Bob Niemeyer for District 35 House of Representatives for the state of Oregon
Fellow Oregonians:

I will NOT stand for toll roads in Oregon. There is no power anyplace, anywhere, or anytime that will change my mind on allowing toll roads in Oregon. This in one, of many, of the more important reasons that I am running for the 25th district of the House of Representatives of the State of Oregon.

Latest and Greatest about the cost of Toll Roads;

Recent events in the Toll Road saga indicate that more than 80+% of the money collected will be going to pay for the collection of the tolls. There are only two reasons for this. One. Toll roads only goal is to pay for increasing the size of government. Two. Toll Roads is a major source of funding for corruption.

And perhaps a third reason is the over welling need for the Democrat Party to control the lives of the people of Oregon and this Nation.

Below is an outline of the reasons against toll roads.

  1. Most people do NOT know that we are paying taxes at the pump that is supposed to go to roads.
    1. Our gas taxes are now 40¢ per gallon. (with 18.4¢ per gallon more going to the Federal Government) ((with places like Eugene getting into the act with extra local taxes as well))
    2. Much of the money is NOT being returned to the Counties where the fuel was consumed anyway.
    3. The infrastructure for collecting taxes at the pump only consumes about 1% of the money just to collect the taxes. That is really well done.
    4. The latest information about the Tolling says that 82% to 86% of the money collected will be consumed by collecting the tax.
    5. The tax rate use to be posted on the pumps in Oregon to that everybody knew.
  2. An entire new branch of government has been created!
    1. A. Called the “Transportation Authority”, this unelected set of government employees are what is consuming much of the money that will be collected via Tolls. This is the expansion of government at its worst.
    2. The necessary infrastructure will be under out-of-state control by such entities as the “Toll Takers Union” based out of New Jersey.
    3. The “Transportation Authority” has been given taxing authority. They are acting like an unelected fourth branch of government.
    4. If you’ll remember a few years back, there was a transportation tax placed on the ballet that failed.
    5. You can also rest assured that government employees and elected office holders will not have to pay the Tolls.
  3. Tracking and Privacy:
    1. A. The technology for tracking your location will be a GPS tracker.
      1. Who does the installation and who pays for this is anybody’s guess at this point in time.
      2. We must ask also, who gets paid to install the tracking device into your car? State authorized installers?
    2. GPS is capable of tracking your location, your destination, your time on the road, and how fast you got to your destination.
      1. If you drive too fast, the tracker will be able to say that you were speeding. Will a fine for speeding be added to your Tolling bill?
      2. The data base that will be generated about where and when you travel will be public knowledge that could be sold to advertisers.
  4. We would be giving a powerful tool to a power crazed, power hungry, and power wielding government.
    1. Do not underestimate for one minute that the government(s) of today would not have already thought of the power that tolls and tracking could bring to bear on the People of Oregon and America.
    2. The power to raise the tolls to any amount because someone in government decided to “save the Planet” to anything they want no matter what the cost to the People of Oregon is far too much of a temptation to believe there would be controls to handle this.
    3. There is already talk of Expansion of the system to collect money for where ever you go will happen. IT WILL BE EXPANDED TO EVERYWHERE!
  5. Infrastructure:
    1. A. The infrastructure for collecting tolls does not exist.
      1. Oregon would start with at least a $200,000 investment to set up the system.
      2. This could take an incredible amount of new State employees to set up.
      3. There is a such thing as the “Toll Collectors Union”.
    2. How is the State going to collect the money?
      1. Need a bank account or credit card just to drive?
      2. Can the State destroy your life for not paying the bill on time? Take your car? Jail? Turn you into a felon and be able to take away your rights? Turn off your car from space like the hackers can?
    3. Could the trackers be used to collect money when you go to State Parks?
      1. Could the trackers be used to fine you for going someplace that you were not allowed to go?
      2. Could a system be put in place that will fine you for driving on days the government decided that you were not to drive, like even numbered days for even number license plates?
  6. Exceptions to the Tolls will be granted. Something our Legislature loves to do:
    1. A. As we have all seen, there will be a push within a very short time to grant exceptions to having to pay the tolls.
      1. Usual exception for government employees, elected and appointed office holders, and low income people.
      2. Exceptions for low income people would mean that everybody else would have to pay more.
    2. Exceptions can work both ways.
      1. Higher tolls for car pools or company cars or trucks.
      2. If tolls are the responsible thing to do, then car pools should be free. Kind of like the HOV lanes were intended to get people to share rides. Fat chance of that happening.
    3. Always remember that for every exception granted, there will be a State agency with lots of State employees to keep track of and administer the exceptions.
  7. Corruption Opportunities:
    1. A. The information for where and when you drive is valuable to advertisers.
      1. Advertisement that can be tailored just for you and the car you own.
      2. i.e. You will find out that you can buy a coffee cup meant for just your car? Same color as your car? Maybe even monogrammed?
      3. What about your name printed on a beach towel because you seem to frequently go to the coast?
      4. Someone, someplace, somewhere in government will sell that information under the table.
    2. Deals behind closed doors with auto companies and tracking device manufacturers.
      1. You can get GPS locators to find your stolen bicycle at a low enough cost that you can use your phone to find your property.
      2. By the time the government buys the same technology, the cost of the device will be at least 100 times more.
    3. Can a criminal get his hands on a sensor or a simple phone app that would allow the criminal to detect where a car may have come from and be able to assess the likelihood of valuables being in your car?
    4. What if you go out of state? Can the tracking be used to collect money in another state for another state?
    5. Could the information also be given or sold to the Federal Government?
  8. Miscellaneous:
    1. DVM
      1. Will they be charging a fee to make sure that your tracking device is working?
      2. When you get the DEQ check, will part of the inspection be installing a new battery into the tracking device? At what cost?
What I believe we should do:
  1.  Traffic use to be measured around the State with counters that were able to sense when a car went by. That is what the little rubber tubes are you see now and then stretch across the road. Or in the case of some freeways, they looked like a short speed bump in the middle of each lane.
    1. Allocation system to return the dollars to the Counties where the fuel was consumed.
    2. The volume of traffic would be used to allocate the road funds as they follow the expansion of where people live.
    3. Average dollars per mile collected via gasoline taxes would then be assigned to the location of the roads being used by the Counties.
      1. Yes, you could call this a County Entitlement System.
    4. Take the allocation of funds out of the hands of the Legislature and into the hands of something like a “Secretary of Transportation” with the authority to send the money back to the counties.
      1. The only Legislative control allowed would be the percent taken away for other projects such as a new Columbia River Bridge. A percentage that would be out in the open for all of the People to see.
    5. A fixed 10% of all funds collected would be saved for large projects such as a new Columbia River Bridge with the money only going to building, not planning.
  2. How to handle Electric Cars:
    1. One time flat rate on the purchase of an electric car that covers the road cost for the life of the car.
      1. Assuming about 22 miles per gallon and 150,000 life on a car, 6800 gallons of fuel would be consumed by a fuel burning car.
      2. At 38¢ per gallon, that comes to about $2500 of taxes. Tacking that on to an electric car one, and only one time is a good way to go. No government paid employees out to collect the taxes. And no involvement in trying to measure the amount of power you use at home to charge your car.