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Gas taxes replaced by EV taxes -- a new paradigm?

A quote from this article, which also covers this trend across the US for replacing lost revenue from gas taxes:

The new year is only two weeks old, but we already have a candidate for one of the strangest public policy proposals of 2013. Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell has proposed eliminating the state’s 17-cent-per-gallon gas tax, increasing the state’s sales tax to 5.8 percent from 5 percent, and levying a new $100 annual charge on vehicles that run on alternative fuels. Meanwhile, in Washington State, electric vehicle owners are subject to a new law that requires them to pay a $100 annual registration fee. It seems somewhat perverse. [...] But these moves also highlight a new reality.

Also relates to Oregon thread:

Rice guy, that's incorrect. He is proposing eliminating the gas tax on per-gallon gasoline sales. He would then have the general sales tax apply also to gasoline sales and apply that and an overall sales tax increase to roads. So ICE cars are paying a tax we don't in order to pay their share of road costs, even after the gas tax is technically eliminated.

Moot point, right? I think I heard the VA governor's proposal is dead, or radically changed. Is it still alive?

Problem with making it a sales tax is that if gas drops to $1 per gallon - your road funds dry up.
He is probably hedging the fact that gas price slowly goes up and with a 'sales tax' you never need to increase tax. Revenue goes up automatically. Politically safe.

N8tyler, no one has proposed 10 cents per mile in Oregon. Lets not overstate. The maximum that has been discussed is 1.5 cents per mile for EV's and hybrids, less a credit for any gas tax actually paid (for hybrids). And that is still a blank in the legislation, subject to downward negotiation before passing. It may however, be the camel's nose under the tent...

I think a per mile tax system is overly intrusive and unmanageable, although that is how commercial trucks are taxed. I would much prefer an annual fee, although some would argue that is unfair to people who drive only 5,000 miles compared to those who drive 30,000. I would have no problem with a flat fee in the $100-$500 range, although, honestly, must admit that the value of roads to the individual is more than that.

The gas tax has always been a crude instrument for road funding. Variances in auto weights,
MPG, etc. means inconsistent taxation. I'd be in favor of some flat per vehicle fee offset by more
direct usage taxes. I.e. tolls. But if you are going to have an EV fee, abolish the gas tax entirely
and move to a flat fee as part of all vehicle registration + tolls.

(Hides under a rock).

I think a per-mile system wouldn't be hard -- when you renew your tag, you give your odometer reading and the next year is based on how much you drove last year. Sure, you can cheat, but eventually you will get caught and if you make the punishment enough it won't be a problem.

Hsadler, and the problem with per-gallon taxes is that due to more efficient vehicles, total gasoline gallonage sales volume is down, and so the taxes have been evaporating, even though the total amount that people pay for gasoline is way up.

The "correct" answer is to charge everyone for actual road use, proportionately, both ICE and EV alike. The problem is that some of the proposed solutions are very big-bother-like, including monitoring and reporting systems. Truckers already deal with this, but it would be a new life hassle for the rest of us. Unfortunately, the Model S is internet-connected and more ready to be watched than any other vehicle.

Per mile may work, but...

I lived in Maryland (before Calif) and lived near the edge of D.C.
I worked in D.C. - drove there (more miles in D.C. than Md). Occasionally had to go to Virginia.
Over 90% of my miles were out of Md.
How would I pay my fair share of road taxes?

- This happens to be a big problem in that area - especially with state income taxes. Many people work in D.C. but pay no tax there.

@hsadler - either you assume that it balances out from other people, or nearby states have a road fund sharing system.

Yes nnt we are discussing exactly that in this thread. Would you like to add somrthing substantive or perhaps even an opinion of your own?

goneskiian, Please don't feed the invisible troll.

Nick-that-is-not-Nick is back!


Paragraph 1 + 2 + 10. Why didn't you just cut and paste the entire article?

So darn sad! Go away troll!

I love this entire debate. For years politicians in my state of California have raided the gas tax fund. They throw it into the general fund where they claim that is just too hard to track, what a hoot! The result is that very little of the money collected has gone to maintain roads.

So now they have this problem. Sacramento with all their cubicle dwellers crunching on numbers all day sees this coming, less and less revenue from the gas tax.

As they try to keep what they have and propose a completely different paradigm of collecting the same money they collect now the press is all over their ridiculous sounding invasive proposals.

It is one thing to get it at the pump but asking people to write a check goes in a different box in peoples mind and they start asking hard questions.

I guarantee that our politicians are working hard at finding a way to wrap it up in some other service such as the electric company.

This is all good in that we can have the debate in the open.

I posted this a long time ago when it was actually recent news and always try to provide all original links so the source is clear (actually also tried the quote tag here but it didn't work). I noticed the NNT entity often posts plagiarized material as his own with no source info, an obvious choice to flag.

quote, blockquote, cite, and several other tags don't work. You have to fake it with italics and spacing, etc.

*something. Stupid iPad typing interface.

Just one thought on the per mile fee many are suggesting: I would think it would be a per lb-mile fee since heavier cars tear up the roads much more/quicker than lighter cars. So, a 6,000 lb vehicle would pay twice the per mile fee as a 3,000 lb vehicle. Obviously, the weight ratio could be adjusted or some tier system could be developed to simplify the calculation (instead of needing exact weight of every vehicle).

The whole issue is stupid - but there again most politicians are VERY stupid. While the VA governor is at it he should tax public transit, bicycles and fine carpools to further support polluters - what a dumb dumb!!!

Simple Solution: Not enough tax revenue, no problem... Pick the one that fits your political orientation Right/Left...

Slightly increase gas tax - encourages less oil consumption to enrich our enemies/encourages more conservation and cleaner transportation.

Make mileage tax unconstitutional - It is a 'big brother' type infringement on our privacy/discourages the adoption of EV's and difficult to administer.

Ban EV surcharges till 20% adoption rate - Will restrict the revenues of a already overreaching and invasive government/will help establish EVs as common and reduce carbon emissions.

Ban the purchase of non PHEV or BEV cars or any car built outside North America (45% or more foreign parts) by governments, public agencies and taxpayer funded contract activity - Supports american jobs and manufacturing of advanced products by american companies and cuts the operating costs of government fleets/really makes the US a leader in combating climate change

FLsportscar... Fascist much? Thinking people think before speaking/writing. The internal inconsistencies in your post are breathtaking. and the language - lets see: "stupid dumb dumb ban ban" and then you decry invasive government.

PD -

Let's keep it civil. I don't see FLsportscar engaging in ad hominem.

Well in my experience in working closely with politicians on both sides of the aisle they are for the most part VERY stupid - most are only good at blowing hot air and twisting legislation for their own gain - many can not understand basic economics, read maps or grasp the most simple technical or scientific concepts. I have an equally dim opinion of most lawyers - well most politicians are lawyers - maybe that is part of the problem... ***Note I said most, not all***

Banning of certain forms of governmental action is important part of protecting democracy - our constitution bans the establishment of a state religion, poll taxes and unpaid servitude. New Hampshire prohibits the collection of sales and income tax... Live free or die! I love NH!

The posting gives reasons why people on both sides of the political divide would support the various pro EV measures proposed. It is considerate to those who think differently but support the same noble idea.

Fascist? Not to much... read it carefully and consider.

FLsports, I thought you were eloquent.

Thank you Mel.

It is sometimes good even for a moderate to present radical new ideas, providing you present them in a thoughtful way.

EV's and Tesla is something all thoughtful and well intentioned people can get behind. So hopefully thoughtful people here of any political stripe can be inspired to help smooth the path. We see from the GM EV1 experience that there are many out there who would like to see EV's fail, EV's and Tesla is a major part of making a brighter future for not only the US but us all...

My hat is off to people that are different than me in thinking or practice that do good things...

The pragmatic tree huggers who helped put in EV incentives, thank you, you make a real positive difference and are true to your principles, your foresight makes a better world a possiblity...

The early investors and buyers who helped Tesla get this far, thank you for taking the financial risk and having patience that brought about this fantastic product, may you reap just rewards...

Well, the update on Virginia law is that the Governor's proposal was rejected but modified and the final plan eliminates the gas sales tax but adds a wholesale gas tax ,not paid at the pump. The alternative fuel vehicle $100 annual fee stuck and now everyone is up in arms because it includes hybrid vehicles. I wonder where these folks were before the bill was voted on.

The law also includes the aforementioned increase in the state sales tax, and a few other modifications which ultimately result in an overall tax increase, particularly in Northern VA. Our Republican dominated state government has been careful to avoid the "tax increase" language though. Overall I'm OK with this although a little disappointed myself in the hybrid inclusion as I own a Plug in Prius. Just more incentive to go ahead and plan on Gen III car to replace it.

de minimus roughly translated from latin means "the camel has its nose inside the tent flap".

No, it's "de minimis". From Latin, de + minimis, ablative of minimus ("smallest, least")

I got the joke David ;)

Got caught before delivery when the taxocrats in Washington State quickly and quietly slipped in a $100 annual "Road Use Fee." But still several thousand ahead of them by taking delivery before the nearly 10% sales tax exemption expires!

I'm interested in hearing arguments on the efficacy of replacing the gas tax for highway infrastructure with a tax on tires. Isn't that the most most common attribute of all vehicles? Is that not the best way to measure actual road use?

@Aticus, you mean beyond some state-mandated per-unit tire disposal fees (e.g. in California)? Your proposal if additional fixed amount per-unit weights against higher performance tires with more frequent replacement. Some might argue that may be a good thing as people buying higher vs lower performance tires "opted in" for the extra cost, but it doesn't scale directly with mileage use of roads unless normalized somehow. It may more closely scale with gross amount of rubber compounds deposited on roads and in atmosphere but even that is dependent on tire design and presumably not what the other tax measures are trying to address. (Personally I moved up into the mountains and cleaner air after seeing the amount of rubber dust deposited on my window sills when living near highly trafficked roads).

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