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WA Senate passes $100 annual electric car fee

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by ahimberg, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. ahimberg

    ahimberg Member

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    WA Senate passes $100 annual electric car fee - seattlepi.com

     
  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  3. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #3 ChadS, Feb 14, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
    Plug In America and Seattle Electric Vehicle Association testified against this last year; I guess we get to do so again.

    Here is an excerpt from a message I just sent to a House representative on the subject (just representing myself):

    It is true that EV drivers don’t currently pay a road tax. No EV driver that I know is trying to avoid that; in fact the Seattle EV Association has issued a proclamation saying they are willing to pay road taxes, and they have even proposed a voluntary system. So I am not opposed to that part of the spirit of the bill.

    But the implementation of the bill is problematic in so many ways:

    1. EVs that this will apply to are very few. It may well cost as much to administer this bill as the state will receive in revenues.
    2. This bill ONLY applies to EVs. It doesn’t apply to anything else that is lowering gas tax revenues—biodiesel, hydrogen, CNG, LNG, hybrids, plug-in electric hybrids, light-weight efficient gas vehicles, bicycles, a poor economy, etc. In addition to the focus on EVs being curious, it seems like a single solution that addresses the whole problem would be much preferred to a patchwork of little laws for each case.
    3. A flat tax on EVs doesn’t make any more sense than a flat tax on gas cars. Road wear is caused by miles and weight, so tax that rather than the powertrain. A flat tax is unfair to those who have conversions with very low range (currently a majority of EVs in the state!), those with multiple cars that drive them infrequently, and those that work hard to live close, combine and avoid trips to avoid congestion. Part of the purpose of the gas tax is to encourage fewer miles, but a flat tax favors those who put on more miles.
    4. The rate is too high. Battery-only EVs have more limited range than gas cars; so almost all are purchased by multi-car households. The electric cars are taken for short trips, and the gas cars are taken for long trips. So these households still pay gas taxes for the long trips. The most-often replaced gas car is...a Toyota Prius. The gas taxes on a typical Prius are under $100 a year; and in the spirit of the gas tax, those with more efficient cars should be rewarded with lower taxes, not taxed more.
    5. Washington has cheap, clean electricity; so there is a huge economic advantage to having our citizens purchase EVs and buy local fuel instead of foreign oil. It also does a great deal for our air quality. But EVs are currently more expensive than gas cars, and consumers are reluctant to try expensive new technology, so Washington has laws on the books to encourage this, including a sales tax waiver. This new tax will work against existing laws.
     
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    wtf?? This is ridiculously stupid. Would be more fair to eliminate the gas tax and charge everyone that $100 registration fee.

    But if they're really hurting for road funds, how about they raise the gas tax and further incentivize efficient driving (or not driving at all).
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Last Friday I was talking to the President of AAA (buddy of mine) and he predicted that sooner or later lawmakers will start looking for ways to tax EV's; I told him I thought that was some way off.....:redface:

    P.S. Good news AAA is looking to expand their EV breakdown services to more States. They're experimenting with different charging options to give EV's a boost if the battery runs dry. No more info than that.
     
  6. drees

    drees Active Member

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    #6 drees, Feb 14, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
    So.... WA has an EV incentive - you don't have to pay sales tax of 6.5%.

    But you have to pay another $100/year registration.

    Overall it's a net win for EVs, but WTF?

    Let's say you drive an average of 12,000 miles a year. Let's look at 2 scenarios, 25 mpg car (average sedan) and 50 mpg car (Prius) so either 480 gallons/year or 240 gallons/year.

    WA collects $0.375 for each gallon of gas, so depending on what car you drive, that's $90-$180 / year.

    So at best you're paying a rate comparable to a Prius - but I'd bet that the typical EV is used less than 12k miles/year.

    Flat rate is absolutely the wrong way to do it.

    Correct way is to charge base per mile and vehicle weight. Heavier vehicles should pay for their fair share of road wear which the current gas tax does not account for. Simply report the annual miles you drive with your registration - enforce it by performing random spot checks on odometer readings to discourage cheaters.

    Oh wait - that'd make too much sense.
     
  7. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    They do. They are planning expansion to more States.
     
  8. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Innovations like this will lead me to join AAA again.
     
  9. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Maybe they should pass a law requiring EV owners to burn plastic in their backyard to compensate for the lack of emissions?
     
  10. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Heh. Funny.

    Anyway, here in NY the annual/biannual registration fee is based on vehicle weight, as a vague way of charging based on road damage. Does Washington State do that yet?
     
  11. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    Awesome.
     
  12. sprediletto

    sprediletto Member

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    The State of Georgia gets $2,000 a year from me for the privilege to drive on our horrible roads. The Ad Valorem tax punishes EV owners due to the high valuation of the automobiles (40% of appraised value multiplied by .4444 mil rate).
     
  13. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    What they should do is put the tax on tires which is based on wear with a caveat that a 15,000 tire should have a lower tax rate than a 50,000 mile tire.
    If the roads were in better conditions, I would have no issue paying a higher rate of taxes, but in NJ, the roads are terrible (I don't know where the gas tax money goes)
     
  14. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    #14 ElSupreme, Feb 15, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
    I can't remember where I read this but some South American country (I think Argentina) has a tax on tires. And apparently everyone there runs around on rock hard, non-sticky 100,000 mile tires. Your idea to tax tires in relation to their wear numbers will just encourage tire manufacturers to drop their wear life ratings. It is a good idea but it encourages high wear tires, versus high performance tires. I like my super sticky tires, they are safer. You also get an added bonus of being able to tax weight, as tires are also weight rated.
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    A lot of states have annual inspections. Couldn't they just tax based on a combination of weight and mileage? I guess they'd lose some money on the people who move out of state between inspections.
     
  16. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    You have to get emmisions checked in Georgia if your car is over 3 years but younger than 35 years old. But EVs are exempt. I think a miles*weight tax per year will be the general solution when EVs start eroding fuel taxes. But that won't be until EVs are about 2-5% of the fleet.
     
  17. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    We don't get emissions tested in Texas but have an annual 'safety' inspection. I would think that a weight and mileage formula might be a good idea for all cars.
    Whatever the solution, the US needs to find a sustainable way to fund infrastructure and not leave it to a patchwork of dysfunctional state systems. Of course states will still need to raise money for state roads.
     
  18. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    In New Jersey EVs are exempt from inspections. There is another way besides flat tax, mileage and tires to tax EVs.
    The other way is to put a "road tax" based on energy usage for every house- kind of a wacky way to do it, but when every car is electric in the state, they may have to do it like that.
    If you have a solar system or wind system, you pay less taxes :)
    I think the gassers and people who are not energy efficient and have the huge houses would be screaming bloody murder about this.

    I wouldn't have an issue with road taxes, except all the roads I drive are pothole city. I don't understand how they can blow that much money in a year and have very little to show for it.
     
  19. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    It's called misappropriation Dan. :(
     
  20. frequencydip

    frequencydip Sig 100 - #52

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    The tire tax seams like a good idea but it would also penalize those of us who take our cars to the track, 1 track day does about 1000 miles of wear to your tires. Gasoline at race tracks for race cars is not taxed, how would we protect the auto-sports industry?
     

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