fooljoe
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:33 am
Delivery Date: 10 Jun 2011
Location: Seal Beach, CA
Contact: Website

Re: CA - AB1591 - $165 flat fee for zero-emission vehicles

Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:46 am

TimLee wrote:The tax on fossil fuels on a per gallon basis was actually one of the more intelligently designed tax mechanisms.
It did have shortcomings in that it was regressive on the lower income persons driving older less efficient vehicles.
But it appropriately taxed Hummer drivers more.
It never taxed large trucks appropriately based on their damage to the infrastructure.
And as vehicles became more efficient, revenue fell as it was not indexed to the ongoing need for infrastructure [maintenance] funding.
So it had some shortcomings.
You're confounding two separate ideas (taxing and spending) here. Yes, the tax on gasoline per gallon is a great tax - as I said above - because it discourages consumption. In the same way, taxing cigarettes is a great tax. But what's stupid is tying the gas tax revenue to highway infrastructure. It makes no practical difference - if gas tax revenue is greater than infrastructure needs, legislators would just "borrow" from it anyway, while when gas tax revenue isn't enough (the usual case) legislators make up the difference with the general fund anyway*. At least that's what the legislators should do, but creating this false pairing gives them the chance to sound off about falling gas tax revenue and try to invent new taxes, even when the general fund is overflowing!
But to say everything should all come out of general revenue is a stupid idea.
We elect representatives specifically to perform the job of allocating money from the general fund as needed. What's so stupid about expecting them to do their jobs, and holding them accountable when they don't?

*If this still isn't clear, it helps to do the math:

Say infrastructure spending needs are $1B, Gas tax revenue is $500M, and general fund is $100B.

In "Case A", gas tax revenue is tied to infrastructure spending. So the remaining needs are $500M, which has to come from the general fund, leaving $99.5B for other things.

In "Case B", gas tax revenue goes into the general fund like any other tax, giving $100.5B. Then infrastructure spending comes out of the general fund like any other spending, leaving $99.5B for other things.

There's no real difference between Case A and Case B! The only difference is that in Case A politicians whine about having to spend from the general fund and try to enact new taxes, while in Case B they just go about their business and see each of gas tax revenue and infrastructure spending as just another line item in the budget.
RavCharge.com | 2012 Rav4-EV | 2011 Leaf SL w/QC batt replaced 11/20/15 | Clipper Creek CS-60 | EVSEupgraded 2013 Leaf EVSE | 3.84kw PV

tkdbrusco
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:46 am
Delivery Date: 31 Aug 2014
Contact: Website Facebook Twitter

Re: CA - AB1591 - $165 flat fee for zero-emission vehicles

Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:20 pm

I understand why there's a general fund and categorical funds. I serve as an elected official myself and need to allocate money in this same manner, but to say that just because something comes from one fund and it doesn't necessarily impact the other, is complete insanity. We are constantly granted money from the state as categorical funding, but when we choose to use it toward said "categorical" program, we need to make sure that once the program is over we can sustain the jobs, re-route assets, etc... Plus it all counts to our same budget. We don't get to run a deficit in one area and then just say "Oh but there was categorical money for other stuff." You have to think of these things as total outgo of funds. I remember an article that discussed how Yosemite national park got a government grant to install solar power in many of their park facilities?! What!? So a government entity got a grant from the government? And we are supposed to think "Oh that's good, they got a grant for it, they saved money!"
2015 Leaf S w/QC Package. San Jose, CA
www.theevconsultant.com

minispeed
Posts: 681
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:52 am
Delivery Date: 15 Jul 2014
Location: Ancaster, ON

Re: CA - AB1591 - $165 flat fee for zero-emission vehicles

Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:06 pm

I'm not sure if this has come up, didn't read from the beginning.....

If the gov't has decided at both the Federal and (some) state level that EVs should be subsidized and there is a goal (at least Federally) of 1 million EVs on the road which they aren't going to make then any EV tax is down right ridiculous. Many people have said they have no problem paying their fair share but happily take $7500+ from the Gov't to pay part of the cost of their vehicles.

At last count I heard there are about 400,000 EVs in the US, at $165 a year that's $66 Million a year back compared to $3 Billion in Federal tax credits alone. The problem with that isn't about it being fair it's that it's such a small amount of money that it's almost not worth even debating. For most of the new EV car buyers it's a small drop in the bucket but just like gas tax tends to hurt the poor most, this is the kind of fee that will keep the poor out of used EV ownership when in reality there are a tons of benefits in reliability and cost of ownership to them.

If you wanted to raise $66 Million more from gas taxes of the 256 Million cars in the USA (2013 stat) you'd only have to charge a fee of 25cents per car. If you were to raise gas taxes 3 cents/gal you'd get $2.86 Billion (I gave a very conservative 11,000 miles per year and 30mpg avg for that so the real number would be more).

It's hard to argue with the way gas tax is set up. It can discourage overconsumption, it pays more for road use for those that use the road more. It rewards people who buy the latest hybrid tech and it gets more money from the rich who chose to drive inefficient cars.

I would hazard a guess that any EV user fee has more to do with politicians being upset because they didn't want to give subsidies in the first place than it has to do with bringing in money.

I think the best way to balance a gas tax for environmental purposes and road maintenance without hurting the poor more would be a tax on diesel fuel. After all they power the heaviest vehicles that pollute the most and drive the most causing the most wear and tear on the roads. Yes it affects the cost of all goods from shipping but since gas prices have crashed how much savings have you seen in all the other goods? I think many places have been pocketing the savings. (just a theory)
2015 White SV, after one month 292 GIDS
Best 1 charge drive, 229km (143miles)

tkdbrusco
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:46 am
Delivery Date: 31 Aug 2014
Contact: Website Facebook Twitter

Re: CA - AB1591 - $165 flat fee for zero-emission vehicles

Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:15 pm

Personally speaking, if the government wants to raise revenue and simultaneously drive further EV sales, they should raise the gas tax. With gas prices as low as they are and with no significant rise in site, an increase of the gas tax would serve a number of purposes (1) Increase revenue, (2) Increase the cost benefit of EVs, thus driving more sales, (3) Not penalize EV drivers with some silly tax that counteracts an existing rebate.

Sure, I get it, when the roads are all full of EVs in the next decade, you'll need some way to offset the loss of gas taxes, but when you're at a point where we haven't even reached 5% adoption in the US, we aren't anywhere close to this.
2015 Leaf S w/QC Package. San Jose, CA
www.theevconsultant.com

User avatar
abasile
Posts: 1922
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 20 Apr 2011
Location: Arrowbear Lake, CA

Re: CA - AB1591 - $165 flat fee for zero-emission vehicles

Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:39 pm

minispeed wrote:I would hazard a guess that any EV user fee has more to do with politicians being upset because they didn't want to give subsidies in the first place than it has to do with bringing in money.
Bingo. It's that, or political posturing, or both. Making those "tree hugging liberals" pay their "fair share" may play well with some voters. (By the way, we are not all liberals here. Being a climate realist and also wanting cleaner air doesn't automatically make one a liberal. We need to de-politicize these things.)
2011 LEAF at 71K miles, pre-owned 2012 Tesla S 85 at 98K miles
LEAF battery: 9/12 bars and < 49 Ah (-28% vs. new)
Tesla battery: 250+ miles of range (-5% vs. new)

TimLee
Posts: 2811
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:40 am
Delivery Date: 17 May 2011
Leaf Number: 2026
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Re: CA - AB1591 - $165 flat fee for zero-emission vehicles

Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:21 pm

fooljoe wrote:... You're confounding two separate ideas (taxing and spending) here. Yes, the tax on gasoline per gallon is a great tax - as I said above - because it discourages consumption. In the same way, taxing cigarettes is a great tax. But what's stupid is tying the gas tax revenue to highway infrastructure. ...
We clearly disagree.

Politicians are not very disciplined.

In many states coffers are not overflowing.
In most states the cost of higher education is sky rocketing and % the state pays are at lowest in decades.

In CA in many years the politicians have been totally deadlocked and unable to pass a budget. Has also been the case at US Federal level.

Having a revenue stream tied to a certain use provides helpful discipline.

They just need to index the tax to keep it supplying the needed revenue.

Tim Lee
Chattanooga, TN

Man. Date: 03/10/11, VIN # 2026
Delivered 05-17-2011
Blue Ocean, 2011 SL-eTec

Bufordleaf
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 8:59 am
Delivery Date: 20 Dec 2014
Location: Buford, GA

Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:13 pm

finman100 wrote:Am I not taxed for the electrons I use? Isn't the gasoline tax put in the same coffer as all other taxes and then road repairs, etc. are paid from the general fund? Would Electric utilitiy taxes end up in a general fund? I need to Google these things unless someone much smarter than me answers. Thanks!

PS I'd 'like' to pay my fair share of road usage. but 'fair' is SOOO different to too many people. The large trucks (personal use , not the 18 wheelers) would argue that they are 'working vehicles' and need a tax break, where your little EV is freely enjoying the same road(s). I get that feeling anyway.
I won't claim to be any smarter than you, but I happen to work in an industry that provides me with information on this topic. No, gas taxes are not put in the general fund with all other taxes, they go into a special fund for transportation infrastructure. At least in Georgia and in most states they do. In Georgia those funds are now protected against being "raided" to supplement shortfalls in the general budget. That isn't the case in all states (I'm looking at you Kansas). The federal gas tax is also protected, although outlays generally exceed revenues so Congress must occasionally supplement the highway trust fund with money from the general fund.

I agree with you that "fair" is subjective. However I would assert that paying zero is not fair, so no fee at all for EVs is not fair. We can definitely argue over what the fee should be and how it should be collected, but IMO there should be some fee. And BTW those large 18 wheel trucks pay far more in gas taxes on a per gallon basis than anyone driving a personal use vehicle.
2015 Leaf S with QC

Bufordleaf
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 8:59 am
Delivery Date: 20 Dec 2014
Location: Buford, GA

Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:20 pm

grandizer52 wrote:
DanCar wrote:
Bufordleaf wrote:... but as EV drivers we need to step up to the plate and pay for the transportation infrastructure we use...
I think it is more important to help the polluters to stop polluting by increasing the taxes on polluting.



So as for stepping up to the plate and help with this GOV slush fund that gets borrowed from for other programs...but never gets reimbursed cause the GOV borrows from hand to hand, then says there's no $$$ left in the budget from taxes that is suppose to go into road bridges...etc,
Not sure about Hawaii, but in my home state of Georgia the gas tax goes into the transportation fund and by law can't be raided or borrowed for anything else. Not all states are set up with those protections, but many are and IMO all should be.
2015 Leaf S with QC

Bufordleaf
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 8:59 am
Delivery Date: 20 Dec 2014
Location: Buford, GA

Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:25 pm

Nubo wrote:
Bufordleaf wrote:Many of you may not want to hear this, but as EV drivers we need to step up to the plate and pay for the transportation infrastructure we use. Roads and bridges are not cheap, and as others have noted we need to spend much more on maintaining them to a safe standard than we currently spend in total, even without adding new lanes or roads. I'm in Georgia, I pay a $200 annual fee on my Leaf, and I'm totally OK with that. ....
And I'm down for paying a FAIR share. But there's nothing fair about paying a flat tax when others are paying a use-tax. And the gasoline tax is unfair to begin with because it punishes people who can't afford newer more efficient cars. A system needs to be developed to collect this revenue fairly whatever vehicle type you're using. In my opinion, roads are part of the commons and benefit everyone regardless of whether they drive a little or a lot or not at all. Roads should be paid for out of the general budget and taxes collected accordingly.
I agree with you that it seems odd for most to pay a use tax (gas tax) while some pay a flat tax. I think this is an example of gov't not keeping pace with technology and eventually we will work something out that seems more equitable across the board. I personally don't want the gov't tracking my miles driven but I know many people don't have a problem with it. I prefer a sales tax that is dedicated to transportation infrastructure. After all, the more stuff you buy the more you are using the roads, and therefore the more you would pay. Seems like a simple and fair way to charge people based on their level of use.
2015 Leaf S with QC

Bufordleaf
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 8:59 am
Delivery Date: 20 Dec 2014
Location: Buford, GA

Re: Gasoline May Rise Above $5 a Gallon

Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:28 pm

DanCar wrote:
Bufordleaf wrote:... but as EV drivers we need to step up to the plate and pay for the transportation infrastructure we use...
I think it is more important to help the polluters to stop polluting by increasing the taxes on polluting.
That's fine, then lobby for a pollution tax. It may fly in California, as for the other 49 states it would likely not. In Georgia it would go over like a pregnant nun.
2015 Leaf S with QC

Return to “Pacific USA”