Proposed NH Tax on Efficient Vehicles

snocross1985

Member
Jan 7, 2014
75
New Hampshire
Here in "tax-free" NH it is being proposed that a fee (tax) be assessed on vehicles that get more than 21 MPG. Those that get more than 21 MPG would see an added charge of $30 during registration and vehicles getting more than 50 MPG would see an added charge of $150. Keep in mind this is an annual fee based on assumptions. Seems a huge step in the wrong direction. Since heavy trucks and SUVs add more wear to the roads and bridges wouldn't it be better to charge based on vehicle weight? This current proposed charge means that someone with a small car that drives 8,000 miles a year would be charged a fee where someone that drives a pickup 15,000 miles a year does not.

NH sees a lot of tourist traffic year-round. These out of state cars put wear on the roads and bridges and would not see any charge other than highway tolls. Perhaps it is time to explore implementing a small sales tax so the burden is shared by residents and tourists.

https://politics.concordmonitor.com/2016/01/gov-state/road-usage-fees-ranging-from-30-to-150-may-be-coming-to-the-granite-state/
 

Lake Girl

Moderator
Nov 12, 2011
6,940
NW Ontario
Definitely not a green philosophy going on in the state legislature in NH! Do they own shares in oil/gas? Either increase the gas tax a bit more, start using tolls or institute a general sales tax.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,602
SW Virginia
As long as we fund our roads with fuel taxes this will be a problem.
We need to move to a tax based on miles driven and vehicle loads on the pavement (e.g., weight, load per tire contact patch, whatever).
That way whether you're driving a Tesla or a semi truck you're paying your fair share.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,151
SE PA
Georgia put a extra registration charge on EVs that is equivalent to the gas tax paid by Hummer owners at typical miles/yr. :rolleyes:

Gotta prevent those efficient vehicle 'free riders' from taking advantage of the system!

OR, we could raise the gas tax to the amount needed to pay for road work (versus the 1/3rd or so it pays for now) and index it to inflation. Seems like now would be a great time to do so. Nah, let's just add a prius tax. LOL.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
Same talk out here. Putting in a disincentive tax can be counterproductive. Mileage tax gets very complicated. For example, what about the mileage when one is driving out of state or country? It also hits poorer rural areas where one has to drive longer distances harder. Could a carbon tax, that is revenue neutral be more equitable?
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,638
Northern NH
NH has the largest house of representatives in the US by law they are paid a very minimal amount. The majority of the representatives are retirees, housewives and part timers. There are some positives to such a huge house and small population but one of the major downsides is that all sort of bills get introduced. and go up for consideration.

The reality is mileage based road fees adjusted for road weight of the vehicle is the most fair system but it is major disincentive for rural folks. The adjustment for road weight is a major part. The damage and wear to the road bed goes up exponentially with the weight. Of course the cost to plow roads and salt them is the same for a car as a big truck so it will be an interesting calculation. Even if the calculation starts out fair, various interests like the trucking industry will scream heavily.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
NH has the largest house of representatives in the US by law they are paid a very minimal amount. The majority of the representatives are retirees, housewives and part timers. There are some positives to such a huge house and small population but one of the major downsides is that all sort of bills get introduced. and go up for consideration.

The reality is mileage based road fees adjusted for road weight of the vehicle is the most fair system but it is major disincentive for rural folks. The adjustment for road weight is a major part. The damage and wear to the road bed goes up exponentially with the weight. Of course the cost to plow roads and salt them is the same for a car as a big truck so it will be an interesting calculation. Even if the calculation starts out fair, various interests like the trucking industry will scream heavily.
Do they apply a discount if you don't have studded tires or chains? They tear up a road quicker too.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA

billb3

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
4,578
SE Mass
you could privatize the roads and then all those crazy tourists that (used to) come and ski and spend money would be paying their fair share.
 

DickRussell

Burning Hunk
Mar 1, 2011
237
central NH
It's been argued that taxing according to miles driven penalize those who drive a lot out of state (mainly border-hopping to work in MA). But that argument can be applied to the gas tax also; buy gas in NH, drive over MA roads to work. So what's the difference? There is no totally fair way to do it, but to tax fuel efficiency seems completely wrong. We ought to tax according to extent of road usage and weight of vehicle used if we really want to do it fairly.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
Border hopping is one thing but what about when vacationing or traveling to a winter home in Florida?
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,151
SE PA
Perfect 'fairness' was never a goal of govt taxing and spending.

I fail to see why it should be for vehicle taxing and infrastructure spending. :rolleyes:
 

Where2

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2013
348
South Florida
Border hopping is one thing but what about when vacationing or traveling to a winter home in Florida?
I've got their back covered in FL, if they have my back covered as I transit through their state to get to my summer home at 45.8°N (yes, it's on the other side of NH).

OR, we could raise the gas taxes to the amount needed to pay for road work (versus the 1/3rd or so it pays for now) and index it to inflation. Seems like now would be a great time to do so.
While oil, concrete, and steel prices are low would be a great time to upgrade/repair a bunch of US infrastructure too...

Throwing up a toll booth or a weigh station to equitably charge everyone breaks down at some point. There's one toll booth I pass through in NYS (traveling between FL and my summer home) where I typically sit in a ~1 mile bumper to bumper traffic jam to get to the toll booth. When I get to the booth, there is no toll charge based on my ticket, but I still waste fuel sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for a mile just to get to the toll booth. I'm not sure who that toll booth charges, but the state reaps plenty of additional fuel taxes by making everyone sit in traffic.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,043
Schenectady, NY
Why not pay a flat fee when registering the vehicle? Every vehicle being registered pays $100... I bet fewer cars would get registered and driven on the road.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
I like the way Great Britain does it. Charge a base fee and then add a gas guzzler tax. That encourages conservation and puts a higher fee on heavier and more polluting vehicles.
 

Lake Girl

Moderator
Nov 12, 2011
6,940
NW Ontario
There are drawbacks to that approach too ... Canada found the the gas misers were not produced here so did not encourage manufacturing in country. For Ontario, there was an argument to be had that we in Northern Ontario rely on those four wheel drive gas guzzlers to survive our winters as we get far more snowfall than southern Ontario. For our house, we have a four-wheel drive 1/2 ton and a Spark. We have had a fuel efficient car since the 1990s...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/gas-guzzler-tax-firing-on-wrong-cylinders/article722277/
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes climate can affect choices. No Subaru?
 

nola mike

Minister of Fire
Sep 13, 2010
797
Richmond/Montross, Virginia
How about gas tax + base tax + weight tax. Then your heavier guzzlers are paying substantially more, and there's an imputed mileage tax as well with the gas tax. Lighter always pays less (less wear on roads). Fuel efficient (likely low weight as well) still pay a floor. High mileage fuel efficient vehicles would I suppose not pay their "fair share", but this would encourage their use...
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,602
SW Virginia
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vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,592
Eastern Long Island, NY
We are stuck on stupid right now when it comes to infrastructure spending and funding. Lots of good reasons to do this now: low raw materials and commodity prices, low interest rates to finance these projects with fixed long term bonds, demand is high for better infrastructure, and oil prices are low.

Indexing the fuel tax to inflation, like Woodgeek says, is a great way to start.

But I imagine we won't do the smart thing now. Instead more roads and utilities will be auctioned off to the private sector just so politicians can say the didn't raise taxes.
 

greg13

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2012
903
CNY
It depends on what the "Fee" is actually for. Here in NY you pay a tax (not fee) on every gallon of gas. This was supposed to be used for highway maintenance costs, but somehow the fund got derailed and ended up in the state's GENERAL fund. Now the roads are in terrible shape and no money ti fix them.
It's just like the counties banking on sales tax revenue to balance their budgets, the price of gas drops so does the tax money. Now they have to figure out how to get more money. I wish I could just go to the boss and say "I need more money, give me a raise".
OK I'll put the soap box back in the closet.
 

stoveguy2esw

Minister of Fire
the most equitable way is to install more toll roads, charge by the axle this is how some states raise highway funds (or should be as they are charging by use) fees for registration would be another method. when you get your license plates you pay for them, part of that money should be going to maintaining the roads driven on
 

DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,119
Central NY
Now the roads are in terrible shape and no money ti fix them.
Not my experience at all, and as someone who bicycles a lot (and notices poor condition roads much more while bicycling than driving) I can tell you that NY state roads are in much better shape overall than many, many other states. Are some county or town roads in poor shape - perhaps, depending on the decisions made at the town or county level, but state roads area by and large in excellent shape throughout NY.

And, after cycling across the US and experiencing many miles of poorly paved state roads outside of NY, I can tell you that it is far better in NY than outside of NY.