Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



Utah Legislators Want Extra Tax For Owners Of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles

from the incentive-structure dept

Pickle Monger points us to the news that some Utah legislators are hoping pass new laws to add an extra fee for owners of hybrid and electric vehicles. The complaint is that those people don't spend as much (if anything) on gas, and thus don't pay gas taxes. Of course, they're also not polluting the air quite as much, which was part of the point. The article notes that other states are considering similar taxes and fees on those who buy such cars. It's as if politicians don't recognize how incentives work...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Ccomp5950 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    in Utah the gas taxes are earmarked for road maintenance. I can understand "oh they aren't paying their fair share of taxes on the wear they create on roads." and true, they are not if they have to purchase less gas.

    However like you said there is good reason to incentivize hybrids.

    The question then is, how much more tax should they pay? Should they be charged at the same rate as a fully loaded full size truck would if it purchased fuel for 20,000 miles per year? I would think not, most hybrids are smaller vehicles and create less wear on roads.

    The smart move would be to increase the tax on diesel in the state and let the increase in prices it creates trickle down evenly to customers. Companies will pass on their expenses to customers and it is a lot less hassle then trying to find that demarcation line where hybrids should pay.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    Curious why high mileage vehicles, many of which exceed hybrids, are not covered as well? After all, they also use less "gas". "Gas" is in quotes because I do not equate the term with the gas/ethanol mixtures now being passed off as gasoline.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    magnafides, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re:

    Increase the tax on diesel? That makes about as much sense as taxing hybrids.

    Diesel is already insanely expensive, due to the increased refining cost associated with stricter emissions standards put in place by the government.

    Also, you seem to imply that businesses are the only ones who use diesel in their vehicle which is, to put it nicely, an "uninformed" point of view. When I (an individual) bought my clean diesel vehicle in May 2009, the fuel was 17c CHEAPER than low-grade gasoline, now it's somewhere between mid-grade and premium. Now you think I should be taxed additionally?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re:

    "in Utah the gas taxes are earmarked for road maintenance"

    In many places they are. I would prefer to see these taxes placed on something else besides gasoline, though - both because of the hybrid/EV issue and because of gasoline purchases that don't go into a car (lawnmowers, backup generators, etc). I know you can't put the tax on registration because you want something that reflects vehicular usage. Perhaps on tires? They have to be replaced in proportion to their usage.

    Might stimulate the hovercraft industry as well, which would be a big step towards getting my flying car.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Chicago city stickers could cost more for SUVs, less for hybrids

    Chicago seems to have the right idea. Penalize gas guzzlers, heavier vehicles, incentivize hybrids.

    Owners of gas-burning cars that weigh more than 4,500 pounds -- such as sport-utility vehicles -- would increase $35 to $155, and trucks tipping the scales at more than 16,000 pounds would go up $35 to $455.

    Electric cars, meanwhile, would get city stickers for free as part of the plan. Small hybrids would go down to $25 annually, and larger hybrids would be $65.


    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/04/chicago-city-stickers-could-cost-more -for-suvs-less-for-hybrids.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Chicago city stickers could cost more for SUVs, less for hybrids

    I assume that's their vehicle registration costs? (didn't read the article). That's a lot of money just to register the vehicle in their city! It this happens, I expect a lot of large vehicle owners to start registering in nearby Wisconsin, especially since a lot of them own property up north anyway...

    Their heart is in the right place though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    A Dan (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Obvious

    If they're looking to pay for road maintenance, make the fee based on the weight of the car. That's what really contributes to road wear, so why not charge in direct proportion to the cost of repairs?

    If you want to actually incentivize hybrids, give them a credit on their registration or excise tax or whatever the state or town does.

    Make it all transparent, not hidden, costs. Is that too much to ask?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    jsl4980 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    Gasoline taxes are supposed to go toward road maintenance, they're not a punishment for pollution. That's one of the reasons state governments are looking to tax you on your mileage which will probably be in addition to the gas tax; doubt they'd ever get rid of a tax.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Ccomp5950 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, I do. Diesel is already taxed a penny less in the majority of states than gasoline. If given the choice I would increase the Diesel tax by 2 cents if I absolutely had to have the tax revenue in that manner. I'm not sure how Utah taxes are controlled or if it's just at the whim of the legislature. This wouldn't be passed onto farmers and other groups that pay a lower tax on diesel. Say you go through 80 gallons a month you'd see an increase of a dollar and 60 cents per month. This is probably a good estimate for home users. Where as businesses with fleets of vehicles and 18-wheelers will bear the brunt of the tax burden and will either eat it or pass it onto their customers.

    Admittedly there will be secondary "taxes" beyond the 1.60 you see, in the form of higher cost of goods that need transport being passed onto you but if you think the cost of a value meal at McDonalds per month is too much to pay for road upkeep, you need to quit watching Glen Beck.

    All in all we're both paying somewhere around 50-70 cents per gallon (if you exclude sales tax in your state) on gas and diesel in the form of taxes.

    The other option is increase other taxes. But government services cost money, expect to pay taxes in some form or another.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:25am

    From personal experience, it's not the tire wearing the road down so much as weather/soil changes that destroy the roads. Although really heavy vehicles do compress the soil more to damage the road, but besides that, this smells of someone making a money grab because their kickback was smaller, not an issue of fairness.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Ccomp5950 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re:

    Last time the IRS tried to require a log book on mileage congress told them to shut up, sit on their thumps and spin.

    Now you know why vehicles are so easily deductible on your taxes for business use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Ccomp5950 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    oh the point: I believe state governments will do just as well with their requirements for mileage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Wait, they already offer a tax break if you buy an alternative fueled vehicle, or convert you car to one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    The complaint is that those people don't spend as much (if anything) on gas, and thus don't pay gas taxes.

    Welp, time to save money by trading my hybrid for an SUV.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Squirrel Brains (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Re: Chicago city stickers could cost more for SUVs, less for hybrids

    Let's not forget that Illinois has a 10% tax on gas already. If hybrids start making a serious inroad on that source of revenue, the Illinois legislature will create a new tax faster than you can say, "Will someone please think of the environment?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Matt N, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    So, I live in Utah, and the problems with this are obvious:

    I used to commute to work on a motorbike and I would get 60MPG. Under this sort of standard I should be penalized to the point where my gas costs are the same as every else's because I am not paying my fair share.

    By this standard, also, if I drive a gas-guzzling Maibastu Monstrosity and get 3MPG, I should be give a tax incentive to bring my gas prices DOWN so that I pay the same average as everyone else because at this point I am paying MORE than the median and more than mu fair share.

    This is all, of course, lunacy.

    If they really think that all road users should pay equally there is only one fair way of doing it:

    A) drop the gas tax completely for everyone.
    B) have a sliding scale as to the cost of yearly registration based on miles driven previously. More miles, more cost.

    Now, I am not advocating that either, but to get the effect they want that is really the only fair way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Dave, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    Our biggest problem is most of our lawmakers in Utah are idiots, yet still get elected. Not sure how to fix that. I don't vote for them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Squirrel Brains (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    Or make every road a toll road. Pay when you drive on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    HrilL, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    They should be taxed

    I'm all for less polluting and having incentives for people to get hybrids and EVs but why should they not have to cover the costs of roads. The roads in our country and already some of the worst and these states don't have the extra money to keep them up. If you're driving on the roads then you need to pay for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    So does this mean we have to pay taxes for things that we don't use now? Your Government is taking you for a ride!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    The tax on gasoline is an approximation on usage since the amount of usage is directly tied to how much gasoline is consumed.

    As you say it's not a perfect approximation since higher MPG vehicles use less gasoline. They also generally are lighter than other vehicles so they cause less wear and tear on the roads.

    That said, the proper way to do this is to tax vehicles on the *actual* mileage used. Which conveniently we have in an odometer on the vehicles themselves :) Simply report miles driven, via certified mechanic, and you pay a certain tax on your tax bill. Can even adjust it for type of vehicle since heavy trucks cause more damage.

    The big problem is the gov't is thinking about putting GPS in every car to do this. Completely unnecessary intrusion in to tracking every vehicle on every road at every second. What we need is the miles driven, not a detailed listing of where everybody went.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Now think about this...

    Diesel is an offshoot of making gasoline. Effectively, you're asking people to be taxed for a product cheaply made.

    This doesn't begin to describe the other avenues of taxation that make no sense, such as making biofuel (when does it make sense to turn your food into a car fuel?).

    Just because hybrids are using less gas doesn't mean the money saved (consumer surplus) isn't being used elsewhere. Hybrids are still more expensive than regular cars, and the money from gas goes into higher electricity costs in terms of electric cars. There could be better ways to tax than saying "hybrids should pay more for the same roads" as your argument seems to imply.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    alainb (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Taxing electric and hybrid

    If you try to walk I will tax your feet.... cause I'm the tax man.
    They giveíth away with incentives (tax credits) and takeíth away with taxes.
    When will those idiots disengage from the large corporations that control them. Those idiots are nothing but puppets of Big Oil, and the governments that support the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. The same governments that have killed thousands of our citizens and well as millions of their own people.

    When will those idiots ever learn, and let America once and for all be independent of those murderous corporations and shady kingdoms and dictatorships

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Chicago city stickers could cost more for SUVs, less for hybrids

    Correct, It is for registration/vehicle sticker. The State of Illinois does not have a vehicle/property tax. Simply annual registration. Granted the cost for a passenger car is only $99, and a semi-trailer is a over $2,000.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Rich Fiscus (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    As others have stated, gas taxes are for road maintenance, not pollution. As to the suggestion that gas guzzling vehicles get taxed higher, they already do. They use more gas, resulting in higher taxes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    taoareyou (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    Tax pedestrians and Bicyclists More

    These people are getting free use of our roads! They need to be taxed heavily.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    I support this. Remove all these indirect taxes and just tax people for what they actually use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Ccomp5950 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The "Money is used elsewhere and taxed accordingly" thought never crossed my mind. I soon forget it's a zero sum game, well if you exclude the possibility of it sitting in a savings account for years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    And if I drive mostly on private roads? Or on a race track? Oh wait, gas tax works the same way...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Much Like . . .

    . . . how we pump billions into new fuel sources and yet subsidize gas companies at the same time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Simon, May 4th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re:

    Tires would be a bad idea. Enough people drive with dangerous tires as it is - anything that is likely to encourage this would not be good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Rich Fiscus (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    A motorcycle is completely different. It uses less gas because it's lighter. That also means it puts less wear on the roads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Diesel "Clean" Give it up, May 4th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Diesel Tax

    Actually they should stop subsidizing corn production that creates gasoline price fixing and the non-diesel cost would go up and diesel would again be the cheapest fuel alternative. My VW TDI gets 50 MPG and I drive it 30k miles a year it is the cost of doing business.

    Maybe we need a federal road tax for people with registered vehicles and based on the weight of the vehicle determines the amount you pay plus the number of miles that you drive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Qritiqal (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    how about a tax on telecommuters?

    Don't drive to work at all? WE MUST PUNISH YOU.
    Don't buy enough products (thus paying sales tax)? WE MUST PUNISH YOU.

    Why doesn't the government just take our entire income and then give us each back what it thinks we should be allowed to have?

    BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A (SUPPOSEDLY) FREE COUNTRY.

    Stop communism now. Don't vote Liberal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How much of the annual miles driven in the US comes from driving on private roads or race tracks? I'd bet it's negligible in comparison to the total.

    So what was your point again?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Old Fool (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Isn't the incentive the money and power of the oil companies?

    I'm sure they would be generously inclined towards any who 'helped' them.

    P.S. I'm a very suspicious person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Bad wording on my part:

    "Just because hybrids are using less gas doesn't mean the money saved (consumer surplus) isn't being used elsewhere."

    Should read:

    "Just because hybrids are using less gas, doesn't mean the money saved isn't being TAXED elsewhere [through other goods]."

    Personally, I don't see why having money in a savings account is necessarily a bad thing. My argument is more about being very careful about taxing hybrids for "not using enough gas". It's sending the wrong signals in Utah and might just backfire.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    True. Hadn't thought about that one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Leave it to politicians...

    To give more incentives NOT to save energy. Next there will be a tax on recycling. Or perhaps a tax on energy efficient light bulbs. Or maybe an extra tax on bicycles since they don't pay gas taxes either. Maybe they should tax pedestrians too since they don't pay for road maintenance either.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    God please no toll roads. I'm all for paying for usage, but the thought of the US turning into an extension of the New Jersey toll system is going to destroy efficiencies in how the roads are setup.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re: They should be taxed

    but why should they not have to cover the costs of roads.

    Strawman. No one is saying they shouldn't be taxed. Mike is saying making hybrid owners pay more because they use less gas is getting the incentives backwards.

    There are intelligent ways for lawmakers to make sure that those who drive on the roads pay their fair share for road maintenance. As other commenters have said basing it on vehicle weight or mileage driven makes much more sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Robert P (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Utah is not alone

    Just google "VMT" and you'll find a number of states, plus the Fed are looking into alternatives to the gas tax. The study the CBO did (http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/121xx/doc12101/03-23-HighwayFunding.pdf) sounds terrible from my perspective, but I can see the the need for it. I just can't believe they'd capture all that personal info and not pass it on somewhere.

    If it's true that roadway maintenance is funded through gas tax and that gas usage is going down due to higher fuel economy (hybrids, electrics, etc.) then I can see why we would need to come up with an alternate. I think the one the CBO came up with is not a good one, but I don't have any better ideas.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 11:47am

    Re: how about a tax on telecommuters?

    I find it funny how people throw around the word communism on everything they feel to be different or bad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Pickle Monger (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    Other vehicles

    What about the gas efficient vehicles like Fit or Yaris? They don't take as much gasolie as other cars. How about the motorcycles and scooters? Not only they take even less gasoline than cars, they also weigh A LOT less.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Papers please comrade.

    Tolls everywhere means tracking everywhere. Unless you want toll booths staffed by actual human beings, thus removing any cost savings.

    Directly tax miles driven via certified odometer readings.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    EdB, May 4th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    I hope they put GPS units in all our cars so we can pay both by the gallon AND by the mile. And that they contract google to do it so everything can be online instantly, which could then be given away free to anyone who wants to make money using data about our driving habits. That'd be sweet - pay extra to have no privacy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re:

    If only cars had some device to track how much they used... ;-)

    As we move to both more efficient and other fuel sources for transportation, the revenue from the gas tax will decrease.

    In this sense increased taxing of vehicles that will use less gasoline makes sense. But only in that sense. How much do you tax a fully electric car? Infinity dollars?

    We need to tax based on actual usage. Miles driven. Certified odometer reading

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Diesel Tax

    Most states already have a road tax, typically called registration. In NY state it is around $98 every two years.

    Using a little fuzzy math, that comes out to 3 cents per gallon if you drive 10,000 miles per year, get 30 miles to the gallon, and gas cost ~$4.00 per gallon (which is currently true).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Does that apply to buses?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Reward the population for reducing itself.

    How about just rewarding childless couples/singles over the age of 18? Currently we reward child-bearing couples with tax incentives.

    By using incentives to keep the population down, you solve all sorts of issues facing the planet, from environmental to economic.

    I've also wondered why there aren't insurance companies that offer a reduction in rates if they are permitted to put black-boxes in your car. I certainly would pay a reduced rate if Icould prove I drive slower via black-box/GPS technology. Those concerned about privacy or not being tracked can of course still go without (and pay higher rates, of course.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Obvious

    If they're looking to pay for road maintenance, make the fee based on the weight of the car.

    Actually, my state (Michigan) used to charge for vehicle registration based on weight. Somewhere in the 80's it was changed to a percentage of the BlueBook value of the vehicle because vehicles were getting smaller and lighter after the 70's energy crisis.

    Never made much sense to me. Do newer or more expensive cars wear on the roads more than a 4,000lb Galaxy 500 land yacht from the 60's? I doubt it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    I've also wondered why there aren't insurance companies that offer a reduction in rates if they are permitted to put black-boxes in your car.

    Progressive Insurance already offers this and I am sure there are others:

    http://www.progressive.com/auto/snapshot-how-it-works.aspx

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Re:

    Whoops. Supposed to be a response to Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "We need to tax based on actual usage. Miles driven. Certified odometer reading"

    This would probably have to be implemented at the federal level to address miles driven in other states. My inlaws live in Michigan .5 miles north of the Ohio border and do the vast majority of their driving in Ohio. Lots of other border communities across the country would face this issue too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    chuck, May 4th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    I don't want an already overly curious government to know how many miles I drive and to where, or how much gas I buy.
    They track you with your credit cards, you phone and now by your tax statements about how much gas you used during a year?
    What would this somehow be reported to the government? No sir I used exactly the average amount of gas last year, prove otherwise...This could get stupid and cumbersome.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    John Gardner (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Let's say I live in MA or NJ and spend the great majority of my commute driving on the local Turnpike. That is essentially a private road to which I'm paying more money to access. Should I still be taxed on mileage driven?

    The fact is there's very little chance for a silver bullet to exist and any tax will adjust incentives and therefore behavior.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Most high performance cars (the kind that drive on a racetrack) get horrible gas mileage. So actually shifting the tax from gas to actual mileage would actually save them money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    CommonSense (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not to go off topic, but "(when does it make sense to turn your food into a car fuel?)"

    How about when that 'food' is getting thrown away, and the producers of that food are being paid to throw it away, instead of put it to use? That's what some of the subsidies for our farming industry do essentially, pay the farmers to throw it out. Sure, maybe sending it to a third world country to feed starving children would be the best option for it, but I'd say turning it into a car fuel is still far far better than absolutely wasting it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    alainb (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    A tracking device is available

    Thatís not the point. EV's are using electricity. We all pay taxes and surcharges on the electricity we consume. If the state, any state, is concerned about road taxes not being paid by EV owners, they should have the electricity companies contribute the additional taxes collected from EV owners to compensate for the taxes not collected from the loss gasoline sales

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: how about a tax on telecommuters?

    There's a demotivational for that entitled Your using that word but I'm pretty sure you don't know what it means. Then the hilarity ensues when on the same ring of cheeseburger they have the dedicated trolls and the anti-political comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    As the resident Utard here our mormon assault vehicle (the van in case your wondering) still gets us around. Just one more reason I choose the Folkway of a Heathen when we do decide to hybridize our vehicle.

    On a side note my neighbor I drive to work at the local Wal-mart was talking about what the managers had to say. If your not making enough the state is there for you... after all that's what they are there for.

    The double-think word your looking for is
    Tax Haven

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Reward the population for reducing itself.

    The sad truth is that the government doesn't want this. They want more babies because more babies = more incomes to tax in the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Joe Publius (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Considering what commodities prices, and grocery prices in general, have been like the past couple of years, I'm sure they could find a market for their goods if they're not into charity.

    Heck I live in an Ag state, and I can't help but think that our farm subsidies are losing their use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    Re:

    Oh and just something that screamed in my head when i saw this.

    Rules for government spending; If it moves tax it, if it slows regulate it, if it stops moving subsidize it.

    Wonder if there removing a step.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    Re:

    Saw an internet ad for AFI for it as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re:

    ironically enough just yesterday.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    icon
    Squirrel Brains (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't think that would solve the problem, unless you trust your police and legislators. A certified odometer would be susceptible to tracking as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Reward the population for reducing itself.

    "I've also wondered why there aren't insurance companies that offer a reduction in rates if they are permitted to put black-boxes in your car."

    Progressive does this already:

    http://www.progressive.com/auto/snapshot-discount.aspx

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    alainb (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    I've also wondered why there aren't insurance companies

    Most insurance co will offer a discount for having a tracking device in both commercial and passenger vehicles.
    A solution to the additional tax on EV is to replace the standard "road tax" on fossil fuels with a "black box" connected to the state. Then they can just send you a monthly bill.

    Can you say "1984"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    Michael (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    They had to have literally thought to themselves "Who would have money that we haven't squeezed out of them yet?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Problem is, in every way, through chemical bonds, through cost, and overall output, biofuels really don't work out to a cost-effective alternative fuel.

    The need for subsidies, as CS points out above me, just don't add up. I'm willing to bet that if you take away the subsidies, the market would take care of itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you actually did the research, you would see that diesel is taxed as much or more in most states than gasoline. Perhaps the federal tax is lower? The state taxes are not.

    Also, if you truly believe that fuel taxes are used solely on roads, then you're sadly mistaken. Just because it is earmarked as suck does not mean they do not 'borrow' from that revenue, and then fail to pay it back in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This doesn't begin to describe the other avenues of taxation that make no sense, such as making biofuel (when does it make sense to turn your food into a car fuel?).


    Not all bio fuel is made from food plants(just the inefficiently produced biofuel), and it doesn't even need to compete with food growing land.

    The problem here is that very little of the general tax fund is making it's way to roads. So when you have a high MPG car, you pay less tax per mile.

    A simple solution would move to requiring odometer readings when you get new tags, and taxing you based on the offset. If you sold a car it would then be taxed based on the mileage on it when the new owner gets tags, and would be based on the mileage shown on the title/bill of sale. Odometers are already devices you can not legally tamper with in most of the USA. Grade the tax rate by making some weight classes, and the more it weighs the more per mile it pays. I'm thinking weight is major factor in road wear.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Chicago city stickers could cost more for SUVs, less for hybrids

    Jebus. That's near twice what it is in my area of Ohio. And they want to raise it? Nuts to that. Time to move.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Wouldn't be that hard to do without a log book. Require yearly inspections, and mark odometer numbers down. I realize some people can and do roll that thing back, but they're often caught out when they sell the vehicle.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 5:07pm

    Re:

    not really because it would not be a flat $2/mile for all cars.

    your motorbike (very light, a few hundred pounds) might pay $0.20/mile, while a civic might pay $1/mile, and a "gas-guzzling Maibastu Monstrosity that gets 3MPG" might pay $5/mile.

    so no, it could be worked to be fairly equivalent lent to the current fuel taxes. or for that matter punish larger cars more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 5:08pm

    Re:

    like the roads? ohh wait a Prius still uses those...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    abc gum, May 4th, 2011 @ 6:33pm

    How much of the present gasoline tax is actually spent upon road maintenance? I have no idea, but I would guess not much based upon their condition. Many bridges are near collapse like the one in MN, but are they being fixed? WTH?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    Beta (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 9:39pm

    Re:

    "...the gas taxes are earmarked for road maintenance..."

    What exactly does that mean? As I understand it, the road maintenance budget is not equal to the gas tax revenue; the legislature routinely draws off "surplus" funds, or adds money from the general fund. And they know the previous year's revenue when they make these decisions, so all they're doing is deciding on a budget and then doing some arithmetic for the press releases.

    I've heard about "earmarks" like this in many contexts, and as far as I can tell they mean nothing at all, they just suggest a link where none exists. (This is why I am not swayed by arguments of the form "let's impose a tax on X and earmark the money for Y", where Y is something I'm supposed to like.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    Beta (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Re: Obvious

    This neatly gives the lie to the argument that the purpose of the tax is to maintain the roads.

    "We're going to tax your vehicles by weight, because heavier vehicles damage the roads more."
    "Oh look, our cars are getting lighter, good news, right? This means we won't pay much tax?"
    "Uh, forget the weight, we're going to tax your cars based on something that's going up, because... because... oh, let's see..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 12:17am

    Re: Obvious

    it's not the weight. It's a combination of friction and use. a smart system would use weight as a multiplier for a formula based on distance.
    then you would also have to account for emissions (which should be measured rather than inferred via fuel input).
    so you would pay something like $= f(weight, distance, emissions)

    you should probably account for fuel production emissions as well. which means coal consumer electric *may* incur a penalty. PV electric not so much (for simplicity, emissions should be limited to fuel production+delivery which for solar is 0, and generator production+delivery)

    But if someone was taxing me for using less gasoline then i'd be tempted to deliver my vehicle to them personally, at high speed. for a really close up discussion (once i backed up) of how stupid they're being.

    they are using the wrong formula for funding their roads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 3:14am

    Re: Re:

    Diesel is already insanely expensive, due to the increased refining cost associated with stricter emissions standards put in place by the government.

    Couldn't resist this one... insanely expensive? Ha! ha! hahaha! haha! haha! haa! haaa! hahaha! aaaaaaa! *thump*

    US Diesel cost seems to be around $4.20 a gallon? UK Diesel cost currently around $8.92 per gallon (US). NOW talk to me about "insane".......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 9:47am

    This makes total sense. Then we should raise a new "poor" tax because those freeloaders are paying less income tax. And perhaps a tax on renters for not paying property taxes. And also a tax on bicycles because bicyclists don't pay any DMV registration fees. Let's not forget a thrifty tax on people who spend their money wisely because they don't pay as much sales tax.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    Your comment reminds of a joke fax I saw years ago that went something like this:

    Revised E-Z 1040 Tax Form

    1. List total amount of income made last year: _________

    2. Send it in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    icon
    Ccomp5950 (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I actually did the research, the problem is I mixed up the columns, you are correct diesel is taxed 1-2 cents more than gasoline in most areas.

    As for the use of taxes in other areas than road maintenance, I can't prove a negative, so I'll agree it's probably happened.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    icon
    Beta (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 4:39pm

    Re:

    "How much of the present gasoline tax is actually spent upon road maintenance?"

    It might be more than all. That is, the road maintenance budget might be higher than the gas tax revenue where you live-- there are certainly places where it is. In other places it's lower. Anyway, the two aren't connected except in PR campaigns, so you could just as well ask "how much of the present sailboat excise tax is actually spent on ham radio license enforcement?".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 6:44pm

    Tax

    Do they also levy a special fee on anyone who doesn't even own a car?

    Not only are those scofflaws avoiding gas taxes, they're also avoiding all those car registration fees and whatnot. Imagine the revenue the state is missing out on from those people.

    What's that you say? If they don't own a car, they're not using the roads?

    Nonsense. They may be carpooling to work. Sitting in the passenger seat of someone else's care. Or riding their bike to work on those roads. They're definitely enjoying the myriad benefits of a society where all those roads make commerce so much easier. How dare they choose to live a lifestyle which makes it difficult for the government to properly charge them for it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: They should be taxed

    "intelligent" and "lawmakers" in one sentence, when the one is not in reference to "lack of" in the other? LOL That is always hilarious when I see it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    simone, May 24th, 2011 @ 5:56am

    italian tax vs utah tax?

    in italy we have some tax cuts for electric vehicles (like for example an utility vehicle of the www.alke.com family) that is cool but sometimes seems a "hope tax" we still don't know what the market will buy the next year

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Monthly Car Lease, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 8:07pm

    More reasons not go get hybrids

    There are definitely someHybrid Cars Pros and Cons, but in the end, you're better of just getting a gas saver, practical non-hybrid economy car.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This