"Annual PEV fee"

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by knightofdight, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. Oniki

    Oniki Active Member

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    Absolutely

    Or more simply, tax the people who consume oil, but tax them the actual cost of their consumption.
    Tax to pay for the pollution
    Tax to pay for the health costs
    Tax to pay for the military to protect the oil routes
    Tax to pay for the oil wars
    Tax to pay for the propped up oil producing nation dicatatorships
    Tax to pay for the loss of capital to OPEC
    Tax to pay for protection against the terrorist organizations that flourish from oil income

    You are so far away from paying your fair share when you consume oil, it is beyond moronic to whine that I am not paying my fair share of road upkeep.
     
    #41 Oniki, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  2. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I've done some more thinking about it and I don't think there is an easy answer to this. Ideally people would pay based on actual specific road usage, like currently exists on toll roads. That way each municipality would receive revenue from the people actually driving on their roads. But that would only work in a futuristic system where the movement of every car is tracked on all roads. That type of centralized tracking system is probably decades away. So in the meantime approximation methods for road usage must continue be employed, all of which will be inherently unfair. So it's a matter of choosing the "least unfair" system.

    As BEV's and PHEV's become more prevalent in the next ten years, the fuel tax method just isn't going to work anymore. In theory imposing a registration surcharge on electric vehicles makes sense, but how to implement it fairly? A mileage based fee for BEV's might work. Although that puts a burden on states to start collecting odometer readings at the time of registration. No problem for states that already have annual vehicle inspections, but most states currently don't.

    But then PHEV throws a wrench into this idea, as there is no way for a state to know what percentage of a particular PHEV's annual miles are EV vs HV. Should PHEV's only pay gas tax, and get a pass on EV miles since the amount of EV miles cannot be determined? But I can foresee in the next 5-10 years that PHEV prices will come down, and their EV ranges will go up. Meaning that in a few years a lot of people will own PHEV's, and most of them will be driving EV only most days of the month, and using gasoline only on out of town trips. Thus paying very little gas tax, but meanwhile exempt from BEV tax, creating a revenue shortage for road maintenance. Or maybe PHEV's should pay the same fee as EV's, but then they can get a credit for any gas taxes paid during the previous year. But that means showing up at the registration office each year with a box of gas receipts. Not very practical.

    The only solution that I can think of at the moment scrapping all gas taxes and replace it with a federal road tax which is collected annually during state registration, based on mileage driven and vehicle weight. The money collected would be distributed to states, counties and cities based on the number of miles of roads that each jurisdiction maintains. Not a perfect solution, but I'm not sure what else can be done other than scrap all road taxes entirely and just pay for road maintenance through general taxes (i.e. general sales tax and income tax) which means it would's no longer be based on usage but on income level.
     
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  3. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Our state has been pushing for people to renew their registration online. In fact they charge you extra for the experience of going to their office to stand in line.
    How are you going to get a verified mileage in that scenario, especially of some of those miles were out of state anyway?
     
  4. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    That's why I was saying this is not a problem for states that already have annual inspections, only for those that don't. Here in Georgia we also can renew our registration online, but prior to doing so we have to take our car to an emissions station for a smog check, which we can do anytime up to 30 prior to registration. Actually the test goes pretty quickly as any car 1996 or newer they just plug their computer into the OBD port and collect the data, which is then transmitted to the state. Although I have noticed that they manually enter some information into their computer including the odometer reading, which shows up on the printout that I get although I don't know if the odometer reading is transmitted to the state, but I'm guessing it is. Even when renewing at the office I don't have to bring the smog test printout with me because the state already has the results in their system. So in the scenario that I am describing when you register either in person or online the state would already have the mileage and thus the amount of road tax owed. If they don't have your prior year mileage in the system then I guess for the first year they would just use an arbitrary mileage amount like 12,000.

    The emissions testing stations are privately owned, and can set their own fee although the state caps it at $25.00. In the scenario that I am describing, states that don't have emissions testing could set up a similar arrangement through dealers or car repair shops where you would take your car for the annual odometer reading, maybe the state would cap that at $10.00. I would guess shops would do it for free if you have other service done at the same time. Of course the worry is that they will accidentally type in the wrong odometer reading. Well you would get a printout so you could check it. If you fail to check it, no big deal since it will self-correct the next year, unless it is way off and you didn't catch it resulting in a huge tax, although I suppose they would have some type of procedure for that situation allowing you to go back to the shop to enter it correctly.

    As for miles out of state, yeah that's a potential inaccuracy, but so is gas tax, especially when people live in a city that straddles a state border, and they buy their all of their gas in the neighboring state if the gas tax is lower.
     
  5. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    My *guess* would be that low- and medium-speed vehicles refer to, for example, courtesy carts that take people around outdoor malls, electric motor-scooters, and such. I’m just guessing though.

    Personally, I’d still get the Prime. The Federal incentives survived, and they very nearly offset the difference in sale price.

    But more importantly, if you drive on electric a fair percentage of the time, the wear on your engine will be drastically reduced, meaning that you can drive the car longer, or (hopefully) sell it for more. We got ours in mid-May, we have about 13.5K miles on it, but the engine only has about 800 miles on it! I think this car will be driving for 300-400K miles, whereas a traditional Prius will start fizzling at 175Kish. That’s how to get your money’s worth out of a car purchase!

    Typed by Mr88cet’s dancing thumbs
     
  6. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    Yeah they're such lemons :)
     
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  7. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    The words TAX and FAIR don't seem to play well with each other!!
     
  8. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I reread your question, I don't think whether registering online or in person matters, because I don't think it's feasible for registration offices to obtain the odometer reading themselves. These offices are geared for indoor use only, i.e. the workers remain indoors. It's not feasible for them walk to outside with the owner to the parking lot and get the odometer reading from the car. Probably not safe either depending on the weather. They would have to install some type of structure in the parking lot, with a worker stationed there, where you would pull your car in and they would get the odometer reading, then you park your car and go inside and register. I guess a state could set something like that up at their offices, but it just doesn't seem practical. I guess since I have lived my entire life of driving in California and Georgia I'm just used to the idea of having to take my car every year to an independent testing station, it just seems like a normal part of life. I can understand however that someone who lives in a state that doesn't the concept seems foreign. And I suppose it would seem especially odd to have to take your car somewhere just to get an odometer reading. Maybe some states would decide that this would be a good time to also implement emissions and/or vehicle testing, I don't know.
     
  9. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    You're in the lucky part of Virginia (no inspections). I have to take mine in this month. The Prius is good though as we are exempt from emissions test, which saves time and a few bucks.
     
  10. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    I am not sure why a State employee would have to check your odometer. Are they assuming that their citizens cannot be trusted to state their correct mileage when registering the vehicle online? Seems like my state (WA) wants to try out a new method of replacing the gas tax with a per mile cost annually. I believe the charge will start at 2.4 cents per mile but not sure how they plan to get the annual mileage data.
     
  11. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    We actually have an annual inspection as does all Virginia. I was just using this as an example because some states do not have an annual inspection.
    Using registration to determine miles travelled is not the solution when everything is getting pushed online.
     
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  12. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    The number entered determines the tax amount so no they are not going to trust people to enter the correct mileage, no more than they trust people to report the purchase price when registering a car, since that determines the sales tax they want to see the bill of sale
     
    #52 Since2002, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  13. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    Not quite sure I follow. The car is already in for annual inspection, which I assume is tied to annual registration, so why wouldn't that be the best time to obtain the odometer reading for road tax?

    As for things going online, I don't know of a way for odometer readings to be automatically uploaded from your car to the state's computer. I doubt if it can even be read through the OBD. Maybe one day in the future but for now someone has to physically read it.

    And states that don't currently do annual inspections, as I mentioned that would require them putting some type of system in place to collect the data. And even those states I don't know why they wouldn't do that as part of annual registration since presumably that is when the road tax will be collected.
     
    #53 Since2002, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  14. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    In my state most areas don’t have any inspection and those that do it’s biannually

    The inspection program here adds $$$ to the registration fee and is a net looser for state funding. (Costs more to administer than it collects)

    In poor areas (like my state) I would argue for the elimination of inspection and the elimination of annual plates.
    My state already offers permanent plates under specific circumstances.
    The system to support these fees looses about half the cash paid in whereas simple gas tax is over 99% efficient

    I really don’t like paying twice as much just so we’re “fair”

    We should just increase gas tax or put simple sales tax back on non-road going petroleum chemicals , this would affect farm, forestry and sand mines but I can live with that, it’s only 5.5 % and consumed at a much higher volume thus higher funding than 30% tax on road fuel would provide.

    I think everyone is myopic on gas tax being just for roads as it’s always been a combination of road, General funding and “efficiency “ tax.
    Why pretend otherwise ?
    Put some sales tax back on off road fuels, it’s a bigger market, a better funding source and currently completely tax except, even though in my state at least off road is anything but.
     
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  15. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    New Hampshire had proposed a psuedo-miles driven tax basically assume everybody did 12000 miles per year, so based on the EPA MPG of your vehicle, you would pay fee for example, for a 40 MPG car vs. a 25 MPG car.

    That would be "fair" in the sense of not singling out certain types of cars (equal pain to all higher MPG vehicles). I do not think is was adopted though.
     
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  16. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    That would give a free ride to soldierguy who recently sold his 2016 Prius with 90K miles on it. That is a long commute!
     
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  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Considering how bad some people will let their cars get, an annual safety inspection is probably a good idea everywhere.

    Or for those non-inspection states, just set the base fee for the per mile tax at some assumed annual mileage; 10k to 15k miles for example. The onerous is then on the individual to have paper work showing they drove less than that.

    I'd leave the gas tax in place, and have a different per mile rate for non-plug ins, PHEVs, and BEVs, going from lower to higher in that order.
     
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  18. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    Yes gas tax is certainly the most efficient to administer, and increasing gas tax would work at the moment because EV and PHEV are currently a trickle and ignoring them has little impact on revenue. But technology tends to snowball pretty quickly and without a lot of warning, and I just think the time will get here before we know it that a majority of drivers will use little or no gasoline most days of the week. Continuing to increase gas tax to make up the shortfall becomes sort of a punishment tax to those still using gasoline, which I'm not necessarily against but that can only go so far to make up the shortfall. Taxing other sources can certainly bring in revenue, although that moves away from the concept of paying road tax based on how much you actually use them. Which as I mentioned it may go that way, I'm just pointing out that as EV/PHEV become more common, miles driven will become the only metric left that is related to actual road usage. If states can't figure out how to collect that data accurately and efficiently then they eventually will have to abandon the idea of usage based road tax.

    That would work in theory, not perfect but on average somewhat equitable, people would thus pay a combination of gas tax and a scaled annual fee based on MPG, which attempts to recoup the gas tax that was avoided due to the car's efficiency. BEV would pay the highest fee based on the equivalent of 12,000 miles of gas usage, bringing them in line with everyone else. Low mileage drivers would be subsidizing high mileage drivers, but that's expected when you use this type of averaging method.

    I still think the wrench in this is PHEV. They would have to make a standard estimation of the percentage of the 12,000 miles that are driven EV vs HV. Let's say 80%, so then they would charge PHEV owners 80% of the EV fee, and then a "high MPG fee" for the other 20%. An average PHEV driver would also pay some gas tax during the year, in theory bringing them in line with everyone else. However PHEV owners that have long commutes might be only 50% EV or even less, thus paying more gas tax while still having to pay a relatively high annual fee. Well I guess from a tax viewpoint it would somewhat discourage owning a PHEV if you will still be using a lot of gas.

    I'm sure this comes off as me making all of this overly complicated. But my point is that making it equitable is complicated. It can be made simple, but the more simple the less equitable. But that's the choice that states and even the federal government will have to make, and maybe sooner than they think.
     
  19. Oniki

    Oniki Active Member

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    Road maintenance is a pittance compared to the cost of global warming, let alone all the other externallized costs of fossil fuel combustion.

    This discussion is choking on the gnat while ignoring the elephant in the room.
     
    #59 Oniki, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  20. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Well if you do this technique, BEV pays one amount probably based on 100 MPG. There would not be an add'l BEV fee to punish plug-ins for some reason Maybe PHEV gets 75 MPG.

    Here's how it would work:
    Assume 12000 miles/yr
    25 MPG car No Fee (pays $200/year in tax at the pump)
    30 MPG Camry ICE? $35 fee/year (to make whole on the $200 base fee)
    40 MPG Civic? Pays $75 fee
    50 MPG Prius Pays $100 fee
    75 MPG PHEV Pays $135 fee
    100 MPG BEV Pays $150/year

    Admittedly, many green car owners object to a miles/driven formula because it does not give a tax benefit for higher MPG cars like the current per gallon approach. But the premise of this post is, let's say we go that way, or let's say some states want to go that way. I see the above approach as fair (does not discriminate against hybrids), but for me I am OK if they stick with the current per gallon tax approach.