the realms of possibility.

Two wonderous examples are Pennsylvania's CAT fund and New York's cigarette tax.
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Manedwolf

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2007, 08:31:53 AM »
Don't forget that once they have a GPS in their car, instant, automated speeding tickets as a revenue source becomes very tempting to the bureaucrats.

As does selling your movement data to marketers.

doczinn

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2007, 12:03:39 PM »
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Everyone pays proportionate to their use. I'd go one step further, too, and tier the per mile charge according to vehicle weight.  The bigger, heavier vehicles would pay more.
You're right, that makes a lot of sense. Vehicles that wear the road down fastest pay more. Of course, that's what we already have with a per-gallon tax.
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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2007, 12:41:00 PM »
Why not just make certain roads toll roads?

Assuming that the toll roads (like here in Texas) are in better shape than "regular" roads.  If I'm paying a premium for being on the road, I don't mind as long as the road itself is "premium".

Most toll roads charge by the axle, so heavier vehicles would have to pay more.  I'm for that, as well.
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MechAg94

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2007, 04:35:06 PM »
The not-so-secret secret is there is plenty of moeny for roads and all that.  The politicians are just spending that money on other stuff that buys them more votes.  Then they can come back and campaign on taxing other people to maintain your roads. 
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Fly320s

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2007, 04:36:42 PM »
Gun? Ha, like I could ever get a CCW for MA, since I don't have a place I work there as an excuse. Besides, it's $100 a year, plus some cop might misunderstand their own laws and fault me for having a CCW piece that's patently not on their Approved For Sale List.

Maned,

Don't you live in NH?

According to several NH city and state cops, and one Mass State Trooper, and one or two FAMs (although they don't have much local knowledge), a Mass LTC-A is easier for non-residents to acquire than for residents to acquire.

I have the paperwork on my desk, I just haven't started it, yet.  Same for the Maine paperwork.
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Manedwolf

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2007, 07:26:54 PM »
Gun? Ha, like I could ever get a CCW for MA, since I don't have a place I work there as an excuse. Besides, it's $100 a year, plus some cop might misunderstand their own laws and fault me for having a CCW piece that's patently not on their Approved For Sale List.

Maned,

Don't you live in NH?

According to several NH city and state cops, and one Mass State Trooper, and one or two FAMs (although they don't have much local knowledge), a Mass LTC-A is easier for non-residents to acquire than for residents to acquire.

I have the paperwork on my desk, I just haven't started it, yet.  Same for the Maine paperwork.

Yes...the Maine one is supposedly very easy and friendly. MA is the fingerprint card, the three-page form, a bunch of other stuff, safety course, plus it's may-issue, not shall-issue. At least from someone else I'd talked to, you need to give a reason why you want one, (carrying large sums of money, high-risk profession, etc), and they are still likely to deny. Just putting down "for all lawful purposes" isn't reason enough. It's also $100 per year to renew the temporary nonresident LTC. I'm really not sure I want the MA government having my fingerprints and other things filed in their screwed-up socialistic system, either.

From what I've heard, it's most certainly easier to obtain the nonresident LTC than it is for residents there to obtain the Class A LTC, but that's not saying much! The poor people who live near Boston even have to qualify at the Moon Island police range with a .38 special snubbie given to them, no other weapon allowed.

Paddy

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2007, 08:58:49 PM »
HTH do we go from road taxes to CCW? 

Manedwolf

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2007, 09:02:18 PM »
Probably because whenever you look at anything to do with MA, it's like looking at an NTSB crash report or a homicide investigation. So many things wrong that it's just "Where did it all go wrong?!"

I found a travel and tourism book for the state from the early 60's...it looked like it was a nice place, then! And somewhat conservative, too!

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2007, 04:16:46 AM »
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The not-so-secret secret is there is plenty of moeny for roads and all that.  The politicians are just spending that money on other stuff that buys them more votes.  Then they can come back and campaign on taxing other people to maintain your roads.

Yep. And when the polticians do leave money for road maintance...have you ever seen a DOT road crew at work?

And oh, yeah, explain to me exactly why the DOT needs to buy new tractors every year for mowing the side of the roads?

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Devonai

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2007, 07:43:54 AM »
Regarding the Mass non-resident LTC:  I was working for a security company at the time I got mine, and they provided a cover letter for me.  However, I also included my own letter requesting the license be issued for All Lawful Purposes (rather than just job-related) because I also wanted to carry for personal protection.  I got it.  However, I have heard that an honest answer on the application to the question "please state why you fear harm to your life or property" is good enough to get an ALP issued.

It is also worth mentioning that getting a Class A ALP as a resident entirely depends on your police chief.  I lived in Beverly for six years and I had no problem either getting the license or renewing it.  Carl at Four Seasons in Woburn could tell you of many other towns that routinely issue unrestricted licenses.  Unfortunately, Boston and other large cities do make life very difficult for their folks.  Maybe someday they will get rid of the "may-issue" system, but I'm not holding my breath.
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MechAg94

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Re: Just when you thought MA couldn't go any more "1984"...
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2007, 05:43:04 AM »
Funny thing about road crews, no matter where you go or who is on the road crew, they all look and and act the same.  I remember driving in Canada one time and seeing a local repair crew.  They were standing there just like the guys down here in Texas.  Cheesy
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