[Oeva-list] Revenue Committee to meet again Tomorrow (Apr 15) at 8am to discuss EV tax

Jon Balgley jon at photodad.com
Sat Apr 16 16:05:45 PDT 2011

Lawrence, I listened to your testimony from yesterday, and it sounded great
-- clearly made some impression on the members of the committee.  Testimony
doesn't always do that.  "Doing it at the charger" was the idea that clearly
made the biggest impact.  Maybe "do it at the charger" should be OEVA's new
slogan?  :-)

I have to say, though, that the ODOT guy made a couple of good points:

* It's better to start small.  It's not the end of the world to pay a few
extra bucks to help test out the system, prior to it becoming a "mass
market" system.  (Even though this bill doesn't even do that, since all of
our cars are exempted.)  After all, that's basically what we're doing with
our cars, right?

* It's probably a good idea to have *some* tax in place so that EV drivers
don't assume they can drive tax-free forever.

But those points don't mean the details of the tax, the procedure, or the
other aspects of the bill are necessarily good.

I wish the OEVA could take an official position on HB2328, but that's
probably in conflict with its new 501(c)(3) status.  FWIW, I googled a bit
on this, and according to various IRS documents, 501C3's can lobby if it's
not a "substantial" portion of its activities, but I don't know how to
measure that.  OTOH, providing educational information is what 501c3's like
OEVA are supposed to do.  And there is no restriction on what an
organization can provide to a government body, if the org is asked by the
body to provide information.

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM, Lawrence Winiarski <
lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Again...that letter sounds great.
> I was thinking of another recommendation.
> Any tax on EV's should be delayed until it brings in at least 4X MORE tax
> dollars
> than it requires to administrate.   In other words, the administrative
> costs cannot exceed
> 25%.    So if it costs 1 million dollars to tax EV's, then they need to
> wait until
> there are enough EV's to generate 4 million dollars in revenue.    This
> will probably mean
> about 10,000 - 20,000 EV's (at least) for the current plan.
> Again, judging from an earlier message, apparently the BLINK chargers
> already have
> a way to delay charging along the lines of what I said earler (i.e smart
> grid).
>  It sure would be nicer if the chargers computed the tax and just added it
> to your bill.
> AND with fast charging, you can bet there will be an entire new
> infrastructure IN your
> house to deal with the increased amperage.   Why not implement the tax
> there?
> It will get paid on a regular basis and this is better for ODOT also as it
> gives them
> revenue on a regular basis (instead of every year, or even every other
> year) and they
> can use this money at public charging stations to fund MORE public charging
> stations.
> (which EV users actually want).
> I just had having to deal with yet "another" bill.   And a fine of $50 for
> possibly forgetting
> to pay your $10 road tax bill is just mean.
> You could also just do it on your income tax form.   Again, just 1 check
> yearly.
> But I also stick with what I said originally.   The gas tax is just fine
> for the next decade
> at least.   We can raise and lower the gas tax to generate any money
> necessary for
> quite a long time.   The whole EV tax is premature.
> Let's do it right.   I think the right thing is to incorporate it at the
> charger which is quite
> analogous to the Gas tax.   It rewards conservation and is roughly
> compatible with
> road wear.    Motorcycles and tiny light EV's would be lightly taxed.
> A per mile usage tax rewards gas guzzlers and rewards overconsumption....It
> is just
> downright un-oregonian.
> The gas tax works great.   I think we should use that as the model for the
> EV tax.
> --- On *Thu, 4/14/11, Jon Balgley <jon at photodad.com>* wrote:
> From: Jon Balgley <jon at photodad.com>
> Subject: Re: [Oeva-list] Revenue Committee to meet again Tomorrow (Apr 15)
> at 8am to discuss EV tax
> To: "Gary Graunke" <gary at whitecape.org>
> Cc: oeva-list at oeva.org
> Date: Thursday, April 14, 2011, 4:40 PM
> I am out of the country at the moment, here's a letter that I sent just now
> to the members of the Revenue Committee:
> ---
> Dear members and chairs of the House Revenue committee:
> My name is Jon Balgley, and I would like to submit the following testimony
> about HB 2328:
> First of all, let me state that it's great to attempt to make all users of
> Oregon's roads pay fees that are proportionate to their usage, and that I
> understand that no fee or tax is ever 100% fair.
> HB 2328 specifies two changes in taxes:
> 1. As currently written, taxes electric vehicles at $0.0143 per mile
> ($14.30 per 1000 miles).  That is in comparison to the state gas tax of
> $0.30 per gallon.  It's easy to make a comparison of the two taxes to each
> other, if you select a particular efficiency rate for a vehicle.  For
> example, if a car gets 30 miles to the gallon, then it pays $0.01 per mile.
>  If it gets 60mpg, then it pays $0.005 per mile.  If it gets 15mpg, then it
> pays $0.02 per mile.  As you can see, (a) the gas tax is proportional to
> gas-mileage efficiency, rewarding lightweight efficient vehicles and
> penalizing heavy and/or inefficient vehicles; and (b) electric vehicles will
> be taxed as if they were a gasoline vehicle getting approximately 20mpg.
> I think it is important, at minimum, to set a rate for electric vehicles
> that is proportional to their "MPG equivalent".  The EPA rates the Nissan
> Leaf and Chevrolet Volt at more than 90 MPGe.  So the per-mile rate should
> be substantially lower.  The bill as originally written set the rate at
> $0.006 per mile, which, while not a perfect arithmetic match for these
> typical MPGe ratings, is at least close.
> 2. As currently written, HB2328 allows up to 5000 non-electric (gasoline)
> vehicles to optionally use the per-mile tax.  As you can see above, the
> per-mile tax and the gasoline tax can be directly compared for a specific
> vehicle.  It is a break-even for the vehicle at about 20mpg.  This clause
> effectively allows vehicles which get LESS than  20mpg to pay LESS in gas
> taxes ... effectively taxing them "as if" they got 20mpg.  Of course, if a
> particular vehicle already gets more than 20mpg, then they would pay more if
> they switched to the per-mile tax ... so they won't do that.
> I think this clause is detrimental to Oregon, both reducing revenue and
> increasing the use of inefficient (and likely relatively heavy) vehicles.
> Note that if the per-mile rate is reduced, as per my recommendation #1,
> then the detrimental effects of #2 are increased!  since   the inefficient
> vehicles are then taxed as if they were an even-more-efficient vehicle.
> I think this clause should simply be removed.  The gas tax, while not
> perfect, provides a relatively fair way of tax gasoline-powered vehicles.
> In addition:
> * I think it's important to note that this IS a new tax or fee.  The
> revenue impact statement from the transportation committee stated that it
> was not.
> * I think the committee should carefully consider whether this is the right
> time to implement this new fee.  The fiscal impact is estimated at about $1
> million per biennium for implementation and management.  I have not yet seen
> any estimates of the net revenue change.
> In summary, my suggestions are:
> * Reduce the per-mile rate back to the originally-proposed $0.006/mile, or
> even a little lower to reflect the high efficiency of electric vehicles
> and
> * Remove the clause allowing the most inefficient non-electric vehicles to
> pay a flat per-mile rate.
> Thank you for your consideration.  Please feel free to enter this as
> official testimony or to quote me.  I am traveling outside the country
> today, and so will not be able to testify in person.
> Sincerely,
> Jon Balgley
> [address & phone]
> --------------
> On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 7:23 AM, Gary Graunke <gary at whitecape.org<http://mc/compose?to=gary@whitecape.org>
> > wrote:
> I was late getting there, but I did catch the end of the session. I talked
> to
> Barry Woods from Drive Oregon, David Stiers, and Jim Whitty.
> I plan to attend (on time) tomorrow, and probably will say something and
> have
> a written handout. While I won't pretend to represent the OEVA (we have to
> be
> careful regarding our tax status anyway), I do want to make our concerns
> known, even if it is our personal point of view.
> The chair did ask for more real EV driver input....
> I hope we can discuss this a bit this evening at our regular meeting. Let's
> try to get our comments organized.
> By the way, Jim Whitty told me that he is not married to the numbers, and
> really would like more time (he suggested 2016) to get the bugs out before
> implementing it. He would also like our perspective in helping craft the
> details to achieve public acceptance and not impede EV rollout. Many of the
> details will be decided by ODOT, and not specified in the law. So I think
> we
> should provide constructive input and have more influence on the outcome of
> the
> law and also the implementation details.
> The key point I'm making is that we need to be constructive--suggest
> improvements and provide rationale for them. Barry Woods did a good job of
> this, but there is a lot to say here and we have to be brief and
> to-the-point.
> Gary
> On Thursday, April 14, 2011 01:49:51 PM Lawrence Winiarski wrote:
> > I wish I could attend.   I think there might be a way to do it over
> skype.
> >   Info here (right hand side of
> > page)http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2011/HB2328/
> >
> >
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > -
> >
> > 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
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