Prius tax enacted this week in Alabama

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by SuzyGS, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Senior Member

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    ^ This would be the fair way to tax BEV's for their share of 'road use'.

    But not the fair way for PHEV's. How can you document how much EV vs Gas usage each car has done for the year.
    A PiP would be the most unfair taxation with it's very small 6-11 mile EV range.

    In Missouri I pay $81 per year for my little <3000 lb. / 82 mile range BEV,,, the same as a >5000 lb. / +200 mile range Tesla. I'm fine with paying my fair share, but I can see the unfairness in it when you calculate what my equivalent gas usage taxes would be.

    I wonder who in these 'EV/PHEV added tax' states are pushing for this???:whistle:
     
  2. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Senior Member

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    Every road a 'toll' road?

    Let me guess.....:sneaky:.... Libertarian??
     
  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Just $75? Did you miss one, I thought you were getting two new fees. As a non-plugin owner, I get just one new fee -- to support plug-in chargers!
     
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Seeing how a PHEV is still a hybrid, it likely is paying less in gas taxes than the average car, so I don't see the problem. For clarity, if a mileage tax is implemented, it needs to apply to all cars, not just a subset.

    Interstate trucking is an issue to face. Before paying to install more tolls, the federal fuel taxes have to be raised. Much of cash raised from them get directly handed back to the states for infrastructure, and the current rate hasn't been high enough to cover the roads for years now.
     
  5. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    Well, it is complicated. As they keep adding on new charges, and going against the voters who voted for a simple $30. car tab fee, I am going to just opt out of it. I am a 100% disabled veteran, due to a type of cancer caused by my service in Vietnam and exposure to Agent Orange. The state allows me to have one vehicle with a license that says "disabled veteran" on only one of my vehicles. I will remove it from my 4Runner and put it on the Prius when the Prius license is up for renewal. I hadn't planned on mentioning this, as it doesn't apply to 99% of the people on this forum, but thought that some of you might be interested.
     
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  6. noonm

    noonm Senior Member

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    Pretty much the same "logic" as these special EV/Hybrid taxes.

    Also, this is not new, as many states have started to implement them:
    [​IMG]

    The map is a little out of date, but gives a rough idea of which states and how much. EV/Hybrid adoption has reached the perfect size to be large enough to generate decent revenue, but not big enough to spur a large outcry like raising the gas tax would. The "paying your fair share" argument is a clear smokescreen since

    1) the fees are flat-rate rather than based on any measure of how much you drive (like the gas tax) and,
    2) often set at a value that would require much more driving than most people do to match what you would pay in gas tax

    Sadly, you generally have little recourse besides yelling into the void and vowing to vote against your Rep/Senator/Governor for passing this.
     
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  7. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    some these violate equal protection type laws and are illegal

    Oklahoma had an EV tax overturned,
    Wisconsin’s is also illegal but it takes money and work to get it overturned
     
  8. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    Thank you for your service to our country!

    It makes me a little upset when I hear about these fees/taxes/penalties affecting those of us least able to afford them. It bothers me that you had to make the choice of not registering one of your vehicles because of these monkey shines.
     
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  9. Bab F

    Bab F Junior Member

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    In Washington State, this information would most likely be public records, which could be the subject of public records request. The State may not see any reason to sell the information, and may not wish to. However, since they are public records, they can be requested any anyone with payment of nominal fees or none at all. The exception is if the records are sought for commercial purposes.
     
  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Okay, what are the timing requirements for the release of public records? Could you not still create a market of realtime data vs. 30 day delayed public record releases?
     
  11. Bab F

    Bab F Junior Member

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    Getting public records can be a tedious process but, ultimately, the information sought can be released. No reason has to be provided for the request. Of course, a market can be created for realtime data. However, even if the State was somehow uninterested in that market, it can be forced. The open records law ensures that personal information is of public interest. The release can only be delayed. The value to advertisers may be diminished but it still will be valuable data.
     
  12. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Are they?

    Tolling records here are already not public records:

    "What does government do with my private information?

    Toll records, including photos of vehicles, may be used only for toll collection and enforcement.

    The 2010 Legislature passed Senate Bill 6499, which the American Civil Liberties Union calls the strongest U.S. privacy law for tollpayers. This is unlike some states, where toll records are used in police investigations or even released to divorce lawyers, the ACLU says. Washington state toll records are not releasable even by court order or search warrant, said Jennifer Shaw, deputy director for ACLU of Washington."


    I should have gone after several real estate entities that clearly violated this on property tax records. Most of it was long ago, but another cropped up recently.

    I know because ours has a certain odd formatting error that appears on no other legal record anywhere.
     
  13. Bab F

    Bab F Junior Member

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    It remains so until there is a legal challenge to the law. When a compelling public interest arises, we will see if Shaw is correct. A close reading of Section 8(5)(c) of that law suggests that the records can be used for law enforcement purposes. If they are used for that, the records produced in consequence of that may not be protected.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Law enforcement can use these records for their duties related to this section, which is about toll collection. If you are doing things that should remain private, then pay your tolls to WSDOT so that law enforcement isn't pulled into the issue. Then there is nothing for them to possibly release or expose in court.

    And if you still believe that these protections are not yet strong enough, you'll have opportunity to voice your concerns to the Legislature when this sort of mileage-based tolling is debated and established as state policy, which hasn't yet happened. And for many of our highways, such tolling is a violation of existing federal law, so federal law must also be changed before those roads can be tolled.
     
  15. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    Actually, I enjoyed my 20 year Navy career. To clarify, I chose to put the disabled license on the 4Runner as larger vehicles typically have the higher license fee. Now that the Prius fee is much larger, I will just switch the 4Runner plates to the Prius and vice versa. Of course there will probably be a fee for that, but I expect that.
     
  16. snakeshoes

    snakeshoes Junior Member

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    I don't know about other states, but in MA the requirement is a response within 10 working days to produce the requested documents or to respond saying that additional time (I think it's up to another 20 working days, but don't quote me on that) is needed to produce the records. MA requires that public records be produced free of cost unless the government agency can demonstrate a significant expense in staff time to produce the records in which case the requester can be billed before the records are produced.

    Once you get through that, there's other things that could make this functional impossible. For example, if you request all the state's automatic tolling data for a given month, there's nothing to say that they can't send that to you as a massive PDF document rather than as a usable spreadsheet or similar format where data can be easily manipulated. Heck, if some keeper of records got upset with getting continued requests for this sort of data, I could see them just sending a massive hard copy print-out of the data on the most inconvenient paper size they could find.
     
  17. snakeshoes

    snakeshoes Junior Member

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    Besides all that, if someone really wants to know where you are, they just track your phone data anyway. Hell, most of us here own or are thinking of buying Prius Primes that have the Toyota Connect or whatever that emergency service is in it. If you don't think they can track you (even if you don't activate the service) then you're fooling yourself. How long they save that data or if it's just used for a "where are they right now" function is another matter, but it's a bit late for anyone who has any technology to be thinking about "staying off the grid".

    As for the tolls, you have a point about federal highways. However, you're thinking narrowly. I've met some advocates who are getting legitimate traction around the idea of transponder tolls on any moderately large surface street such as a lot of the larger state routes and urban parkways. But for now, I think the states will lean on the "soak the EV/PHEV drivers because there's enough of them to make money but not enough to worry about when they complain" strategy for raising revenue.
     
  18. mlsimmons

    mlsimmons New Member

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    I just purchased a 2005 Prius with 220,000 miles on it in Washington state - at title transfer there was $250 electrification fee added - As I was told, - it is intended to help provide more plug-in availability throughout the state - however this old of a Prius isn't a plug-in - this is in addition to the additional annual tax fees added to license tab renewal due to it being a hybrid- they get you anyway they can
     
  19. vvillovv

    vvillovv Active Member

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    The Government giveth and the Government taketh AWAY !!
     
  20. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Senior Member

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    +1, raise fuel taxes.
    Discourage inefficient use of fuel.
    Encourage fuel efficient vehicles.

    It would be an infrastructure tax (who doesn't think our roads and bridges need work?)
    and could be viewed as a CO² tax (who doesn't think burning all this fossil fuel is a problem?)
    It would be a level playing field and lots of needed jobs would be created in the infrastructure maintenance field!

    Now I can see how BEV's need to pay for their share of the roads.
    And I can see how it could be more fair. (Leaf - Tesla comparison).

    But to tax any vehicle capable of burning gas because it is fuel efficient is the wrong approach.

    Now, who is telling the law makers we need to stick it to the people that own fuel efficient vehicles?
     
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