[Oeva-list] Any official OEVA position on state user taxes for EVs

Nick nickgaladay at msn.com
Sun Apr 17 17:48:12 PDT 2011


The input I’ve read so far, particularly the position paper presented by Jon
Balgley, sound spot on, well reasoned and represents OEVA well.  I believe
as we become more politically visible as an advocate for EVs we need to
protect our credibility by presenting a united front when presenting
ourselves publically.  In that vein I must confess to shooting from the hip
in a recent letter to my state representative.  So, in keeping with my own
council and so the left hand knows what the right had is saying, here’s a
copy of what I said (without benefit of the thought process) to
Representative Brad Witt:

“Hi Brad,

First, thank you in advance for your indulgence.  Here’s something I
contributed to our Oregon Electric Vehicle Association discussion about the
proposed mileage tax for EVs.  As I said before, let’s wait until we have
more than the few hundred EVs on the road before we get all twisted in a
knot about “fairness”.  Clearly, it’s nuts to try to encourage the adoption
of EVs through federal and state tax breaks while simultaneously surcharging
them with a mileage tax.  I would also hope that when we do get around to
dealing with what will eventually be a large loss in motor fuel revenues due
to EVs, that we give the subject a little more thought beyond a 1.43 ¢ /
mile mileage tax.   Besides being excessive, it’s unenforceable and invasive
of privacy.  You’re welcome to subscribe to our OEVA discussions:

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or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

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I wrote this with only a partial tongue in cheek.  Once less and less fuel
is being used and thus available as a source of highway revenue, we’ll need
to look at other ways (such as a tire tax) of equitably generating user fees
to support our highway maintenance.  Here are some of my thoughts:

A higher fuel tax would not only raise revenue but would also act like a
carbon tax discouraging the use of fossil fuels; not a bad thing.

But a more significant revenue raising opportunity we're missing is our
license plates.  We here in Oregon pay what has to be the lowest tax
anywhere for our license plates while our highways suffer.  New York has
long charged based on weight owing to its obvious strong impact on highway
maintenance costs.  I think the cost of our license tags should have added
penalties for other vehicle characteristics as well, to whatever extent they
add cost, complicate our highway use, or otherwise render it less pleasant
or less safe.  Let’s put a surcharge on:  Every pound in GVW over 3,500 lbs.
(the weight of a Camry), any vehicle that can't be seen through or over from
behind from the driver's seat of your basic Camry (seeing what’s in front of
the car in front of you greatly reduces accidents), West Coast mirrors that
can knock a bicyclist (or pedestrian) off into the mud, a Reese type trailer
hitch to stuff into your grill while parallel parking or prang your shins on
in a dark parking lot, studded tires, engine noise over 40 db at idle, any
foul odor (use of high-sulfur diesel e.g.), wheels too big to be contained
by an average curbstone (that's what curbstones were originally for after
all).  These are just a few of my pet peeves that cost us all a little
something every day.  One in a thousand cars being electric? - doesn't cost
me a dime!  Less impact on me than having to watch for bicycles in fact.”


   Nick Galaday

        Vernonia, OR 97064

        Energy conservation--

                     saves more than energy!


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