Oregon State Senate Mulls Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Tax
January 4, 2013 10:00 AM
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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.
Southern California Public Radio
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1/4/2013 12:57:27 PM
Just raise the gas tax. All the mechanisms are already there to do that. Adding a new tax, just creates more bureaucracy. I don't think anyone on either side of the political spectrum thinks that is a good idea. This reminds me of the FAA trying to push a airport usage tax, instead of just raising the tax on fuel. Why create a new mechanism, when the old one works just fine.
RE: More bureaucracy!
1/4/2013 8:10:53 PM
It reminds me of a proposal to start charging pedestrians who want to walk on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Let's say it's 50 cents. Seems reasonable, gets them a bit of money to put in the suicide netting that some people seem to want.
But how much money do you spend collecting that 50 cents? You need a method of collection and enforcement and review...and suddenly you need another 30 or 40 cents. It just doesn't make sense.
Adding a means to record car mileage and then bill for it is a substantial undertaking and will cost a lot. An average driver (work with me here!) may do 12,000 miles in a year. a 30mpg car therefore needs 400 gallons of gas. A prius driver @60mpg would need 200 gallons of gas. The pure EV driver uses 0 gallons of gas. Ignoring any of the real benefits to the state of lower gas consumption, Oregon is losing 12 cents per gallon. So for the Prius, this is 24$. For the EV, this is $48. How much will it cost to collect this $24?
Far easier just to increase the gas tax, or the registration fee based on the gross vehicle weight limit (can have a special fee schedule for EVs) As others have noted, the EVs tend to be lower weight and the impact on the roads increase exponentially with weight. The large SUVs and the commercial trucks cause a lot more wear. The EVs just impact the traffic flow.
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