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Nissan Leaf
Washington is looking to recoup lost revenue from EV drivers

Owners of electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf (100-mile driving range) and the Tesla Roadster (211-mile driving range) have the advantage of traveling on America's roads without having to spend a penny on gasoline. And even though the Chevrolet Volt uses a gasoline engine when its battery pack is exhausted, some drivers have managed to average 1,000 miles between gas stops.

The State of Washington, however, isn't too keen on EV drivers skirting the state's gas tax, which helps to maintain the roads that EV drivers travel on every day. According to the Associated Press, Washington has a $5 billion dollar deficit, and hitting the pockets of EV owners is just one way to help close the gap. 

Washington's gas excise tax is one of the highest in the nation at 49.4 cents per gallon [PDF] -- 31 cents of the total is from the state, while the federal tax is 18.4 cents. Assuming that the average driver travels about 12,000 miles per year, a Nissan Leaf driver (EPA rated 99 mpg) would only be skipping out on $38 of the state's portion of gasoline excise tax. For a Chevrolet Volt driver (EPA rated 93 mpg on battery power), the tax revenue lost by the state would amount to $40.

Washington's proposed EV fee, however, would amount to $100 per year.

"Electric vehicles put just as much wear and tear on our roads as gas vehicles,” explained the bill's sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen. "This simply ensures that they contribute their fair share to the upkeep of our roads." 

"So the question is how do you account for those trends and begin to capture revenue that reflects the actual usage of the road?" said Republican state senator Dan Swecker. "Our state doesn't change very fast. But we thought the $100 fee was a place to start, so let's start there." 

Not surprisingly, EV owners aren't exactly thrilled with this proposed legislation. "The Legislature saw electric vehicles are coming and thought, why not just put a fee on them," quipped Dean West, a Nissan Leaf driver.

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By krazyderek on 4/25/2011 7:23:54 PM , Rating: 5
I don't smoke, but maybe i should pay a non-smoking fee too cause the government is losing out on the tax i would pay there too.

A flat rate fee being introduced at $100 per year sounds cheap, but i could easily see it getting jacked up the more people drive EV's. Plus it does nothing for balancing the scales, one person could drive 50,000 a year (with lots of charging), and grandma down the road could drive 2,500 a year, shouldn't the person driving more pay more? Where the hell did $100 come from?

A MUCH better idea would be for gorvernments to EMBRACE EV's and setup carging stations that charge road tax on top of the electrical rate + charging station rate.
Build good "fast charge" stations at regular intervals around, with some solar panels and small wind turbine's on the roof so they do the whole green thing.
Provide incentives for parking garages to install them and join the program, make it park of the building code and property tax for new commercial buildings.

RE: Rediculous!
By icrf on 4/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Rediculous!
By DigitalFreak on 4/25/2011 8:25:11 PM , Rating: 3
Wrong. Farmers buy dyed diesel, which isn't taxed. It's illegal to use it in vehicles that travel public roads.

RE: Rediculous!
By krazyderek on 4/26/2011 7:40:11 AM , Rating: 2
I realize that we're talking about Washington, but in Canada, with public health care funded by the government the taxes that people pay on their cigarettes eventually ends up paying for their hospital bed they die on from lung cancer. Many other countries have public health care, it's baffling that the US still doesn't. (yet another human right with held due to profit motives)

I'm not really sure what privacy information would be compromised if you paid "road tax" based on your actual vehicle mileage. My Toyota dealer checks my mileage every time i take'r in for an oil change, it would be perfectly logical to provide mileage information when i renew my car's registration, granted there'd be a lag in collecting the taxes but it's the same way with income tax's.

RE: Rediculous!
By Spuke on 4/26/2011 12:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
yet another human right with held due to profit motives
It's not a right in the US to have public healthcare. Actually, I'm not totally against it and most Americans aren't either. What we have a problem with is handing it over to our government when they have CLEARLY demonstrated that they cannot run it efficiently nor effectively (Medicare/Medicaid, social security, welfare, etc.). There are millions of Americans with good healthcare now. We don't want that f#$ked up with a government run system just so we can SAY we have public healthcare!!!! Something like that MUST be run right!! Misery does NOT love company in this case.

RE: Rediculous!
By JediJeb on 4/26/2011 4:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
Many other countries have public health care, it's baffling that the US still doesn't. (yet another human right with held due to profit motives)

My question is since when is something that you get by another person working a "human right"?

Free Speech is a human right, it does not require anyone else to do work for you to have it.

Freedom of Religion is a human right, it does not require anyone else to do work for you to have it.

Privacy is a human right and it also does not require anyone else to work to provide it for you.

Though someone may have to enforce laws to punish those who would try to take away a person's human rights, nobody but yourself should ever have to work to provide you with human rights.

Therefore free health care is not a "human right" because it requires others to work to provide it for you. You do have a right to access health care if you are willing to pay for it, just as you have the right to have electricity if you pay for it, running water if you pay for it, internet and telephone and television if you pay for it, clothing and food if you pay for it. You have the right to work to earn these things but why do people think they have the right to be given such things at the expense of others? Honestly if you think any service you receive is "free" then you are sadly mistaken, because somewhere along the line someone has to pay for it.

Do you expect doctors to work as slaves to provide free health care? Or the people who work in the companies making the medical supplies to work for free so that you can have free health care? The only way it can be free is if nobody along the way charges anything for their contribution to your healthcare. Are you willing to work for free in your job that others may have the fruits of your work for free? How do you feel about people who would take what you provide for free, and yet never work to provide anything for anyone else?

I don't think health care should be free, but I do believe there are many things that should be done to make health care affordable for everyone. Get rid of the duplicate, triplicate, and quadruplicate forms that must be filled out and filed just for someone to get an aspirin while in the hospital. Allow doctors to make the decisions on how to treat patients instead of paying committees who never see the patient to do it. Outlaw malpractice law suits, make it criminal instead of civil. If a doctor works with negligence and injures a patient then charge them with criminal penalties, not civil suits for money. This alone would probably cut 30% off the cost of health care by eliminating the need for malpractice insurance. Make all hospitals non profit organizations run by the physicians and staff, that would vastly reduce the overhead cost of needing to produce dividends for stock holders and high salaries for board members. It can be figured out how much to charge to cover the expense of staff and supplies and any left over at the end of the year goes towards upgrading the equipment or expanding the facility. Healthcare used to be affordable before the government stepped in back in the 60s with medicare and medicade, it can be again.

RE: Rediculous!
By Spuke on 4/26/2011 6:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
Great post and great ideas at the end there too!!!!

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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