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Oregon drivers getting at least 55 MPG may have to pay a driving tax

Everyone who drives a gasoline or diesel powered vehicle on the streets in the United States pays taxes that go towards keeping the roads around the country and within your local community in good condition. We pay these taxes at the pump when we buy fuel.
 
However, one of the side effects to the Obama administration's push to get Americans to buy more fuel-efficient electric or hybrid vehicles is that the amount of money raised in fuel taxes by states is decreasing. The Oregon state legislature is reportedly considering a bill that would require drivers of vehicles getting at least 55 mpg to pay a tax on each mile driven after 2015.
 
The bill would also give drivers the option of paying a flat tax amount annually. Currently, taxes on fuel within the state of Oregon are 30 cents per gallon.

“Everybody uses the road and if some pay and some don’t then that’s an unfair situation that’s got to be resolved,” said Jim Whitty, manager of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding.

Oregon isn't the only state considering charging drivers of fuel-efficient vehicles attacks on the miles they drive; Nevada and Washington are also looking at per mile charges. Drivers of electric vehicles in Washington will begin paying an annual fee in March.

Automotive manufacturers and dealers see this proposed per mile tax as a significant hindrance to the mass adoption of hybrid and fully-electric vehicles.

Sources: Statesman Journal, Southern California Public Radio



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Dolts
By Motoman on 1/4/2013 10:20:04 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Automotive manufacturers and dealers who sell fuel-efficient hybrid electric vehicles see this proposed per mile tax as a significant hindrance to the mass adoption of hybrid and fully-electric vehicles.


You know what else would be a hindrance to the "mass adoption of hybrid and fully-electric vehicles?" Not having drivable roads anymore.




RE: Dolts
By othercents on 1/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: Dolts
By Stuka on 1/4/2013 10:54:44 AM , Rating: 3
The problem with the mileage tax is the tracking system it would require.

Even supposing they reluctantly limit the monitoring to pure mileage, I guarantee the broadening of the system would be nothing more than a penstroke and a firmware upgrade away.

I could see requiring a trip to the emissions center every year when you re-register your vehicle. They would check your odometer, subtract last years total, run it through an algorithm, which accounts for your vehicle specs, and then spits out a road tax that you pay with your registration fee. But they won't do it that way.


RE: Dolts
By othercents on 1/4/2013 11:01:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I could see requiring a trip to the emissions center every year when you re-register your vehicle. They would check your odometer, subtract last years total, run it through an algorithm, which accounts for your vehicle specs, and then spits out a road tax that you pay with your registration fee. But they won't do it that way.

Problem with that is if you traveled through other states, or work in one state while live in another. Then you also have those vehicles going or coming from other countries.

NOTE: Europe has this tax also and each country does it differently. An automated toll system is probably the better way, however in reality a $100 per year tax on all vehicles and removing or lowering the fuel tax is a much easier system.


RE: Dolts
By theapparition on 1/7/2013 9:44:55 AM , Rating: 2
How many childless homeowners pay a percentage of their homes value for the local school system? Or how about for municipal projects that you may not use (library, local rec center, etc).

We already pay set rate taxes for federal or state projects we'll never use in our lifetime.

But if the agenda is to decrease the dependance on gasoline, they should worry less about taxing the 1% who have hybrids/electric and instead increase taxes on the 99% who still use gas.

Once the technology matures, becomes cheaper and more adopted, then they should look at other tax measures.


RE: Dolts
By Samus on 1/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Dolts
By Nortel on 1/4/2013 10:45:59 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, it is a tricky situation. On the one hand you want to promote fuel efficient vehicles to better the environment and allow people to save money on rising fuel prices... With less fuel being consumed however comes less profited from fuel taxes which are applied to road construction/maintenance.

I believe this would be akin to government advertisements urging people to take public transit or car pool to work. Less fuel is consumed in either of these situations, yet you aren't penalized for complying.

If the fuel tax is increased however, it would push even more people to choose fuel efficient vehicles. With the population growing steadily, I believe vehicle increase and fuel-efficiency increase would cancel each other out.


RE: Dolts
By Iaiken on 1/4/2013 10:57:50 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
If the fuel tax is increased however, it would push even more people to choose fuel efficient vehicles. With the population growing steadily, I believe vehicle increase and fuel-efficiency increase would cancel each other out.


While this solution achieves the result of both increasing revenue and promoting higher fuel efficiency, it will be horribly unpopular with the majority of the population for whom efficiency isn't a high priority. Especially in a state like Oregon where most people drive AWD fuel pigs.


RE: Dolts
By Motoman on 1/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Dolts
By Netscorer on 1/4/2013 12:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
Please,

we've seen this argument countless times and it's a total BS. 9 out of 10 truck and large SUV drivers do not use their cars for their specific purposes. I live in a rural farm town and for 10 farms that we have, the rest of the population are just regular commuters and yet, most have truck sitting in their driveway and most women drive in SUVs that are anything but compact.

I'am all for a proposal to just increase fuel tax. It does not have to increase dramatically to cover gaps, so with regular fuel price fluctuations I sincerely doubt most folks even notice it. But the main goal of promoting fuel efficient cars will be achieved, as the calc spreadsheet that everyone does before buying an efficient car will become even more attractive.


RE: Dolts
By Motoman on 1/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Dolts
By JediJeb on 1/4/2013 8:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But artificially attempting to shift the market with BS like tax breaks, subsidized by everyone, doesn't cut it.


How about we just charge people who purchase the subsidized vehicles $7500 in taxes paid to their home state to help upkeep the roads, it isn't like those people haven't gotten an extra $7500 they can spend from the rest of us.


RE: Dolts
By Paj on 1/7/2013 8:47:35 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
People buy the vehicles they buy because those are the vehicles that will do what they want to do.


The effects of design, marketing and advertising campaigns of any given car play a bigger role than utility alone.


RE: Dolts
By ebakke on 1/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: Dolts
By ebakke on 1/4/2013 11:54:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
On the one hand you want to promote fuel efficient vehicles to better the environment and allow people to save money on rising fuel prices...
That isn't on either of my hands. All I can find on one hand or the other is simply, "let individuals decide what is best for themselves."


RE: Dolts
By usingmyonion on 1/4/2013 5:42:50 PM , Rating: 5
A SMART car weight is 1600lbs. A TOYOTA Forerunner weight is 4800lbs. a CADILLAC Escalade weight is 5800lbs. Charge a tax when you plate it, calculated by weight. Heavier vehicles cause more damage than lighter ones


RE: Dolts
By JediJeb on 1/4/2013 8:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
This tax system is used for commercial vehicles, might as well extend it down to lighter ones also. But if everyone goes to the light vehicles to save money, then you again have the same problem. You may do less damage with lighter vehicles but all roads need to be replaced at some time even when used lightly.


RE: Dolts
By Solandri on 1/5/2013 4:35:53 PM , Rating: 3
The cost isn't road maintenance per se. If that were the case, almost the entirety of the tax should be borne by commercial trucks. Cars simply aren't heavy enough to damage most roads, so nearly all the wear and tear comes from trucks. That's why the two rightmost lanes on 3+ lane highways are so worse off. Trucks are prohibited from all but the two rightmost lanes. And despite those lanes being reinforced they wear out much more quickly than the left lanes. (This is also the reason you're not supposed to drive on shoulders - they aren't designed to withstand frequent traffic.)

The cost is having to expand the roads and highways to handle more traffic. So it's relatively agnostic to vehicle type. The Prius takes up nearly as much space in a traffic lane (including safe space in front and back) as a Suburban.


RE: Dolts
By lagomorpha on 1/5/2013 11:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Heavier vehicles cause more damage than lighter ones


To be more specific, the amount of road damage caused by a vehicle is roughly proportional to the CUBE of the axle weight times the number of axles. That means a single 80,000 pound semi causes as much wear as an entire fleet of cars.


RE: Dolts
By Arkive on 1/4/2013 10:53:23 AM , Rating: 2

This isn't a valid point in my opinion. Fuel efficient vehicles have been ramping up forever and Obama's push several years back should have been the trigger pull for a reaction like this - not now that the vehicles (some of which cost more than less efficient versions) have been purchased. It's a completely dick move to sit idely by while consumers purchase these vehicles and THEN say, "Oh by the way, all that money you're saving with your new vehicle will actually still be going into our pockets."


RE: Dolts
By Motoman on 1/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Dolts
By futrtrubl on 1/4/2013 12:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
It's a dick move to change the rules of the game once you have bought in is what he is saying.


RE: Dolts
By Motoman on 1/4/2013 12:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
...so if a mistake is made (loophole for EV drivers to not pay road taxes) you never get to correct the mistake?


RE: Dolts
By JediJeb on 1/4/2013 8:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
Not completely true, there are excise taxes on tires which even EVs must pay.


RE: Dolts
By acer905 on 1/4/2013 12:26:18 PM , Rating: 4
Personally, I am a proponent of the idea to eliminate every tax law in effect today and replace it with 25% tax on ANY and ALL purchases. No stupid income tax/returns, no tax credits, no ridiculous "inheritance" tax, no "Nexus Laws" limiting where you pay what tax. Just one simple tax. That way we can just kill off the IRS, and force the Gov to actually budget things.


RE: Dolts
By Motoman on 1/4/2013 1:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
In general I'm not opposed to vastly simplifying the tax codes...

...but I'll just point out that any true flat-tax system is terribly regressive. The less money you make, the more painful that flat tax is going to be.

Imagine you make $20,000 a year...and you spend that $20,000 every year. You paid $5,000 in taxes. That leaves you only $15,000 to get by on. Which is terrible.

If you make $100,000 a year, and spend it all, you spent $25,000 on taxes - leaving you $75,000 to get by on - which you can do very well with.

If you make $1,000,000 a year, you paid out $250,000, leaving you $750,000 to live the high life on. At which point you probably don't even care anymore.


RE: Dolts
By ebakke on 1/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Dolts
By JediJeb on 1/4/2013 9:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But regardless of how painful it is for anyone, we should all have to bear the burden of government. If it's truly benefiting all of us, it should be paid for by all of us.


I agree completely. Why has it become acceptable that those who benefit less from the government pay more to be given to those who benefit more from the government? Everyone should pay the same percentage in taxes that is the only fair way to tax.

As said above, if someone makes and spends $20,000 they pay $5,000 in taxes leaving them only $15,000 makes it look bad compared to the guy making $2,000,000 and paying only $500,000 in taxes. But when you look at it the other way, one only paid $5,000 in taxes while the other paid 100X more taxes, that makes the person making less money look like he got a bargain.

Another way to think about it is that if the tax rate is flat, and you do away with all of the entitlements(not Social Security since each one has paid into that and receives back proportionally) this now places an incentive on everyone to work to better themselves to have more, not just sit and wait for handouts as so many do who could actually be working.


RE: Dolts
By Paj on 1/7/2013 8:56:21 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Why has it become acceptable that those who benefit less from the government pay more to be given to those who benefit more from the government?


Everyone benefits from the government. Everyone benefits from having schools, ports, roads, police, fire services, power infrastructure, national building codes.

The opposite of these things is anarchy. If you love small government so much, move to Somalia - thats about as small as a government can get.


RE: Dolts
By ebakke on 1/7/2013 4:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you love small government so much, move to Somalia - thats about as small as a government can get.
And here I thought we were having a reasonable discussion between rational adults.


RE: Dolts
By maugrimtr on 1/8/2013 4:59:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Worse, we think it's morally right to put a gun to Bill's head and force him to pay for some (or all) of Bob's portion.


It's an overgeneralizatin since it is actually morally right to help Bob...at least that's what I learned as a Christian. It's a question of scale not moral righteousness.


RE: Dolts
By ebakke on 1/8/2013 12:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
No it isn't an overgeneralization. What I described is exactly what's happening.

I have no problem with charity. But charity at the end of a gun isn't charity; it's theft. If you want to help Bob because your religion tells you to, great. If I want to help Bob because he's my pal, great. If Frank wants to help Bob because Frank's guilty about his own success in life, great. As long as each person is doing so voluntarily. But forcing someone else to help Bob isn't suddenly OK just because a majority of the people want it to happen.


RE: Dolts
By Ringold on 1/5/2013 1:26:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
that any true flat-tax system is terribly regressive.


Not entirely true. The FairTax plan proposed by many distributes a monthly rebate for all sales tax on some minimum standard of living, such that the 'poor', or all people who decide to live modestly, effectively pay tax each day and then get it rebated monthly.. net taxes: zero.

There's been for years a vast propaganda campaign that tries to ignore or fillibuster people that attempt to point that out, but it's in there. I wouldn't be surprised if the distribution of taxes paid didn't change much, but it would have the positive effect of rewarding savings, which the current system we have penalizes heavily.


RE: Dolts
By Motoman on 1/5/2013 9:45:27 AM , Rating: 2
F%ck rebates.

If your intention is to tax poor people less, and rich people more, then just do that.

There is no purpose in the refund/rebate system other than to hope people fall through the cracks and don't get their share back. Just like mail-in rebates on retail goods.

Institute a simple, tiered tax rate system, and fire 99% of everyone who works for the IRS, since all you'd need to process taxes at that point is a couple old Amigas and a monkey who can type.


RE: Dolts
By JediJeb on 1/6/2013 3:08:49 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly!

Our entire tax code should read like this.

"Every individual and corporate entity earning income owes 20% of said income payable at time of receipt of said income."

Wouldn't even take up one page to publish, and as written contains no loopholes. If you want to pay less taxes then make less money. If you want to make more money, you will know exactly how much more you will be paying in taxes. Do away with any pre-tax deductions from paychecks to make it even more simple and you would be able to get rid of most of the overhead in the IRS since you would need very few people to take care of it.



RE: Dolts
By michaelheath on 1/4/2013 10:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
Learn from Europe, maybe?

• Close tax loopholes for oil companies. Put the proceeds towards infrastructure.
• Regulate costs on fuel refineries. A lot of the cost per gallon to the consumer isn't due to cost of delivery.
• Raise taxes on gasoline. Put proceeds towards infrastructure.
• Higher gas prices drives people towards fuel efficient vehicles. Part of the taxation on vehicle purchases goes towards (you guessed it) infrastructure.

The idea is to find a balance that impedes our reliance on fossil fuels - because we consume a ridiculous amount of fossil fuels - and pays for our [expected] lifestyle. (Once people become used to a certain lifestyle, they believe they are forever entitled to it regardless of how untenable it may be to sustain.)


RE: Dolts
By ebakke on 1/4/2013 12:06:38 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Close tax loopholes for oil companies
I'd like you to list the tax loopholes for oil companies please. I'd also like an explanation as to how the rules differ from other industries and how the oil companies are getting special treatment.
quote:
Regulate costs on fuel refineries. A lot of the cost per gallon to the consumer isn't due to cost of delivery.
The largest cost in a gallon of gasoline after the crude is already taxes. http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/2012/03/21/wha...
quote:
Raise taxes on gasoline. Put proceeds towards infrastructure.
We could take the 40% of federal gas taxes not going to bridges/roads and [gasp] spend it on bridges/roads. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/transportation/july...

quote:
The idea is to find a balance that impedes our reliance on fossil fuels
The idea is that central planning doesn't work. Stop trying to drive the market to do one thing or another. All you end up with is a pile of unintended consequences.


RE: Dolts
By Netscorer on 1/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Dolts
By ebakke on 1/4/2013 12:46:26 PM , Rating: 2
No! You don't get to decide what other people need, want, or can purchase. Claiming you can because "you're looking out for us" is just a feeble attempt to disguise the fact that you're a tyrant.

Punishing some behavior and rewarding other behavior should never be the role of government, unless the punishment is due to unjust force. Said differently, unless I'm harming someone, the government has no right to influence my actions.

It totally baffles me that those who try to use the power of governmental force to dictate their way upon others attempt to do claim the moral high ground when doing so. There's nothing moral about taxing the bajeezus out of someone because you don't like what they're doing.


RE: Dolts
By Ringold on 1/5/2013 1:45:37 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
we live in a society and have to first and foremost do what is best for the whole


That's "reformed Marxism", at best, right there.

Which is fine, that seems to be what the people vote for these days. I'd just make the point that that is not what the nation was founded to be; it was founded and intended to be the total opposite.

I wish liberals would just drop the pretense and cut to the chase: a public debate, followed by a referendum on keeping the current constitution, or a new one with more expansive powers for the state. All this sneaking around and death-by-a-thousand-cuts strategy towards the current constitution is just cowardly.

By the way, ask you average Greek how unlimited government ends. Considering a lot of them voted for parties that'd of made it much worse by leaving the Euro, they might not comprehend what went wrong, but they'll be able to tell you it sucks.

Or your average Spaniard, or anyone in France or Italy that looks nervously at bond markets and praying the politicians don't knock over the house of cards.


RE: Dolts
By ritualm on 1/4/2013 2:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Much of what you said sounds good in theory, but counterproductive in practice.


RE: Dolts
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 1/4/2013 4:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
Or, just jack up the gasoline tax. Less Big Brother-y, easier to implement and regulate, and better for the environment and/or national security.


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