[Oeva-list] Fwd: Electric car tax -- HB2328

Lawrence Winiarski lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 14 01:31:10 PDT 2011

Whoops...math was a little wrong.   I underestimated how bad it would be.

 It's actually gonna take 105,000 miles of driving at 0.6 cents/mile to make up for the one 15 mpg, 45,000 mile suv   So that's 10 Leafs driving 10,500 miles/year to make up for 1 SUV getting a huge break.     So for 5000 high mileage, low mpggas guzzlers, it's could conceivably take 50,000 Leafs to make up for it.
Another way to look at it.
at 15 mpg and 30 cents/gal tax we have an equivalent tax of 2 cents/mile.If this guy gets taxed at 0.6 cents/mile then they are loosing 1.4 cents in revenue forevery mile.  So they need 2.33 miles in a leaf/prius just to make up for the lost revenue.


If we don't halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity - and will leave a ravaged world.

Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall 023934

--- On Wed, 4/13/11, Lawrence Winiarski <lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Lawrence Winiarski <lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Oeva-list] Fwd: Electric car tax -- HB2328
To: "Jon Balgley" <jon at photodad.com>
Cc: oeva-list at oeva.org
Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 11:47 PM

Yeah...I think that was probably added to bribe people who currently have EV's fromcomplaining, so they can get this passed.
I thought of another problem:   They have apparently set the the fee at 1.43 cents at leastsomewhat by mistake.   AND they are also gonna allow 5000 ICE vehicles to participateif they want to (You can bet those guys are gonna be BIG SUV's who drive alot of miles)
Now, here's the
 problem:   If they change it back to 0.6 cents/mile, that's gonna be theequivalent of 50mpg.   AND they let the 5000 SUV's in on the deal...There's gonna bea hell of a deal for the gas guzzlers.
Imagine a guy with an SUV who gets 15mpg and drives 45,000 miles/year.   He currentlybuys 3000 gallons of gas and pays $900 in state gas tax.   Now if he joins in on the"plan" at 0.6 cents, then he's gonna get his tax $270 which will cost the state$630 dollars of revenue.   Now it's gonna take 5 leaf owners driving 9000 miles /year
 justto BREAK even for the one gas guzzler....let alone the additional cost of collection etc.
And exactly which SUV's are gonna sign up for this plan?   Most likely they guys whodrive a lot of miles.   So if you let 5000 vehicles in, it could very conceivably mean thatyou need to get 25,000 EV's JUST TO COVER THE GUZZLER SUBSIDY.   And that won't bring a dime to roads.   Of course if they leave it at 1.43 cents, then you are absolutely screwing the EV guys.   And the poor manufacturer who now has to develop a whole stupid wireless reporting mechanism for his 2014 leaf or prius.   Heck, they might just
 decide it isn't worth it to sell in Oregon.
So again...this bill makes no sense.   giving the 5000 ICE vehicles an "opt in" to what issupposed to be a revenue generation bill is crazy.
I honestly believe the place to do this is at the charger...not the car.  
Here's some reasons why I think so.
1).   It will be obvious what state to pay the tax in.  2).   Smart grid stuff is coming and is a good idea.    Letting the charger communicatesomehow with the power company makes sense and actually makes a reasonable roadmap for the future for the electric
 grid to manage their loads which IS gonna be thereal problem with widespread electric car adoption.    Doing the Tax at the charger actuallymakes sense because then you don't have to monitor and transmit at 2 places.   Also   Tracking peoples car brings up tons of privacy issues.   3)    It can be incorporated into the power bill, so you only pay one monthly bill4)    Smaller more energy efficient cars can get a better deal if you pay by the kwh insteadof by the mile5)    Power companies and chargers are more tech savvy than ODOT6)    Electric car companies aren't overly burdened7)    It's at least as easy to retrofit a charger8)   Chargers generally don't get involved in car wrecks where equipment needs to bereplaced.   9)
  .....you fill in a reason here


If we don't halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity - and will leave a ravaged world.

Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall 023934

--- On Wed, 4/13/11, Jon Balgley <jon at photodad.com> wrote:

From: Jon Balgley <jon at photodad.com>
Subject: Re: [Oeva-list] Fwd: Electric car tax -- HB2328
To: "Lawrence Winiarski" <lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com>
Cc: oeva-list at oeva.org
Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 10:23 PM

I didn't notice this at first:
      "Also, the bill provides that electric vehicles purchased before the 2014 model years would not pay the tax.  They would drive free. "

I think he's referring to this section:

SECTION 33.  { +  Applicability. Sections 1 to 23, 26 and 31 of
this 2011 Act and the amendments to ORS 319.280, 319.550,
319.665, 319.831, 367.802 and 807.250 by sections 24, 25 and 27
to 30 of this 2011 Act first apply to 2014 model year motor
vehicles. + }

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM, Lawrence Winiarski <lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com> wrote:

Thank you very much for writing.   That was an outstanding letter.

I see that he claims the tax is .6 cents/mile.   I see that is in the "introduced" version of the bill it is .6 cents/mile, but the house amendments change it to 1.43 cents/mile

(search for 2328)
Here's a direct link to the amended (and approved version)
Nowhere in the latest version does it mention 0.6 cents/mile.   It only mentions
1.43 cents/mile

Could it be that the chairman doesn't even realize what what he approved?   

All three versions are on the oregon legislature site AND the oregonlive site.
Something is very fishy here.   I listened to the audio and whitty (the road usertask force guy...and probably the only guy even writing the thing down) said
"verbally" he changed the fee to be "equitable"
My guess is they screwed up and didn't even realize what they approved (the vote wasverbal and of course as you can see, pretty verbose to say the least).   The road user
task force guy is probably the only guy who even really knows what he wrote.  Everyoneelse is just taking his word that he is being reasonable.
Also, at least 3 members voted "no".
   So this is far from being a done deal.   (Ifwe keep fighting)
I'm pretty sure this guy Brian Whitty is likely just trying to make his pet projectof getting rid of the gas tax a reality.   That's why he wants to let the 5000 other ICE vehicles join in on a plan, which is gonna be a massive step backwards for moving
toward fuel efficiency....He likely doesn't give one whit (or is it "whitty") about electriccars, which is why he moved the rate to probably the "average" gas economy.

Again...this will be great for gas guzzlers....lousy for fuel efficient cars.
I'd keep the letter and write him back and let him know of the error.   Perhaps thenext committee could at least fix it.


If we don't halt
 population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity - and will leave a ravaged world.

Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall 023934

--- On Wed, 4/13/11, Jon Balgley <jon at photodad.com> wrote:

From: Jon Balgley <jon at photodad.com>
Subject: [Oeva-list] Fwd: Electric car tax -- HB2328
To: oeva-list at oeva.org

Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 3:36 PM

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rep Read <read.rep at state.or.us>

Date: Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 2:05 AM
Subject: RE: Electric car tax -- HB2328
To: Jon Balgley <jon at photodad.com>

Dear Mr. Balgley,

Thank you for writing and sharing your concerns with the electric car tax. I appreciate your perspective on the issue.

I appreciate your concerns about legislation that would create a disincentive for the emergence of a market for
 electric vehicles in Oregon.  I strongly support the emergence of this new technology and am working on other legislation to encourage the availability of electric vehicle charging stations to lessen the worry about charging up away from home or the office.

As a legislator, I have the challenging task of balancing competing interests.  On one hand I support the emergence of electric vehicles in Oregon.  On the other hand, as co-chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development, I have the responsibility to ensure the viability of the highway trust fund so that the state can care for the road system that new electric vehicles will drive upon.

I am sure you agree that operators of electric vehicles should not drive our road system for free in perpetuity.  EV owners should pay something for their use of the road system.  The only questions are what EV owners should pay and
 when should they pay it.

A tax on use need not be regarded as a penalty, as long as it is fair.  A road usage tax would be based on use and thus mirrors the gas tax for standard vehicles.  Paying based on use is longstanding policy for road funding in Oregon.

HB 2328 is a bill sponsored by Oregon’s Road User Fee Task Force.  The task force has a nine-year tenure in developing new ways to fund our state’s road system.  The task force has researched many viable ways to collect a tax on miles driven, one of which involves wireless transfer of an odometer reading from a car’s existing odometer.  This is not outlandish technology and the bill is based on that method of reporting, although ODOT will be able to develop other reporting methods from which motorists may choose to suit their individual needs.

As currently written, the bill also has a delayed start date for the
 new tax on electric vehicles – January 1, 2014.  This will give the EV market time to take hold before the new tax would be applied.  Also, the bill provides that electric vehicles purchased before the 2014 model years would not pay the tax.  They would drive free.  That’s an incentive to purchase early.

Further, the amount of tax paid under HB 2328 would be small as it is currently written.  The tax rate was set at a level identical to what a hybrid electric vehicle currently pays in gas tax, $6 for every 1,000 miles driven.  That’s only $6 per month for high volume driving.  This does not seem like much of a discouragement to purchase of these vehicles.

I think Oregon can both incent the emergence of a new type of vehicle technology while at the same time protecting the way the state funds its road system.  It is a balancing act and it must be undertaken with

House Bill 2328 will almost certainly be amended before going forward.  You can be assured I will carefully consider the proposed changes to this bill with a view of supporting but not hindering customer acceptance of the emerging electric vehicle fleet.  I will at the same time, however, make sure that electric vehicle operators pay a responsible share of necessary funding to ensure the health of the road system.



From: Jon Balgley [jon at photodad.com]

Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 12:28 AM

To: Rep Read; Sen Hass; Sen Bonamici

Subject: Electric car tax -- HB2328

Hello --

My name is Jon Balgley and I live in Rep. Read's and Sen. Hass's districts, respectively.  I have recently purchased an electric car -- it's an older car converted to all-battery power.  At some
 appropriate time, I would be happy to show the car to you and/or talk to you about electric cars in general.

I strongly urge you to take appropriate action against HB2328 in its current form.  There are a number of reasons why this bill would be a bad law:

1.  First and foremost, it sends the wrong message, at this point in time.  Taxation can be used to encourage or discourage actions by citizens.  As I'm sure you're aware, increasing taxes will tend to discourage the taxed behavior.  I believe that as a society, we want to reduce the use of fossil fuels.  So as part of that, we want to encourage the use of electric vehicles -- especially here in Oregon where most of our electricity is generated from hydropower.  Adding taxes and potentially burdensome procedures will discourage the purchase and use of electric vehicles.

2. Although its purpose is to "augment the
 fuel tax", I believe it will produce a net-negative revenue impact, and a net-positive impact on tax-free gasoline usage.  That's because it is written as an *option* for (up to 5000) non-electric vehicles.  So the owner of any gasoline-powered vehicle can choose to pay $0.0143/mile instead of the $0.30/gallon gas tax (ignoring additional local taxes).  Why would someone choose to do this?  When their gasoline tax cost per mile exceeds $0.0143 per mile.  If you do the math, the break-even point is around 21 miles per gallon.  That is, any vehicle which gets LESS than 21 mpg, would pay LESS tax if they sign up for the new "electric car tax".  Many SUVs and large pickups get less than 21 mpg.  So we would be encouraging the worst offenders.  You can bet that people who drive the most inefficient vehicles will be the first to sign up!  And would *encourage* the use

 of those vehicles!  Balance that
 against the "less than 1000" (according to the Oregonian) electric vehicles currently on the road, and which have limited range (will pay limited mileage-based tax) compared to gasoline-powered vehicles.

3.  As proposed, this bill effectively taxes electric vehicles at much higher rates than gasoline-powered vehicles.  As shown in the previous point, the proposed tax is "break-even" for a vehicle that gets 21 miles per gallon of gasoline.  The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are rated by the EPA at 99 and 93 "MPG equivalent". So these vehicles would pay more than 4 times as much tax as a "typical" 21 mpg gasoline car.

4. There are a number of less-important reasons why this bill would make a bad law:

  A. It specifies relatively draconian punishments for relatively small infractions.

  B. It does not account for the cost of implementation on the state's side.  A complex new
 collection mechanism may cost more than the increase in revenues itself!

  C. It does not account for the complexities on the consumer side.  It seems like it might introduce a complex and/or burdensome new system.

  D. It does not account for the disproportionate damage to roads caused by heavier vehicles.  Road damage is exponentially related to weight (to the 4th power!), but gas usage (and gas-tax revenue) is linearly related.

  E. It does not account for other factors that cause disproportionate damage to roads, such as the use of studded tires.

Finally, I would like to say that it is beneficial to begin to raise these questions.  It's clear that the sponsor of HB2328 believes that electric vehicles will become popular enough to make a difference to Oregon's current revenue structure.  I look forward to that day, and when it comes, I will be happy to pay my fair share.
  But for the reasons above, HB2328 would make a bad law, and I again urge you to vote or otherwise move against it.

Jon Balgley

5470 SW Dover Loop

Portland, OR 97225


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