Maryland Lawmakers Against VMT Tax
Justin Ready, one of the republicans behind House Bill 682, explained that any form of VMT tax would essentially violate privacy rights of Marylanders, but if lawmakers were not proactive that the Department of Transportation could very likely introduce such a measure within the next ten years. Another concern Ready had was that some of the states looking to adopt a VMT program that uses GPS tracking would do so in lieu of current fuel taxes. Whereas Maryland officials wanted to have a VMT tax in addition to the current gas taxes motorists already pay at the pump. Another proponent of HB 682 is Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild who has been on record speaking about his concern over any program that uses GPS satellite technology to monitor not only mileage but potentially all vehicle traveling activity. Rothschild would go onto state that using GPS tracking devices as the tool to calculate driver mileage,”constitutes a gross violation of [Marylanders] Fourth Amendment rights.” Ready also emphasized the concern Rothschild publicly stated by also explaining that VMT tax plans that call upon the use of real-time GPS trackers could have much greater and far-reaching implications. It would have the potential to create a more Big Brother society where all Marylanders are under greater government surveillance. Ready would later explain that HB 682 would be instrumental in safeguarding the privacy rights of Marylanders by preventing the state from having endless power of how it chooses to monitor citizens because of the advanced and detailed information provided by real-time GPS tracking devices. Do you believe VMT taxes would infringe on Fourth Amendment rights of Marylanders? Would you be okay with your state placing a GPS tracker system on your automobile to record driving activity?