[Oeva-list] Update on HB2328

Jon Balgley jon at photodad.com
Tue May 3 22:01:59 PDT 2011

I'm not trying to defend ODOT or the sponsors of the bill, but here's some
more information.  This info is from the text of the bill and the recorded
audio from the 2-may work session, so you can read/listen for yourself.

* The ODOT guy claimed that the "diagnostic port" might meet their criteria.
 I'm not sure that he actually said "meet the criteria".  He was very
explicit to the legislators about not inventing the wheel, but working in
conjunction with "the federal government" to establish standards.

* Pre-2016 EVs appear to be excluded from this requirement.  It appears to
me that they are trying to target the auto manufacturers, not owners.

* One of the legislators asked if the owner could send in a written (paper)
log, instead.  The ODOT guy said, no, they want to do it electronically ...
but it made him think (out loud) that perhaps an online form would be

* "Part 2" below is not foolish, if I understand the intent correctly.  The
idea is that you'd drive thru a "DEQ-like" station, and get your mileage
read.  Perhaps on a quarterly basis.  But the vision, I think, is for the
readers to be in gas pumps, for ICE vehicles.

BTW, I am guessing that the reason ODOT is doing this now is: they don't
have funding in their current (upcoming) 2011-13 budget.  So they need the
tax to be approved in the 2011 session, so they can budget for and get
funding for the implementation in the 2013 session, in time for actually
beginning to collect it in 2015.

Personally, I think the notion of a "VRUC" is a good one.  It gives us --
society -- tools to target taxes more accurately at what we want to tax.
 The main problem I have with this bill is that I feel it's missing the
target.  It's taxing EVs higher than ICE vehicles.  But, what if, instead of
requiring EVs to install "this technology", we required all users of studded
tires to have it?  And whenever they refueled at a gas pump "in season", it
doubled the gas tax for them?  That would be an on-target use, in my

Also, BTW, someone on the audio mentioned that the legislature will have two
more sessions before this tax is actually collected from anybody.  So while
I would prefer to get it right the first time, there are certainly
opportunities to change it later.  And one of the key provisions of the bill
is the task force that is supposed to make a report on alternatives to fuel

On Tue, May 3, 2011 at 7:11 PM, Lawrence Winiarski <
lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com> wrote:

> SECTION 10.  Reporting vehicle miles traveled. (1) A registered owner or
> lessee subject to the vehicle road usage charge imposed under section 2 of
> this 2011 Act shall equip the electric motor vehicle or plug0in hybrid
> electric motor vehicle with technology, approved by the department of
> Transportation that provides for electron reporting of miles traveled.
> (2) On the date determined by the department under subsection (3) of this
> section, the registered owner or lessee shall report the number of miles the
> vehicle has traveled and pay to the department the amount due under section
> 2 of this 2011 Act for the reporting period.
> The number of miles reported shall be rounded up to the next whole mile.
> So it's very likely that we are gonna get stuck with the bill.
> Also, doesn't part 2 sound foolish?   We have to use their equipment, and
> then are
> responsible to report it?   Why the hell don't we just use the odometer
> then?
> Again, it just makes me mad to read this.   This is pretty obviously not
> about road
> taxes or fairness.   It's blatantly unfair to EV's and puts us at their
> mercy to do
> virtually anything they want so ODOT and their buddies can develop new
> products
> and have us pay the development costs.    Keep in mind that if Oregon
> starts this
> and gets every state to follow suit, then you could have 100,000,000 (100
> million)
> cars forced to buy a $200 gadget.   That means the guys who are using us
> for
> guinea pigs are trying to legislate a tax to create a potential 20 BILLION
> dollar
> industry for themselves using  the technology THEY approve....And I refer
> to the
> audio on Apr 4 where they say they can't release the names of their
> potential "partners"
> (talk about a potential for corruption)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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 *Tue, 5/3/11, Lawrence Winiarski <lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com>*wrote:
> From: Lawrence Winiarski <lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: [Oeva-list] Update on HB2328
> To: oeva-list at oeva.org, "Jon Balgley" <jon at photodad.com>
> Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 5:18 PM
> FYI...I'm pretty sure that Section 10 also stipulates that WE THE DRIVERS
> must pay for the equipment AND the installation...
> ..(basically what ever they want to develop with their "partners" )....
> So we are the guinea pigs who pay for whatever sort of hi-tech wireless
> gizmo they
>  want.
> So if they decide to make a device that costs $499 we can either pay it, OR
> be forced to pay $300/year.  (3X what washington picked).
> AND we also get stuck with the installation charge.   (as we are now 100%
> responsible)
> And I'm guessing the average electric car driver (currently) probably does
> less
> than 10,000 miles/year as electric .    So at the 2016 rates, that would by
> $85 in tax.
> So if you have an electric motorcycle and an electric car and a plug in
> hybrid
> you could get soaked for for 3 gadgets of unknown cost or pay $900/year
> so they could potentially collect $85 in tax.
> Government at it's worst.
> Doesn't even look like we can just do the odometer reading at registration.
> That would at least make some sort of sense.   But instead we have
> technology crazy bureaucrats trying to create a brave new world, at our
> expense.
> And oh yeah....did I mention my family lives on a 3 mile gravel road.
> ...kind of ironic.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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 *Tue, 5/3/11, Jon Balgley <jon at photodad.com>* wrote:
> From: Jon Balgley <jon at photodad.com>
> Subject: [Oeva-list] Update on HB2328
> To: oeva-list at oeva.org
> Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 12:10 PM
> 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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