[Oeva-list] Update on HB2328

Lawrence Winiarski lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com
Wed May 4 00:04:44 PDT 2011

I expect the OBD connector already has the odometer reading.   You can
already buy devices that read it and get all sorts of info (gas usage, speed,
timing, etc, and all sorts of sensor failure stuff (Throttle position sensor, Oxygen
sensor..etc)   So this is a reasonable way to get the reading....but then if that
is all you want, it's pretty damn easy to just LOOK at the stupid odometer and
write it down, and it's a whole lot simpler.   And you don't need the whole
crazy wireless transfer too.      But then they couldn't use it to track our
way down the roads and bridges of oregon's highways....which I believe is
why they really want the wireless stuff.

A special trip to the DMV pretty much screws up my charge for the day.   
(34 mile round trip)   Seems especially mean-spirited to try and force electric car 
drivers to make a special trip as it completely screws up their day.   And what
about people who can't get off work?   Make potentially thousands of people
do a special trip every 90  days because someone at ODOT "wants" to be able to
track people someday?   So a guy making $20/hour needs to take off time from
work to drive thru the DMV so he can pay a $20 tax?   

It's just mean.

The $300 annual fee is basically a "F... You" to people who don't want it.

Why not offer an odometer reading in lieu of the $300?   It certainly wouldn't
be much harder as you could do it at the same time.

 Answer...because it  makes a complete mockery of the whole ridiculous idea.

They don't want a simple odometer reading because...well it's just TOO simple..

and they wouldn't get to be in charge of some massive project.   (likely some of

them might get laid off due to budget shortfalls)

Again...why bother with all this?   If all you  want is mileage 

I'm UTTERLY convinced that ODOT is NOT being honest about their true intentions
and that in itself ought to be reason enough to kick them out on their ears.

So again, I can't stress this enough,  This is NOT ABOUT RAISING MONEY FOR
 ROADS FOR EV's  because it is ridiculously complicated and will cost MILLIONS to implement.    I believe it is something totally different.

I don't like it.   Although this will sound dramatic, I think basically the group within
ODOT is more concerned with justifying their existence rather than doing what is
good for the rest of the state and the public.    They want a kingdom that "they"
can easily control and raise and lower tax at will without any sort of "legislative interference".    Right now, if they want to change the tax rate, they need to
get that info out to thousands of gas stations and the pumps reprogrammed.
Now with this new system they will be able to change the tax within minutes.
And their express issue is to make it even more complicated, with rate by times
of day, and certain roads and using the device to transmit to a roadside device
whenever the car passes by.  So they can have an even more complicated tax
structure.    And do you think when they are setting the tax road by road, bridge
by bridge with their little wireless tell tales advertising where you go,
 that the legislature is gonna have any control whatsoever?    

So the side result of their plan is that they are gonna have a virtual kingdom
that they can set any tax they want.   And they don't even have to run for reelection.

And so...when money gets tight...do you think they are gonna try and cut the budgets
or benefits or implement layoffs like any other government agency.

...."Yeah right...".     .

In fact one of the stupid reasons for this tax is that we are in a recession and
people can't afford to drive as much....So what's governments answer?  Oh
lets tax the poor guys MORE, so we don't have to suffer too.

I also believe that their "partners" stand to make a big chunk of change off this
too.   I find it especially telling that CH2M testified in favor of the bill and didn't
divulge to the legislature that they were already doing consulting for ODOT for this
very purpose...smell like corruption to me.

And why the hell are we even voting on a bill for a device that hasn't
even been made yet?    It's a virtual blank check.    

I can't see anything good out of this bill.   It's dishonest about it's true intentions,
fiscally irresponsible, and you can accomplish the same thing they claim they 
want to do about a thousand times easier just by reading the odometer
and writing it down every time you want a renew your license.

AND we shouldn't be taxing EV's anyway until we get about 1000 times more
than we currently have anyway...It's gonna affect road tax income by less than 10%
over the next decade until we get there.   And these EV's are gonna affect the
road even less than the gas guzzlers they replace.    And being as they just
raised the tax 25% in January to 30 cents/mile, you'd think they wouldn't
be so damn worried about revenue anyway.  

...I hope to god our legislature has enough common sense to vote it down.


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: Re: [Oeva-list] Update on HB2328
To: "Lawrence Winiarski" <lawrence_winiarski at yahoo.com>
Cc: oeva-list at oeva.org
Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 10:01 PM

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 acceptable.  

* "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 opinion.

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 taxes.

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 roadtaxes 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 productsand have us pay the development costs.    Keep in mind that if Oregon starts thisand 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 forguinea 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, ORbe forced to pay $300/year.
  (3X what washington picked).
AND we also get stuck with the installation charge.   (as we are now 100%
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/yearso 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



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

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

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

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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