[Oeva-list] Update on HB2328

Gary Munkhoff gary at greenlivingjournal.com
Tue May 3 14:28:04 PDT 2011

Those of you that suspect that ODOT is using the EV as the opening of 
new revenue sources should listen to the talk that Gail Achterman 
(Chair, Oregon Transportation Commission) gave to the Portland City Club 
on April 22.  Your fears are well founded.


Gary M.

On 5/3/11 12:10 PM, Jon Balgley wrote:
> HB2328 ("the EV mileage tax") has been substantially revised as
> reported in yesterday's (2-May) House Revenue Committee work session,
> and to be discussed further (maybe just passed on to the whole House?)
> tomorrow (Wednesday, 4-May, 8:00am).  I have not had a chance to read
> it carefully, but here's what I have gathered so far:
> 0.  Note:  VRUC = Vehicle Road Usage Charge.
> 1.  The latest amended bill can be found here (make the URL be
> all-one-line-no-spaces):
> http://www.leg.state.or.us/committees/exhib2web/2011reg/HREV/05-02-2011/HB2328A%20-A13%20Amendments,%20LRO%20Staff,%2022%20ppE.pdf
> 2. New "policy" language:  "...whereas as a strategy to reduce
> emissions and protect the environment, Oregon wants to encourage
> market penetration of electric vehicles and other highly fuel
> efficient vehicles by providing a transitional rate for a vehicle road
> usage charge [aka VRUC] during the early years of introduction into
> the marketplace..."
> 2a.  It was suggested that the bill also include language similar to
> another bill that states something about "and to reduce dependence on
> foreign oil"
> 3. VRUC = $0.0156/mile (1.56 cents per mile), effective July 1, 2018.
> Reduced rate of $0.0085/mile  (0.85 cents/mile) from July 1, 2015 to
> 2018.
> 4. Complex but vague specifications for reporting mileage.  I have not
> had the time to read this carefully, except:
> 4a. Option to pay flat fee of $300/year [sic; to repeat, that is
> $300/year]  in lieu of per-mile VRUC.
> 5. More detailed description of the task force's reporting
> responsibility to the legislature.  "The purpose of the task force is
> to develop a design for revenue collection for Oregon's roads ... that
> will replace the current system for revenue collection.  The task
> force shall consider all potential revenue sources.   ... [members
> shall be...blah blah] ... The task force shall do all of the
> following"
> A. study alternatives to fuel taxes.
> b. Examine progress of implmenting VRUC
> c. Examine effect of VRUC on mkt penetration of EVs and PHEVs
> d. Examine potential for application of VRUC to hybrids and other
> emerging techs.
> E. Make recommendations to legislature regarding: options to
> voluntarily pay VRUC instead of fuel tax, add out of state motorists
> to VRUC system, improve compliance with VRUC requirement
> The task force shall report to each regular session of the legislature.
> 6.  It also appears that the explicit option to allow 5000 ICE
> vehicles to pay a charge has been removed.
> Please feel free to read the actual amended bill and correct/expand on
> anything I've summarized above.  The Revenue committee is waiting on
> "some paperwork", which I believe is the cost/etc of the
> administration of the new tax.  Next work session is tomorrow, Wed,
> 4-May-2011, 8:00am.
> ---
> I intended the above to be factual, not injecting my opinion too much.
>   Now here's my analysis:
> ODOT wants to introduce this VRUC concept.  In order to make progress
> on it in the real world, they need some vehicles to pay it in the real
> world.  EVs seem to be a good candidate for an experiment -- small
> population (VERY small, as I noted the other day), relatively well-off
> financially (probably), and logically/politically "freeloading" by not
> paying the gas tax.  They need the legislature to authorize a tax like
> this VRUC in order to conduct the larger-scale experiment "in the real
> world".  Personally, I think the concept of VRUC is a good one ... it
> opens the door to additional fine-tuning, e.g., by vehicle weight or
> by use of studded tires (e.g., studded tire licensees would pay more
> from Oct to Apr, or whenever).  And also would allow fine-tuning based
> on "fuel" technology (e.g., getting those coal-driven EV's off the
> road in favor of those powered by unobtanium or di-lithium crystals),
> although politically it's not clear that that would be practical.
> On the other hand, there are clearly some details that are lost on
> ODOT ... e.g., how many EV owners drive their vehicles 19,230 miles
> per year or more, or the importance of using a gas tax to reduce oil
> consumption.  The latter is basically politically impossible, however,
> so I think they are starting off by "picking on" self-righteous
> freeloading EV owners who don't have a good lobbyist!
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The EVs are coming

Gary Munkhoff, Editor&  Publisher
Green Living Journal
P.O. Box 677
Cascade Locks, OR 97014

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