Auto industry uncle-greedy

Published on April 25th, 2012 | by Andrew Meggison

7

For The Tax Man, No One Rides For Free

 

Tax day has come and gone, and not every American likes paying. Interestingly enough some claim that drivers of electric vehicles( EVs) are skipping out on taxes – specifically gasoline taxes that pay for highways, road construction, and maintenance.

America’s infrastructure is in poor shape. America’s roads are riddled with potholes and many bridges are in need of repair. Much of the money used to conduct the repairs comes from the gasoline tax fund. The tax averages 47 cents a gallon for gas nationwide.

The Congressional Budget Office has warned the federal highway fund could be bankrupt as early as fiscal year 2013 as the gas tax has became less effective. As gas prices increase people stop driving and look to other forms of transportation. This means less money generated from the gas tax. Additionally, newer cars can travel greater distances between fill ups, again less gas tax money generated. Let’s not forget EVs – they use no gas at all.

In America no one escapes the tax man, this June the great state of Washington will become the first state to charge a fee on EVs. Arizona, Texas, and Oregon are also considering a fee to offset the skipped gas tax.

Washington State Senator Mary Margaret Haugen, a Democrat (WHAT!?) has been the leading voice on the legislation. The idea is that a $100 annual fee will be placed on EV owners. Hybrid drivers will not be charged a fee because they run in on gas. GM has come out against the legislation because they claim it would act as a deterrent to buy EVs. Washington charges 37.5 cents a gallon in fuel taxes.

Other options are out there. A so called vehicle miles traveled (VMT) system has been discussed.  VMT is essentially a per mile fee, Arizona State Representative Steve Farley, another Democrat, proposed the fee be set at 1.43 cents per mile. Arizona in January repealed an emissions program that incentivized more alternative fuel vehicle use after just one year.

Is this sensible growth? Is this an example of America planning for the future and making plans for a changing automotive world one in which the EV will dominate? — Or is this something else? — Is this the demonization of new clean technology?  Is this just another example of how America and  American politics and tax structure cannot step into the 21st century? Sound off in the comments below.

Source: eenews.net

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison

 




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About the Author

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor's Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master's Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison



  • Temk

    I say drop the gas tax totally. Tax all vehicles, private and public, per mile. Tax them more by weight. The per mile tax rate should vary accounting for surface streets, a rate for highways, and a lower rate for rural roads.
    All of the mileage information should preserve personal privacy and remain accurate, not charging for private roads, driveways, etc.. Then everyone will feel like they are paying their fair share for improvements, and everyone can be equally peeved at the government. Our government wins again! Yeah!

  • Adam

    I think the reality is car registration fees will rise, local roads will have to be paid for out of state taxes and fees and interstate will have to be paid for with tolls or a national vehicle registration fee.

    Look at it this way, if you drive 15,000 miles in a car that gets 25mpg, you are only paying $225 a year in fuel taxes. Also commercial trucking causes far more damage to the road per mile than my hypothetical mid-sized sedan.

  • Roseland67

    Really?
    Less than 1/100000 of the vehicles on the road are
    Electric, and this infantismal amount of missed tax is going to make all of these
    Problems disappear? Really?
    What blithering idiot thought up this pile of steaming manure!

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/joborras/ Jo Borras

      A politician. (spluh)

  • ASG

    Taxation as a policy has two roles: one to cover costs of services as used by the taxed public (gas tax); two incentivise the public to not partake in certain activities (cigarette/alcohol taxes). We should not be developing new taxes to dis-incentivize driving EVs. Environmental concerns aside, EVs are the fastest way to reduce reliance on foreign oil – we can pollute from coal mined in West Virginia instead. The other item not mentioned is what causes all the damage to our roads? It’s not cars, it’s heavy trucks – which are not taxed (relatively speaking) for the damage they cause in an attempt to keep COGS low for items shipped. VMT will be under reported unless somehow tied to vehicle registration (@ Adam). Figuring out the cost to enforce any new tax needs to be included in the decision. In essence the most applicable user fee for our nation’s roads are tolls. Like the 520 bridge in Seattle, when it needs to be repaired/replaced put a toll on the road and tax those who use it.

  • mark

    You do know whats going to happen right? A nice new yearly by car flat tax will magically appear to “replace” the gas tax which which will be phased out over time. And just like the temp income tax introduced during world war 1 that we are all still paying today, we will all keep paying the gas tax too… Forever!

    You got to love the tax man!

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