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A new tax on alternative fuel vehicles?!

Post in 'The Green Room' started by tickbitty, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    I never posted in the "Ash Can" and perhaps that would have been where this would go - (mods feel free to delete this if it's not where it belongs) but I am appalled that the Gov of VA proposes to do away with the gas tax (one of the lowest in the nation and has not had a boost since 1986) but will keep taxing diesel trucks AND will add a new fee for those who drive cars with alternative fuels. Say what?! Even if he was using logic to say that the Prius (et al) drivers should pay their fair share where others are paying for more gas, he has already erased that logic by eliminating the gas tax? Insane. He's got to be looking for big oil support or something?! Either that or just looking for a way to tax liberals only without offending his base? I'm so over this guy. We only have single term govs in VA so they are lame duck from the time they get in there, but his term can not be over soon enough for me!

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business...ers-and-shoppers-and-not-gas-guzzlers/266987/
    Dune likes this.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    They are proposing this in WA state also.The transportation dept. is hurting due to bad tax initiatives. In order to drum up more revenue they are proposing taxing cars that don't use a lot of fuel. It's a great piece of dis-incentivizing on the part of the pols.
  3. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    If you don't use gas you don't pay gas tax. For that reason alone there should be a tax on alternative vehicles.
  4. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Painful reality;

  5. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    The VA proposal is misguided in many ways. It unfairly transfers the cost of transportation to some that don't even use it (though they benefit from it).
    Older non-drivers come to mind.
    It also allows out-of-state drivers to pass though without paying their fair share.
    No doubt, anyone that uses the roads, including those driving EVs, should pay their fair share.
    Vehicle Miles traveled (VMT) based payment is coming. Its only a matter of time.
  6. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    That's gonna be tough to swallow, but I agree it's inevitable.
  7. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Seems to me to be the only fair way to tax road usage as long as the weight of the vehicle is taken into consideration.
    It takes into account actual usage and degradation of the roadways by all vehicles regardless of fuel type and registration state.
    It also reconciles scenarios where fuel might be purchased before entering a state and where no fuel is bought while traveling through the state.
  8. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    So, how can that be implemented? I live in Maine, drive to Mass, turn around and come back. Do I then pay Mass for the miles driven there? Or Maine the total milse driven in that year reguardless of what state? What about cycleists? We're supposed to "share the road" well they didn't pay for it mentality could come to mind. The idea that I pay over 50 cents a gallon to pay 6 state workers to do the job of 2 real world people making far less money, means a total spending problem on their end. But that's just based on my own expierence, your mileage may vary.

    TS
  9. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Cars will have built-in GPS capabilities (e.g., "Connected Vehicle"). This coupled with simple geo-fencing programs can determine how many miles were driven within what area.

    That is a challenge to pay per mile schemes. However, cyclists contribute very little to degradation of the roads. Also, most cyclists also own and drive cars so they will end up contributing one way or another. That said, the same technology that allows cars to pay by the mile would work with bikes, probably via phone apps.

    As, I said, its only a matter of time.
  10. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I understand this, master mechanic here. Retro GPS's in older vehicles? I still think the problem is with state spending, ways to figure out how to generate more revenue are not the solution to the spending problem. Large trucks degrade the road more and also consume more fule contributing to higher tax generation. EV's are cheap to drive, as there is no "electric road tax" but contribute to more power useage on our sagging grid as it is. What gets me is how does our energy consumption go up every year, faster than population groath, when we have all these energy saving appliances? The problem is the spending end, not the tax end IMO.

    TS
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  11. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    I might agree if it were done in that simple way. If, for example the Gov felt that it was time to RAISE the Va gas tax to increase the revenue, and to be fair he added fees for alternative fuel vehicles, that might make some sense. My beef was that he wants to abolish the gas tax, so adding the alternative fuel fee doesn't make much sense.
  12. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Exactly, there's that too!
    My attempt at a hearth.com parallel, - I have a heat pump. It heats inadequately and the electric bill was high. So, we shelled out for a woodstove and we cut/split and/or buy fuel for that. We still pay for our electric, but the bill is not as high. I feel like what McDonnell is doing with the gas would be like telling us it's not fair that our neighbor without the woodstove has to pay a higher electric bill than we do, so we should pay an extra fee for owning the woodstove, while at the same time he wants to give the higher consuming neighbors a coupon for discounted electric.

    (Incidentally, I would love to drive a Prius, but couldn't afford the $5000 more it cost to buy an equivalent used one the last time I bought a car. Those alternative fuel vehicles do cost more in other ways though you are saving on fuel.)
  13. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Its the same in OR. They want the 'lost' revenues from gas taxes from non gas vehicles. Gotta feed the growing cancers of state government.
  14. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    So why dont they just raise the gas tax,those that use more gas pay more tax. Gas guzzlers pay more toward the road repairs and gas sippers pay less. seems fair to me and i drive 2 gas guzzlers.EV drivers should not even be considered until they comprise more than 10% of the cars on the road.
  15. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Um, that would make too much sense. And of course there is the GIANT gas lobby...
  16. Just because you don't drive doesn't mean you don't benefit from roads. What about all the service and goods that you receive from roads even if you aren't driving? I think everyone should pay a high flat tax of $2,500-$5,000 whether you drive or not--b/c you still benefit someway with the roads being there.
  17. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Good luck collecting THAT money. The local town next to me can only collect 60% of the taxes it is owed now as it is,and people will lose their homes if they dont eventually pay that one. What would you do with people who do not pay the $2-5000? Take their car?
  18. ^^^ good start and their license and freeze bank account/get it from the employer
  19. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I agree that everyone benefits from roads. On that premise financing roads using sales taxes makes some sense.
    However, a flat tax doesn't make a lot of sense especially when you consider that the heavy vehicles that put the most wear on the roads and more miles would be paying the same as those driving light vehicles. Of course that expense for trucks would be passed on to consumers anyway.
    Use based taxes as opposed to flat taxes also encourage more responsible use of finite resources, in this case, our roads. This prevents unneeded wear and congestion through less miles traveled.
  20. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Half or more of the population in some places(like were i live) dont have a license, a bank account or an employer.
  21. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    If your going to go with taxes,make it an import tax as all those imported goods benefit greatly from our infrastructure without contributing to the cost of it. It would also spur domestic production,,,,,a twofer.

  22. Then they probably don't have a car either.

    What I am saying is make the tax so high that people won't want to buy cars anymore so like 5k for cars and 10-15k for semi's----yearly! Less people driving. Less oil being used. Less carbon being freed. More people living in the city and not commuting. living in high rise apt buildings. maybe use this money we are taxing people for more mass transit and cable cars or get people back to riding bikes and walking or maybe using horses again. we could have a common stable s in the city along with common gardens. The planet be saved.
  23. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, close but no cigar. Horses use up a lot more time and energy and produce a lot more pollution all told.

    As to the taxes, some fine states like SC, etc. charge very high yearly car taxes and it hasn't made much of a difference except to fund their treasury.

    At this point it's technology (IMHO) that is going to save us...to whatever degree. Getting better MPG and cleaning up the exhausts of hundreds of millions of cars is a big thing....

    On the other hand, planners tell us that your advice of moving to the cities is already taking hold....pretty much worldwide as well as in the USA. So you are stating the obvious. I think the figure is 85% of people are planned to be living in cities in a decade or two. It's already over 80% in the USA, so the die is cast. Given the choice, most young people (and older people too!) prefer living in society. On the other hand, that leaves more room in the rural areas for those who choose that lifestyle.
  24. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    Theoretically, one solution could be "apportioned" plates like you see on tractor-trailers, where varying percentages of the licensing fees are "apportioned" out to various states based on miles travelled. On the other hand, there's a robust infrastructure already supporting the regulation of interstate commerce- I don't see the average driver keeping a daily log book.
  25. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Gas taxes are really the easiest and best IMHO. We are having this debate in RI now....they are trying to put heavy tolls on a new (short) bridge - but these tolls will be really bad for the locals, etc....

    I don't mind paying for the cost of things, but feel it's better - when it comes to roads, bridges and big infrastructure, to obtain the money from things like a gas tax as opposed to dealing with each separate stretch of road, each bridge, etc.
    Frozen Canuck likes this.

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