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Georgia wants EV owners to pay for saving the planet [Engadget]

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by RAW84, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. RAW84

    RAW84 Member

    Oct 6, 2014
    Georgia wants EV owners to pay for saving the planet

    Climate change is still a real, looming threat, so you'd think that getting people using electric cars would be a vital project to safeguard the future. Unfortunately, the state of Georgia is so broke that it's not only pulling its electric vehicle subsidies, it's going to kick would-be planet savers while they're down. Vice News details how the state is about to axe its $5,000 tax credit and, even better, add a $200 a year electric vehicle tax to recoup the drop in gasoline tax revenues.

    The cuts have come in response to a $1 billion hole in the state's budget which will be used to restore its crumbling infrastructure. Critics of the tax break have always claimed that the move was simply a way to give "free cars to Atlanta yuppies." Don Francis, director of Clean Cities Georgia, has told Vice that he's hoping to prove that the move does more harm to the state than good, since the bulk of gas revenue goes to states like Louisiana and Texas.

    Subsidies must end eventually. I get that. EV's should be contributing to road maintenance. I get that too.

    But this is punitive. Effectively double taxing and over taxing EV owners. Asinine.

    Given that road maintenance is often funded through a gas tax this does present an interesting policy issue as EV popularity increases.
  2. LazMan

    LazMan Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    Looks like a job for a carbon tax. Maybe Georgia will lead the way. Maybe I'll get elected President of the Universe.
  3. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Jul 23, 2013
    San Diego
    #3 liuping, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
    I have no problem with helping pay for road maintenance, but there I two issue with fix "road use" taxes on EVs.

    1) Fixed rates mean in many cases the EV owners are paying more than gas cars do via gas tax. Since Gas tax in Georgia is $0.265 per gallon, $200 is the same as a 40 MPG car driving 30,188 miles a year. If you drive less than that, which is very likely, they are effectively penalizing you for driving an EV.

    2) Gas tax does not actually go to road maintenance in most states (definitely not here in California), so paying it not actually helping with our share of the roads, just the general budget, which, in many states, we are already paying more to due to higher sales tax and annual registration fees/property taxes.
  4. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

    Feb 13, 2015
    It's basically been stated, but I'll reiterate:

    Infrastructure funding should not be associated with "fuel" purchase. It should be a fixed tax based on the number of vehicles you own, and their specific efficiency. There could be some wriggle room based on number of vehicles, and people of driving age per household. Of course, people are going to take issue with the fact that mileage doesn't play a part in the tax...well, you can't account for everything. Simply offset your mileage by purchasing cleaner vehicles.
  5. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Ell Zee One, when the twins alit.

    Mar 19, 2014
    Houston TX
    Model S may be heavier than a hydrocarbon car... but then, electron emissions cannot degrade asphalt, and oily emissions can.
    Phase in an "EV Road Maintenance Tax" as more EVs appear on the road. No faster. And absolutely, positively no higher than what gasomobiles pay.
  6. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

    Jul 1, 2012
    Camas, WA
    We pay $100/year here in WA (enacted last year). Honestly, I really don't mind. Since fuel tax is the only tax right now for roads and we're not paying any, I should pay *something* right?
  7. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Active Member

    Jul 24, 2013
    Marietta, GA
    $100/year isn't bad. I'll be paying $200/year for probably 12,000-15,000 miles/year on our future Model X, but an additional $200/year for the LEAF which will only get driven about 5,000 miles per year. $0.04 per mile in taxes will be more than I pay for the electricity ...
  8. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

    Jan 23, 2013
    Sonoma, California
    I have no problem paying for road maintenance for the roads that I drive on, the problem in California is that even though we have some of the highest gas tax for road maintenance that money goes into the general fund and is not being used for road maintenance. If they came up with a fund that could only be used for road repair and allocated monies based on miles driven I would be happy to contribute.
  9. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Oct 7, 2011
    Portland, Maine, USA
    The advantage of a gas tax is that it is roughly proportional to road usage (more miles=more tax) and road degradation (heavier vehicle=worse MPG=more tax). It also allows states to collect taxes from visitors: tourists visiting Maine buy gasoline, which helps fund the road maintenance. A state registration tax doesn't accomplish any of these goals.

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