Featured Pennsylvania Proposing EV and Hybrid Tax

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by snarfu, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. snarfu

    snarfu New Member

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    First I wanted to thank the forum for lots of great information on my Prime, I have learned a lot from reading the messages here.

    I recently became aware of a proposed tax in PA (didn't see it discussed in a search). The current proposal House Bill 1392 was put forth by my local representative (D- Mike Carroll) and will charge a $250 yearly tax on Electric vehicles, there is a $75 tax on hybrids (Not sure where they try to slot the Prime), and a $50 tax on EV motorcycles and neighborhood vehicles.

    I understand all vehicles need to pay their fare share. I have written to my local representative, senator; also the Lt. Governor, and Governor to voice my displeasure with the proposal. I stated that the state has the information to institute a road maintenance fee based upon weight and mileage as the state has both data points through annual inspections and registration information. If implemented, PA could drop the gas tax which is the highest in the nation and have an equitable solution.

    As it stands, because my Prime is primarily operated on gas, I end up paying taxes twice. I feel this proposal violates the Pennsylvania Constitution which reads: "All taxes shall be uniform, upon the same class of subjects, within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, and shall be levied and collected under general laws."

    I'm curious what your thoughts are and if you think the tax would stand up to a challenge.
     
  2. Deoc

    Deoc Member

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    Most states are doing the same, even in washington after i976 passes by mayority of voters which would lower all car registration including electric car fees, but the government found a way to block it even after people voting on it, the thing here isnt wether is constitutional or not, fair or unfair, is about what can be done about it to change it.
     
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  3. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Thanks for posting.

    Any bill can be challenged before and after.

    I can only assume the Prime would be considered a hybrid, since that is what it is.

    You do have a strong argument about being double taxed.

    I can only add that the bill has to be passed, which could take a long time,
    and that means we have time to call and drop a line that we oppose it.
    Many calls, by many people.

    I am in an industry that was hit with a 40% tax on all industry products 3 years ago.
    It took a lawsuit and over 2 years, but now that tax only applies to less than half of the products.
    It took marches in the capitol and much more, but in the end the people spoke.

    Lets do our job and let them know how we feel.
     
  4. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Member

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    Pennsylvania's highways are subject to high trucking traffic due to being the main passage to New York and New England, and beyond the freeze/thaw cycles, it's the trucks that have the greatest impact on the roads. The tax should be directed at the long-haul trucks, themselves, to pay instead of skipping over the state (i.e. driving through it without fueling in it). This would force the end-users, the states & companies either shipping or receiving, to pay their fair share for using Pennsylvania highways.
     
  5. snarfu

    snarfu New Member

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    I agree that the trucks cause a lot of damage, especially in the fracking region where they weren't designed for the trucks. Due to the taxes, you are correct that most fill up outside of PA and try to get through if they can without getting gas. If the state went to a mileage and weight tax, I guess they would still need to tax diesel to account for the trucks, but maybe less than what they do now so trucks want to fill up in the state. They would need to institute some rebate vehicles registered in the state that pay based on mileage and weight. Most of the last 30c increase in the gas tax went to the state police.
     
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  6. snakeshoes

    snakeshoes Junior Member

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    This. Just turn the major roadways across the state into toll roads and let the interstate commerce traffic pay for the roadway maintenance as they do the most damage.
     
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  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Have you been paying the fuel tax on the electricity used by your Prime? Under Pa law, alternate fuels are taxed at the gasoline rate for an amount of energy equal to that in a gallon of gas.

    EV users haven't been paying that tax, because; most don't know about the law, there is no way of enforcing it on those willingly ignoring it, and the monthly filing system was a PITA. Which led to this proposed law.
     
  8. Ronald Doles

    Ronald Doles Member

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    Doesn't Pennsylvania have a toll on it's turnpike? I would think that the majority of east/west truck traffic uses the pike.
     
  9. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I sure didn't. Though it seems like the right way to do it. Maybe it would be better to take another crack at enforcing it. I'd love it if the car could cough up something of a report.

    I-80 wouldn't believe you.
     
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  10. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    I'd have to know more about Pennsylvania's constitution to know whether or not taxing certain types of cars more or less than others is 'legal' which in a fair and just world would determine whether or not they're going to be able to get away with it.
    It's quite possible that they don't even call it a tax at all...but rather a "fee."
    It's somewhat like the difference between a "commonwealth" and a "state."

    IN the end however......your elected officials are probably going to get away with it if their constituents let them.

    So.....that brings us to whether or not it's "fair" and for this, it's going to really depend on what YOU think "fair" looks like, along with 12,000,000 of your neighbors....who ALSO get to voice an opinion.

    I personally think that the roads don't care whether they're being driven on by a 3500# Prius or a 3500# Camry, and the Prime's humble 25 mile EV range isn't really a game changer - so I can see where PHEV drivers feel like they're getting picked on.
    However (comma!!!)
    You may have also gotten a $4500 kickback from the feds when you bought your Prime, so it's not like you're going to be cranking open cans of beans for supper every night while you save for up for the increased fees, taxes, or what have you.

    Remember.....unlike the feds, states don't get to make up money out of thin air.
    Oh....some of the accounting shenanigans and bonds come close, but in the end Pennsylvania has to a least APPROACH reality in their budgeting - and the people who build and maintain roads and bridges have families to feed too.

    So....
    YMMV.
     
  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    While the car providing a report would help, the article read made it sound like the state's site wasn't user friendly.

    These Pa EV fees came up in another thread about state fees, but having no luck finding it.
    Guess we could throw tolls up it like other states have done with Interstates.
     
  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Let everyone pay their alternative fuel tax, auto insta-fine the ones who don't file. Sure, they've got 400,000 ways to screw it up but it's not a bad policy.
     
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  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    It will interesting to watch if this passes.

    Mike Carroll, who owns a BEV, put forth this bill because of the collection issues with the current system. His proposed amount was less than half of what was stated in the OP, and didn't include hybrids. Still high, but compared to Pa's gas tax, it was about what an efficient hybrid would pay for going 10k miles. The republicans increased the amount and added hybrids. I have guesses as to why, but this is already skirting forum condemnation.

    The interesting part is that Ram pick ups with the eTorque system are listed as hybrids on Fueleconomy.gov.
     
  14. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Add I-81;).

    Between the 2, those cover east and west as well as north and south with no tolls(y).
     
  15. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Pa. has one of the highest state gaso taxes, so the "avoided tax" will be higher there than most states.

    The problem for HEV hybrids is that elected officials sometimes think of them as using electricity. So I always like to start by defining terms for them that there are 3 types: HEV, PHEV, BEV. And then my argument is HEV's should not be taxed extra unless all cars overs 25 MPG are taxed extra.
     
  16. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Member

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    The primary truck traffic uses Interstate 80.
     
  17. snarfu

    snarfu New Member

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    Representative Carroll was good enough to meet with me on the issue and discuss it. So to clear up 1 mistake Ihad the bill is only supposed to tax EV and PHEV. The regular Prius should not be taxed. The prime falls under the $75 tax. That at least is somewhat reasonable (but still more than I would pay with gas).

    I reviewed all the information from the state when I applied and received the $750 grant, nowhere did it mention an alternative tax. Now that I know, I need to figure out how to pay it.

    I still believe it would not pass a challenge as you are taxing people in two different manners but I also do not think it will be seriously challenged. Also, from disucssions it does not appear as there is support for $250 so expect a number between $150 and $250 for EVs.
     
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