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Print 71 comment(s) - last by ebakke.. on Jan 8 at 12:32 PM

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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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.


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson














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