the republican Wisconsin legislators are once again making legislation to penalize hybrids, vehicles with start stop and plug ins; doubling or tripling the annual registration costs on these vehicles.
The law started as a $150 up charge for the 5000 BEVs in Wisconsin but every day gets changed to add more vehicles, last I saw it was reduced to $100 but is moving to become the "Prius tax" again.
An old version of the bill is here
2017 Assembly Bill 478http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/proposals/ab478
The earlier veto'd version of this bill was found by the former government revue board to loose money for 5 years because of the expense of identifying the cars, upgrading software, changing procedures, training and actually collecting the fee.
In any event the "epidemic" of a few thousand EVs loosing road revenue is really not the point of these laws.
Those that spearhead them draw the false conclusion that because EVs pay no gas tax, traditional economy cars like a Prius also pay little to no gas tax.
See this quote from David Prosser who is pushing this nonsense.
"Many people see plug-in hybrid cars and pure EVs as the wave of the future. Federal tax credits have been authorized to encourage EV purchases. The inevitable consequence is a decline in gas tax revenues. These revenues must be replaced because EVs and hybrids use the same highways as everyone else."
You notice he starts by singling out EVs and plug-ins for not paying their fair share, then conveniently eliminates the distinction with traditionals by lumping all in the term "hybrids" which becomes the target for the taxing legislation.
Our legislators then ecochamber this to spearhead the tax, usually with a lot of anger and emotional reasoning.
This ecochamber falls in line with the ALEC/Koch Conspiracy theory
would be suppression of purchases of plug-in hybrids and EVs. In any case, traditional hybrids are "collateral damage" because there are not yet enough plug-ins and EVs to make an argument to the public for collecting useful fractions of tax dollars
Even the sierra club is noticing this strange coincidence of talk radio driving legislation http://www.sierraclub.org/compass/2017/02/flurry-state-bills-introduced-likely-backed-oil-industry-penalize-electric-car
This may seem counterintuitive, but "traditional" hybrid owners should raise a holy stink that they are being lumped in with plug-ins and EVs. While this appears to play in to the hands of folks that like to divide and conquer, like the WI governor and majority legislators, the only way to implement this punitive tax is to require the larger pool of traditionals to be lumped in with the minuscule number of EVs and plug-ins. If only EVs and plug-ins are in the pool, the punishment would be so severe that even the sleeping general public would take notice.
This is an argument why these vehicle specific fees are immoral
My 2001 Honda Insight hybrid (3cyl, 1L) averages 50MPG. A NON-hybrid Ford Fiesta SFE (3cyl, 1L) averages 35MPG. For 10,000 miles traveled, the Fiesta will use 286 gallons and the Insight, 200 gallons. The Fiesta owner will pay $88 in WI gas tax (at $0.309/gal), and, for the Insight, instead of paying "little to nothing", I'll pay $62.
Seems like I avoided all of $26 in gas tax.
But consider the owner of a new-technology, aluminum F150 pickup that averages 17MPG compared to the old-technology, non-aluminum F150 averaging 14MPG. For 10,000 miles traveled, the non-aluminum F150 will use 714 gallons, and the aluminum, 588 gallons. WI gas taxes for the non-aluminum version will be $221, and $182 for the aluminum, allowing the aluminum version owner to avoid $39 of gas tax.
This is obvious, simple math.
But under the hybrid tax legislation, I will be charged a $75 penalty for not paying my $26 "fair share", while F150 owners, and there are a lot of them, will be charged nothing for avoiding $39.
Singling out hybrid technology by name for punitive taxation is legislatively picking winners and losers, as much as it would be to have a special tax for aluminum bodied vehicles.
It is indefensible, unfair, and, eventually, unworkable.
I didn't even get into the 1 billion dollar question, our state has less than 5% hybrids, mathematically the tax won't make a dent.
Add to this the DMV looses 50% + of fees collected to administrative costs (on a good day)
Gas tax is 98% efficient at getting funds to the government coffer, a modern success story.
If they want more funding for roads there are better ways of getting the 1 billion revenue that doesnt just affect 50,000 cars out of 9 million on the road here.
My opposition has nothing to do with gas tax funding or even paying "my fair share" it has everything to do with opposing a winner loser type of politics, where decisions are made emotionally to support special interests.
There may not be much our community can do to stop this in states that are leaning toward or are already punishing efficiency. But it can't hurt to make a stink!