Featured Wisconsin yet again moving to add a special tax for Prius hybrids and plug ins

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Rmay635703, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    I'm quoting from bluesight and metrompg but in any event the republican Wisconsin legislators are once again making legislation to penalize hybrids, vehicles with start stop and plug ins.

    The law started as a $150 up charge for BEVs only and every day gets changed to add more vehicles, last I saw it was reduced to $100 but is moving to become the "Prius tax" again.

    An old version of the bill is here
    2017 Assembly Bill 478

    My sentiments are stated well below so I'm quoting but please write your letter to the editor on this issue...

    This may seem counterintuitive, but "traditional" hybrid owners should raise a holy stink that they are being lumped in with plug-ins and EVs. While this appears to play in to the hands of folks that like to divide and conquer, like the WI governor and majority legislators, the only way to implement this punitive tax is to require the larger pool of traditionals to be lumped in with the minuscule number of EVs and plug-ins. If only EVs and plug-ins are in the pool, the punishment would be so severe that even the sleeping general public would take notice. Here's an argument that I made to my local rag as to why traditional hybrids should not be punished:
    ---
    My 2003 Honda Insight hybrid (3cyl, 1L) averages 50MPG. A NON-hybrid Ford Fiesta SFE (3cyl, 1L) averages 35MPG. For 10,000 miles traveled, the Fiesta will use 286 gallons and the Insight, 200 gallons. The Fiesta owner will pay $88 in WI gas tax (at $0.309/gal), and, for the Insight, instead of paying "little to nothing", I'll pay $62. Seems like I avoided all of $26 in gas tax. But consider the owner of a new-technology, aluminum F150 pickup that averages 17MPG compared to the old-technology, non-aluminum F150 averaging 14MPG. For 10,000 miles traveled, the non-aluminum F150 will use 714 gallons, and the aluminum, 588 gallons. WI gas taxes for the non-aluminum version will be $221, and $182 for the aluminum, allowing the aluminum version owner to avoid $39 of gas tax. This is obvious, simple math. But under the hybrid tax legislation, I will be charged a $75 penalty for not paying my $26 "fair share", while F150 owners, and there are a lot of them, will be charged nothing for avoiding $39. Singling out hybrid technology by name for punitive taxation is legislatively picking winners and losers, as much as it would be to have a special tax for aluminum bodied vehicles. It is indefensible, unfair, and, eventually, unworkable.
    ---

    And to a local pundit that wrote an article lumping all hybrids together:
    ---
    It's easy to do the research, whether or not you believe in conspiracy theories. See: Flurry of State Bills Introduced, Likely Backed by Oil Industry, to Penalize Electric Car Drivers | Sierra Club and related links in the article. If you believe in the conspiracy, the ALEC/Koch target would be suppression of purchases of plug-in hybrids and EVs. In any case, traditional hybrids are "collateral damage" because there are not yet enough plug-ins and EVs to make an argument to the public for collecting useful fractions of tax dollars. Constantly repeating the kinds of talking points you and David Prosser used provides the echo chamber for the what can be characterized as "fake news", that traditional hybrids are the same as plug-ins and EVs in paying "little to nothing in state gas taxes".
    ---
    The talking point that is repeated in the echo chamber goes like this quote from David Prosser's column:

    "Many people see plug-in hybrid cars and pure EVs as the wave of the future. Federal tax credits have been authorized to encourage EV purchases. The inevitable consequence is a decline in gas tax revenues. These revenues must be replaced because EVs and hybrids use the same highways as everyone else."
    ---
    You notice he starts by singling our EVs and plug-ins for not paying their fair share, then conveniently eliminates the distinction with traditionals by lumping all in the term "hybrids" which becomes the target for the taxing legislation.

    There may not be much our community can do to stop this in states that are leaning toward or are already punishing efficiency. But it can't hurt to make a stink!

    B
     
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  2. kevins007

    kevins007 Active Member

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    I live in Wisconsin and the Republicans here are just a bunch of idiots, along with their supporters. This bill pisses me off to no end. I truly hope we see $4.50 per gallon gas prices so I can smile as I pass them.
     
    #2 kevins007, Sep 8, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  3. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Different versions of this bill have come and been veto'd

    I think as long as we raise public perception to the stupidity of the bill using letters to legislators or to the editor we can up the anti to address the funding issue a different way.

    Blocking government officials from using gas tax in the general fund for campaign activities I think should be step 1.
     
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  4. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Well it looks like the "Prius tax" is going to pass.

    Every Prius owner in Wisconsin including those with a 2001 will get to pay double the registration next year.

    And all because they avoided $25 a year in gas tax, you bastards
     
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  5. bat4255

    bat4255 2016 Prius v #2 and 2008 Gen II #2

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  6. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Hybrid owners have been complacent about the possibility of this fee for years.

    Back in 2009 a $50 was suggested.

    Complaining about it now is waaaaay to late in the game.

    This is what happens when people don't get organized nor engage in their local politics/issues.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    why single out hybrids? why not have a structured fee based on epa mpg's?
     
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  8. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Hybrids were politicized long ago.
    Hybrids=liberals

    So a tax on hybrids is a way to stick it to liberals.
    Republicans are in control at the state level right now, so sticking it the liberals is a popular idea.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i've never lived in a swinger state.
     
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  10. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    I wasn't complacent but my experience has been

    1. My personal ability to become even a local rep is impossible

    2. I am apart of a minority, the majority appears to want this law.

    The only time I've seen political dirty tricks stopped was when my father told a local administrator that it would be worth a $50 fine and 30 days to beat him to a pulp.

    I am not my father.

    So my further involvement in local politics appears to have minimal affect ,

    unless you have a good idea on how to drive these types of issues?
     
  11. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    If Wisconsin did that, all the 4mpg cheese/dairy hauling trucks would have to simply pass on their increased costs to us, the consumer. Ya think i wana pay more for my feta & my chedda & my lymboyga?
    ;)
    .
     
  12. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    It is not fair to single out hybrids. That's equivalent to saying we should tax F150 because it's Aluminum.
    What would be fair, but stinky, would be to have a surcharge for all vehicles over 25 MPG prorated for EPA MPG.
    That would be a defacto miles driven tax. NH had proposed that.

    We did cancel the hybrid fee in Va., via change of governor and some petitions. We had it for a couple years.

    Unfort we have accumulated a number of states now with hybrid fees starting with Idaho, I think now MI and some others.

    Unlike EV's there is absolutely zero public lobby force for hybrids, so we are blowing in the wind. At one point I joined Plug-In America hoping they would help but let us hang too.

    I suppose Toyota and other auto makers help a little with some of their joint industry groups advising legislators that Hybrids should not be taxed, because the tax should be technology neutral, if they want to tax MPG, that's OK in theory.
     
    #12 wjtracy, Sep 18, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  13. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    We had an opportunity to stop this before it got put it place.
    But general apathy, complacency, and general lack of engagement from hybrid owners made us squander that opportunity.

    Would have been better to be proactive, rather than reactive.

    I am helping to build a coalition to oppose this, but my guess it will be a hard row to hoe.
    If anyone else is interested in getting involved feel free to contact me at 608-729-4082
     
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  14. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    what's ironic to me about taxing hybrids (under the rational that they're not burning enough fuel) is that you have some hybrids like the 600 Lexus that get horrible mileage despite being a hybrid. So for mpg pigs like that, it's almost a double tax.
    Maybe the legislature could consider an exemption if people disable their hybrid systems or run low tire pressure ... or maybe just pull a spark plug wire off ... or how about pointing the nozzle at the gutter & just squirting a few extra gallons down the storm drain. Sometimes you have to meet legislator's rationale down at their own level.

    .
     
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  15. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Let me know if I can help. We had some legislators do petition which helped.
    I did a lot using Prius Chat where I could...today that might be FHoP.
    You'll find a bunch of old threads.

    Virginia it was particular non-sense because we have a progressive car tax each year. So something like a HiHy would pay enormous annual tax, and then this added insult to injury, for a car that may not be over 25 MPG.
     
  16. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    This is horrible.

    If it passes...can Us Minnesotans build a border wall with Wisconsin? :whistle:
     
  17. kevins007

    kevins007 Active Member

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    Sure. We are the dumbasses that choose to vote for the Dumbass Republican's.
    Hell Walker makes Trump look compentant.
     
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  18. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    This will pass.
    There is zero pushback from Hybrid owners.

    We had time to mobilize (I think I first posted about it way back in 2009?) and we chose not to.
     
  19. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Yeah that is unfortunate. However, I'm skeptical that any mobilization would have helped given the political situation. Doesn't hurt to try though.

    Also, it seems like the average non-hybrid driver (especially 'truck culture' people) will not care until gasoline reaches the magic $3-$4 a gallon. At that point it will be pretty comical to here them complain. I'm generalizing...but I don't think I have ever seen so many large vehicles as I do now.
     
  20. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Yeah that is unfortunate. However, I'm skeptical that any mobilization would have helped given the political situation. Doesn't hurt to try though.

    Also, it seems like the average non-hybrid driver (especially 'truck culture' people) will not care until gasoline reaches the magic $3-$4 a gallon. At that point it will be pretty comical to here them complain. I'm generalizing...but I don't think I have ever seen so many large vehicles as I do now.
     
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