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$150 fee applies to many, many vehicles

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by walla2, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. walla2

    walla2 Member

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    Interestingly, since the law now covers EV's and hybrids (the electric only provision was struck out in the updated RCW) with non-gas ranges of 30 miles or more, the $150 now applies to:

    1. Nissan Leaf
    2. Chevy Volt all years
    3. Tesla Roadster
    4. Tesla Model S
    5. Tesla Model X
    6. BMW i3
    7. Chevy Spark
    8. Cadillac ELR
    9. Fisker Karma
    10. Volvo V60
    11. Volkswagen XL1
    12. Audi A3 Etron
    13. BYD's
    14. Zero motorcycles
    15. Brammo motorcycles
    and many more

    This is becoming a larger number of vehicles and a larger number of owners. The good news is perhaps other automakers may ask this to be dialed back in addition to soon to be taxed owners of makes other than Tesla. I think the story will come out next July when these owners find out it applies to them too.
     
  2. walla2

    walla2 Member

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    I would also like to add that this tax is unconstitutional:
    All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only. The word "property" as used herein shall mean and include everything, whether tangible or intangible, subject to ownership.


    The tax is not uniform on cars. It isn't uniform on electricity. It isn't uniform on road use. It isn't uniform to gas.
     
  3. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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  4. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    The current EV tax is a band-aid - a placeholder while they figure it out. Though I suspect no one is actually working on it.

    The only fair way to uniformly tax all road users is by miles and weight/class of vehicle. That is very unlikely to happen anytime soon. However, I don't think it's that hard to come up with a reasonable system. You get a default number of miles per year that you are taxed on, say 12K. If you are under, you can demonstrate it at an emission test facility and receive a lower miles allotment. It could also be checked in several other ways: at vehicle transfer or by police at a traffic stop. Though I suspect they would make everyone go to an emission test facility every 2 years for a mileage check. Interstate travel and transport would need to have special provisions.

    On the uniformity point above, the concept is subject to interpretation. If they levied a flat $150 on all non-commercial vehicles, that would be uniform. Many would consider it unfair but I believe it would pass the uniformity test.

    Finally, I don't understand why people are opposed to supporting our roads. As an EV owner, I don't feel I should get special consideration. I drive my cars over public infrastructure and I want that infrastructure to be in good shape. The fact is, if I owned an ICE similar to a Model S, I know I'd pay less in gas taxes because I drive fewer miles than the average - it works out to about $90 annually. 60 bucks - meh. I have far bigger things to get upset about.
     
  5. walla2

    walla2 Member

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    I will have 4 EVs. My taxes will be $600. I drive about 15000 miles per year resulting in likely the highest road tax per mile driven in the state. Two EVS or more are currently discouraged by state law in one household. Why would the state want to exclude two or more EVs? It's asinine.
     
  6. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    #6 PhilBa, Oct 5, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
    Well, I guess we disagree. I doubt there is a single legislator or state official that has even thought about your situation let alone actively plotted against more than 2 EVs per household. It's unfortunate that you pay a higher effective tax rate per mile but it is your choice to own 4 EVs and have significantly lower utilization per vehicle. Unfair to you? I guess so. But it's also unfair to let EV owners avoid paying for the infrastructure they use. I don't see the state doing anything to change their model until EVs become a much larger percentage of the fleet.

    And by the way, back of the envelope calcs say you are paying $175-$200 too much. That's based on the new gas tax rate that goes into effect next year.

    edit: I did some additional crunching of gas tax numbers and the results are pretty interesting. A Prius class vehicle that gets 40 MPG and is driven 12000 miles in a year will use 300 gallons and pay $229 in state and federal gas tax. A larger car that gets 30 MPG will pay slightly less than $300. That's compared to the $100 fee. When the rates and EV fee go up in 2016, the respective numbers will be $243 and $325. $150 still looks a lot better. I expect the state will slowly raise the EV tax to be more in line with the ICE equivalent.

    Now, an ICE car that weighs the same as the MS will probably get less than 25 MPG. At 15000 miles per year that is more than $500 gas tax. While your effective rate is higher than that, it's not off the charts different.
     
  7. walla2

    walla2 Member

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    I also pay gas tax for gas on top of the EV fees for my gas cars. That's included in the 15000 miles so my effective rate is even higher. Our tax code specifies uniformity. They do not charge different gas rax rates on different vehicles even though different vehicles damage the roads in different ways. Why do you think higher effective rates are valid? I understand a registration fee but this isn't called that at the DOL or in the RCW.

    Also, I never said our legislators are plotting against me. I believe that they are just inept or unaware as you suggested. They aren't planning for the future and aren't promoting it either. We have very clean and cheap power here and should encourage our residents to use it.
     
  8. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I think you are assuming uniform means per gallon of gas purchased. It could just as easily mean per mile driven or per vehicle. Also, by it's nature a gas tax discriminates against lower mileage vehicles so one could even call the gas tax regressive and discriminatory towards lower income citizens that have to drive older, less efficient gas vehicles. While I think a per gallon tax is reasonable thing to do, it's certainly not uniform.



    Not sure how else to interpret your words.
     

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