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New Hawaii EV Tax Being Proposed in Legislature - SB2324

Discussion in 'Hawaii' started by gmtom1, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. gmtom1

    gmtom1 Member

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    Just saw this today in the PBN - SB2321 just passed Ways & Means Committee and proposes to implement a $60/year fee to EV owners to replace the lost tax income because we don't pay fuel taxes.

    The Tax Foundation of Hawaii submitted commentary testimony but did not take a position on the bill.

    Although I agree in concept that an EV should be responsible for paying for the maintenance of the highways and roads same as a ICE, I can't say I like the idea.
     
  2. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    In California we have some of the worst roads in the country, so we know that the systems they are using via the gas tax allows many entities to grab that money for other purposes. I do not mind paying my fair share to keep the roads I drive on in good repair, but the current system does not work. As there are more fuel efficient vehicle and hybrid and EV's on the road the problem will get worse. I suggest getting rid of the gas tax for road maintenance and charge everyone on a usage basis.
     
  3. nanimac

    nanimac Aloha!

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    I don't like it either or that Senator Dela Cruz who reps my neighborhood voted for it....

    But I do agree that we should pay our fair share for road maintenance. I guess it's not as bad as plug-in Prius or volt owners who will have to pay gas taxes and the EV fee.
     
  4. drees

    drees Active Member

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    Don't know why legislators keep on proposing flat fees, especially on an island like Hawaii.

    Make it a per-mile charge (adjust for gross vehicle weight since heavier vehicles are harder on the road) and pay the fee with your annual license/registration fee noting your odometer.
     
  5. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Not a bad idea, but when it is written it needs to have an iron clad clause that all the money must be spent on road maintenance.
     
  6. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    +1000
     
  7. WeazL

    WeazL Moderator - Hawaii

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    I am NOT in support of this or proposed changes above. Don't forget that a good portion of our registration fees already get tagged for repair and maintenance. We have seen our registration costs skyrocket over the last decade (140%), yet due to mismanagement of funds, our roads suffered and were not maintained accordingly as we trusted our elected officials to do so. So why give in to this?

    A very interesting read here, written by a Civil Engineering Professor at UH:

    Fix Oahu!: Honolulu Vehicle Registrations -- Taken for a Ride
     
  8. StephenM

    StephenM Active Member

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    The author of that article plays a big part (or at least he did) of running the local auto cross. Great guy. Panos was also a staunch opponent of the rail program. His article does a good job of pointing out the huge increases in the cost of registrations. What I want to know is where all of this money is going if not to actually maintain/repair the roads.
     
  9. spleen

    spleen Active Member

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    Probably keeps getting raided to balance the budget (snort).

    Though I don't have any philosophical problems with having some sort of EV fee to balance out the gas taxes that we don't pay. Just need to figure out a fair way to do it and to make sure the money actually goes where it's supposed to.
     
  10. nanimac

    nanimac Aloha!

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    #10 nanimac, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
    Latest status...unfortunately moving along...unless House kills it...

    [TR="bgcolor: #F0F0F0"][/TR]
    3/4/2014SReport adopted; Passed Third Reading, as amended (SD 2). Ayes, 23; Aye(s) with reservations: none . Noes, 2 (Senator(s) Ruderman, Slom). Excused, 0 (none). Transmitted to House.
    3/4/2014HReceived from Senate (Sen. Com. No. 159) in amended form (SD 2).
    [TR="bgcolor: #F0F0F0"][/TR]
    3/6/2014HPass First Reading
     
  11. nanimac

    nanimac Aloha!

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    URGENT! Another chance to testify on this bill...there's a hearing on Wednesday (3/12) so testimony has to be in by tomorrow (3/11) @ 10:30am.

    Here's the link:

    Measure Status
     
  12. drtko147

    drtko147 Member

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    Thanks for the update. I submitted testimony against this bill.
     
  13. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    Me too, thanks for the reminder. I struggled to define a reasonable argument against it. And then I remembered that since other new vehicles weigh about the same as a MS, we don't cause any more wear on the road than many others. However, because of the price of our MS, we pay an enormous amount in Excise tax compared to equally size/weight new cars. So, my argument was simply that by paying 5 times more in Excise taxes than the average new vehicle purchased ($15-18,000) we have already paid a EV user fee for more 15 years. I submitted that the SB2324 should be amended to read: EVs that cost more than $50,000 should be exempted from the EV user fee since the excessive Excise tax has already offset EV user fee contribution.
     
  14. dsmith2189

    dsmith2189 Active Member

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    another point to that argument is that the vehicle batteries (which is the bulk of the weight and a substantial part of the price) are already being taxed. In an ICE vehicle the tax is paid incrementally at the fuel pump and lower weight in the calculation of excise tax, but with an EV the tax is being included in the sales tax and annual excise tax computed with the extra weight of the batteries.
     
  15. solar powered

    solar powered Member

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    Akikiki, dsmith:
    Perhaps we could try to explain to our legislators this way-- one taxes behavior that you wish to discourage (cigarettes, alcohol) & you give credits for behavior you wish to encourage (photovoltaics, charities) or subsidize things that benefit us all (mass transit). EV owners are already paying a huge price penalty for being on the cutting edge to protect the environment. ICE drivers are also paying less taxes due to higher MPG vehicles. Yes, we need taxes to pay for road maintenance, so tax all vehicles more rather than just EVs. ICE vehicle gas taxes that are in addition to any road maintenance flat tax is just a sin tax for polluting the environment. Do you think that this argument would fly?
     
  16. drtko147

    drtko147 Member

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    I like this argument. That is what my argument was.
     
  17. nanimac

    nanimac Aloha!

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    UPDATE:

    The committees on TRN recommend that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 8 Ayes: Representative(s) Yamane, Takayama, Aquino, Ichiyama, Ing, Nakashima, Takumi, Yamashita; Ayes with reservations: none; 1 Noes: Representative(s) Fukumoto; and 1 Excused: Representative(s) Har.

    Look at the amendment though...

    SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.
     
  18. StephenM

    StephenM Active Member

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    July 1st, 2050?? That sounds good to me, lol!
     
  19. gmtom1

    gmtom1 Member

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    Shhh - don't talk too loud and maybe they won't notice. :wink: Another shining example of the competence of our elected officials.
     
  20. solar powered

    solar powered Member

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    drtko:
    Good. The legislators have to think that what they are doing is based on fairness.
    Then we hit them with the clincher: $100/EV x 1,500 EVs = $150,000, but $10/motor vehicle x 800,000 or 900,000 total motor vehicles = $8-9 million! That will go a lot further in funding road maintenance.
     

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