West Virginia: Adds $200 Annual Fee For Electric Vehicles, $100 For PHEVs

6 months ago by Mark Kane 102

Chevrolet Bolt EV

West Virginia has decided (Senate Bill 1006) to raise some additional funds for state road maintenance through the introduction of annual fees for new alternative fuel vehicles.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

From July 1, 2017 additional annual registration fees will be as follows:

  • BEVs: The annual registration fee for a vehicle operating exclusively on electricity is $200.
  • PHEVs: The annual registration fee for a vehicle operating on a combination of electricity and petrochemical fuels is $100.
  • FCVs: The annual registration fee for a vehicle fueled with hydrogen or natural gas is $200.

To date, 111 BEVs and 328 PHEVs have been sold in the state since 2011, which would translate to over $22,000 from BEVs and nearly $33,000 from PHEVs annually.

Unlike the recent $100 “EV fee” adopted in California, we aren’t particularly in favor of this action for a few reasons:

A) unlike California, there isn’t a major/specific reason for the fees (like the need for $52.4 billion to actually fix roads and bridges)

B) petrol counterparts aren’t receiving an equal increase (or greater – as in the case in California for EV fees) at the same time

C) the number of plug-ins on the road is a rounding error, so its clearly a punitive measure, inconsequential to state revenue

Basically, its a tax grab that hurts EV adoption, and works against the many other programs adding incentives to buy plug-in vehicles – so it’s a governmental contradiction.  Additionally, the $200 is a greater amount than would be paid in normal “gas taxes” from an average petrol-only car in West Virginia.  So we hate it all around.

source: Plug In Sites

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102 responses to "West Virginia: Adds $200 Annual Fee For Electric Vehicles, $100 For PHEVs"

  1. unlucky says:

    That seems rather substantial.

    Also seems odd West Virginia is doing this to coal-powered vehicles. They don’t make oil in WV, they make coal. So they are inadvertently pushing people toward vehicles powered from out of state.

    1. John in AA says:

      Meh, as far as I can tell none of these laws are well thought out enough to actually be considered good public policy. Every single one of them appears to be a virtue signaling, or should I say lack-of-virtue signaling. “Stick it to the liberals.”

      (Yes, I know it’s not only liberals who drive EV’s. Doesn’t matter.)

      1. No Patience says:

        I own a car that I pay $78 annual vehicle license tax on. It’s bigger than the Chevy Bolt.

        States are dead wrong to just set an annual fee on BEV’s.

        Arizona, wrongly, charges by vehicle COST. What the heck does cost of the vehicle have to do with the possible damage the vehicle is doing to the roadway or the amount of gasoline the vehicle is using.

        I drive less than 7,000 miles a year, yet I would have to pay the same $200 as other EV’s who may drive 15,000.

        Yes, state’s need to pull their collective heads out of their asses and determine a equitable way for states to be compensated for the lack of gasoline taxes. But pulling a $200 figure out of their asses is just stupid.

        1. Terry says:

          I live in AZ, what your referring to is our VLT (vehicle license tax). It’s basically a property tax. The more you buy a car for the more you pay. That amount goes down every year..be it very slowly. For EVs we pay a much lower VLT. I’m too lazy to look up the formula😊….on my 1 year old LEAF it cost me $38 for FIVE years of registration. For example. My 14 yo truck is still about $80 a year. As for gas tax I was looking at the pump just the other day at Costco it states a total of 38 cents a gallon of total tax per gallon.

    2. ClarksonCote says:

      I wish there was contact info in stories like this to reach out and complain to elected officials. It’s a perfect pairing to a story that angers all of us.

      Hopefully this kind of legislation doesn’t become the norm. At least make gas cars pay the same burden sheesh.

      1. philip d says:

        GA raised theirs to $204 this year.

        1. Brandon says:

          $200 is actually about right. Roads need to be funded somehow. Personally I don’t think now it’s already necessary, since there’s not many EVs on the road in most states, but something like California is doing is the way to go. They enacted legislation that sets a date (somewhere around 2020 I think) when a registration fee will start to be charged for EVs. This is best, because eventually there needs to be a fee for EVs, and it’s best IMO if it can be a fee that’s anticipated in advance. Planned if you will.

          $200 is actually not too far out. Consider this:

          400 gallons per year (12,000 miles divided by 30 MPG) times $0.50 a gallon is $200.

          The average number of miles driven per year in the U.S. is 13,476.

          This is from Wikipedia:

          On average, as of January 2017, state and local taxes and fees add 31.04 cents to gasoline and 31.01 cents to diesel, for a total US average fuel tax of 49.44 cents per gallon for gas and 55.41 cents per gallon for diesel.[3]

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_taxes_in_the_United_States

          The purpose and design of a $200 per year fee like WV is doing is very simply to have EVs help pay for roads just like, and in proportion to, gas vehicles.
          It’s not aimed to be more than, or unfair to, EVs!!!

          It’s the right, logical, and at some point inevitable measure that states implement, it’s just a matter of when.
          Like I said already, IMO states should do like California is doing and schedule the fee to kick in at a certain date. 2020 seems like a good date. Then EVs will be starting to take off significantly in most states.

          1. TP says:

            Brandon,

            I think you are missing the bigger issue here of whether or not $200/year is the appropriate tax in a BEV/FCV. The real issue is that gas taxes are usage based taxes, and the flat fee on alternative fuel vehicles are not usage based. Most of us are used to a usage based tax, and so a flat tax just seems wrong.

            Lawmakers know that if they proposed dropping gas taxes in favor of $100 or $200 annual flat tax on all non-commercial vehicles that the masses would be up in arms. In my opinion, states are purposely starting to establish a tax before alternative fuel vehicles really take off nationwide. That said the Federal government is not getting any of this fee yet, and I expect that sooner or later they will likely demand $100+ per BEV/FCV owner as well.

            1. Brandon says:

              TP, thanks for your comment.
              Interesting thought about the possibility of a future Federal fee as well. If $100, that would definitely make a total fee of $300 on the high side.
              A per mile fee (like 1.5 cents in the Oregon trial) would be most fair, but having both State and Federal fees calculated per mile would seem to be hard to implement. We’ll see.

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                Brandon, the other detail is that your math uses 50 cents per gallon tax, but West Virginia’s tax is 35.7 cents per gallon.

                So the EV has to pay 40% more to the state than a gas counterpart?! That hardly seems right. And of course as others point out that assumes an average mileage instead of a rate-based approach

                I wonder how hard would it be for the state to assess some per mile charge when inspections are performed?

                1. Brandon says:

                  Good point about the Federal tax not being included in this $200 EV fee, it’s all going to the state at this point, and until there’s some Federal fee it’s not making a difference in the final amount EV drivers pay now.

                  1. Josh says:

                    This is the right. Damage to roads is proportional to axle weight to the 4th power. An 18wheeler or garbage truck are equivalent to 10,000 passenger vehicles. Aka all damage is by commercial vehicles.

                    The right policy is to make them pay and have them pass the cost on to the customers of their services. Everything else is corporate welfare; it dumps Costa on non users.

                    1. mx says:

                      Absolutely right, the higher the tax by weight the more Innovation there’d be to REDUCE that weight.
                      Like Aluminum or Carbon Fiber frames, to avoid the tax, and therefore Less Road Damage.

                      But, this is a POLITICAL not an Economic tax.

                2. mik W. says:

                  The state tax is 20.5 cents per gallon. so 12,000 miles per year at 25 MPG is 480 gallons so the average gas gobbler is paying $98.40 a year. Agree 100% that taxes should be based on miles driven. An easy calculation if your state has yearly safety inspections.

                  http://tax.wv.gov/Business/MotorFuel/Pages/MotorFuelTax.aspx

            2. Leptoquark says:

              “Most of us are used to a usage based tax, and so a flat tax just seems wrong. ”

              Agreed, a flat tax is wrong. The real problem is that the gas tax is and has always been an imperfect proxy for road use. It’s an approximation that applied when all cars got an equally bad 15 mpg or so. But, the approximation is breaking down. This is now becoming more evident in ever-higher mileage cars paying less gas tax, but using roads just as much. The real solution is to tax folks based directly on road use, also called a VMT or Vehicle Mile Tax. The more you drive the more you pay, irregardless of your gas mileage.

              Unfortunately, shifting to a VMT would involve a major rework of federal tax policy, as well as putting in tamper-proof mechanisms to measure vehicle miles. Until that happens, which will be far in the future (although Oregon is piloting just such a system at myOrego.org), the best interim solution would be to charge EV’s no more than what the highest mileage hybrid would pay. Determining a fee requires a set of fixed assumptions. For 12k miles/yr, a 50mpg Prius would pay about $65 in gas taxes in Maryland, where I live. It’s reasonable to have EV’s pay this but no more, after all, if it’s good enough for the Prii, it’s good enough for my Kia Soul EV. I have no problem paying my share of taxes, as long as it’s fair.

          2. SparkEV says:

            If you look at average per-year miles of EV coming off lease, it’s about 7K miles, not 13K. It only makes sense that EV would have fewer miles due to charging issues. Then making EV drivers pay for 12K miles is penalizing them roughly double what gas cars would pay.

            1. Brandon says:

              I do around 10 to 11k miles per year on my LEAF, and the fact is the vast majority of drivers do. I don’t see the broad based usage fee as the issue here. Paying $50-$80 more per year than would otherwise have been less for driving less miles is hardly worth mentioning.
              Serveral states have conducted road usage charge pilot programs, so eventually this method seems likely to be used by some states.

              1. SparkEV says:

                Miles are listed on used car sites like cars.com. Compile the data for yourself if you don’t believe me.

                $50 might be about 2 months of electricity for EV, and it is HUGE. There is no point in getting an efficient car only to throw away that money to the government. I am not convinced they will use this money for roads, just like all the other times they raided “road tax” money for other things.

                EVs represent tiny slice of cars on the road, and this tax would do practically nothing for the roads. It is just harassment to discourage EV.

                1. Brandon says:

                  Good points. My position is that what California is doing in scheduling the start of the fee in 2020 is the best.

                  However 13,476 IS the national average, and you can’t argue that figure.

                  1. SparkEV says:

                    National average for all cars or just EV? As I mentioned, what I see is only about 7K miles per year for EV.

                    Considering most people lease EV and they are typically 10K miles (some are only 7.5K miles), it doesn’t surprise me that EVs have far fewer miles than gassers. Add to that the charging hassles, and they’d be much fewer miles than lease allowed miles.

              2. philip d says:

                At some point when EV adoption reaches a substantial percentage of the fleet governments will have to make a decision to charge all drivers whether EV or ICE the same flat rate or move to a tax system based on mileage for both.

                You just can’t have 2 systems of taxation for two different vehicle types.

        2. Rightofthepeople says:

          Yep, raised it an inflationary amount. Same increase applied to the state gas tax in GA, so drivers of all types of cars were treated the same.

      2. James P Heartney says:

        The idea is that gasmobiles pay taxes on the fuel they use, which then goes to highway maintenance.

        Now, I assume when we buy electricity from a utility, that is also taxed. However the revenue stream does not go specifically to road repair.

        I do think that eventually EVs will need to pay their share of road maintenance. OTOH there are good reasons to encourage zero-emission vehicles at the start (the various tax credit schemes do this), and it’s just kind of dumb and counterproductive to give one sort of tax break while taking it back with a fee. But state legislatures have never been known for their rationality. (Voters too.)

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Yes but an average gas car pays less than the $200 fee imposed on BEVs here.

          The point is they’d raise revenue much more with a small gas tax increase.

          As an EV owner I’m all for surcharges to make up for what we don’t spend in gas… after we’ve hit the knee in the adoption curve, after there is a statistically significant amount of EVs on the road, and only if the surcharge is in line with what would be paid for in gas tax, as opposed to a higher amount that is effectively a penalty fee like this is.

          1. Brandon says:

            As in my comment just upstream here, $200 is actually right on for the average miles driven.

            400 gallons per year (12,000 miles divided by 30 MPG) times $0.50 gas tax per gallon is $200.

            And, there must certainly would be less revenue it the taxes were less. But I agree that it’s better to start these yearly registration fees or taxes when there are much more EVs on the road.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              No it is not. 50 cents is 40% more than what the state currently collects. They collect 37.5 cents currently per gallon.

              http://www.westvirginiagasprices.com/tax_info.aspx

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                I’ll add the general “sales tax” (as opposed to the flat gas tax) component doesn’t count, it is not used for road infrastructure.

                If they’re going to penalize you on not collecting the variable sales tax on gasoline, they might as well penalize you for not collecting the variable sales tax on oil changes, etc. Different tax.

        2. Steven says:

          Sounds a little like my situation.
          I pay a water bill, and a separate sewer fee. The sewer fee is based upon the amount of water we use.

          So, we pay to get it and dispose of it, regardless of how much might actually end up on our lawn, or in our bodies.

          The one exception, is if we pay the “Pool Fee”. A flat amount per year, based upon the capacity of one’s pool.

          Then we don’t have to pay the sewer fee on that amount of water.

          But then, we pay to keep that water on our property.

          Go figure.

  2. William says:

    West Virginia has a bad case of “Georgia on my Mind”! More blanket blind road tax policy coming from local politicians and the WV state legislature. Punitive EV policies, at best, this now coming from Georgia and West Virginia. Who will be next to pull the rug out from underneath this historic EV transition? This may be a harbinger of things to come.

    1. Assaf says:

      If I recall correctly, South Carolina already did this a couple of years ago.

      Well, what can you say. The 2016 election proved that on the right, amping up the culture war to stupid levels is all benefit and no cost to the politicians doing it.

      Fortunately, no one outside of WV could care less about that state’s puny share of the national auto market.

      Too bad for WV EV drivers though. I wonder what we can do to help. Perhaps there’s a winnable court case here.

      1. Brandon says:

        $200 a year is hardly worth complaining about.

        1. SparkEV says:

          $200 is about 60% of electric bill for EV, and that includes DCFC. It is SUBSTANTIAL.

          1. Assaf says:

            +1. In particular in West Virginia, the 2nd poorest state in the nation in terms of household income.

      2. James says:

        Why drag a “culture war” into this discussion about how ignorant some politicians are being in some states?

        I think when regarding politicians, there’s a ton of ignorance to spread around both political parties, don’t you?

        I’d say there is no culture war here, but another tax grab by desperate politicians looking for sources of revenue. Gee, if that was limited to one party, I’d say it was the left here in my very left-leaning state legislature. They’ll tax your footsteps if they could.

    2. John in AA says:

      Michigan did recently. Naturally.

  3. Kevin Cowgill says:

    Leave it to conservatives to be openly hostile to promoting clean air and poison reduction from vehicles.
    “Pay the road tax and deal with your diminished lung capacity, crybaby.”

    Is that too unkind?

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      A conservative here owns two plug-ins and has a roof-top solar array. We need not make broad generalizations about political affiliation.

      1. Marshal G says:

        You must not read Facebook or Yahoo News article comments on any solar, EV, or global warming articles. The anti-science, anti-lib paranoia is strong among the right wing keyboard commandos.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          There’s a whole lot of propaganda and biases in news outlets. If you’re liberal, the liberal news sources are “unbiased” and if you’re conservative, the conservative news sources are “unbiased”.

          The truth is somewhere in the middle, lest you want to subscribe to group think in your own party and stereotypes of the other party.

      2. Marshal G says:

        And yes this is totally political. Conservatives never met a tax hike they approved of until it affects “the enemy.”

        1. DJ says:

          So what then California politicians are closet conservatives?

          Stop trying to blame the right for doing something that frankly makes a lot of sense. Everyone should have to pay for the road thy maintain. EV or not.

          1. Marshal G says:

            There are conservatives in every state that fight tax increases tooth and nail. Regardless of which way a state leans, tax increases on EV’s sail through legislation with little opposition from the party that wants to cut ALL TAXES ALL THE TIME.

            1. SparkEV says:

              So true! Conservative politicians would say “read my lips, no new taxes”, and then more taxes. At least liberals are honest about it, though they sometimes do nutty things like allowing EV tax credit to exist.

              How much taxes are cut by conservatives? Practically none. The neo-cons need fund for perpetual war, and you can’t do that by cutting taxes.

            2. ClarksonCote says:

              Rather than a conspiracy, the reality is likely that politicians see the need to increase taxes, and it’s easier to do on a segment that has very little population at this time.

              Right or wrong, that’s probably the rationale. It’s likely not a hidden attack on EVs, that conclusion is bias-driven.

              1. David Cary says:

                Absolutely right.

                If you read the EV tea leaves, it is actually fantastic policy to raise an EV tax. Only hits 1% of pupulation now but soon to be 100%. But then it wasn’t your fault.

                $200 is about right. 37 cents a gallon is too low. So the other way of thinking about this is they are actually paying for the roads with the tax as opposed to paying for 60% of the roads.

                The funny thing about all this is that most WV EV owners (the 74 of them) got a huge subsidy when they purchased – up to $7500. So don’t feel bad for these 74 people that got 30+ years of the tax on the front end. The interest alone would easily pay the tax.

              2. James says:

                In fact, in my left-leaning state, I often hear grumbling that EV owners are higher earners. I also know conservative EV owners, and I, myself am an independent.

                We shouldn’t drag global climate change into this discussion about taxation.

                Some of us are just prone to argue and not find solutions or compromise. Such as Elon Musk dropping out of the president’s economic counsel based upon the Paris Accord. I had been proud that he had accepted his role on the panel and the auto industry panel as well, due to the fact that sitting beside him at the table were CEOs of companies that dwarfed tiny Tesla in proportion – companies like Apple, Walmart and Microsoft.

                President Trump is said to own, or have owned a Tesla Roadster, look it up. What he and Trump have in common is business and hiring American workers creating American jobs. So if the two could cut their not seeing eye-to-eye on global climate change and concentrate on what they have in common, I believe that is enough to insure a common respect that sees good changes taking place in policies. Now Musk is on the outside looking in.

                Just like you who shout into the wind today standing on a global warming soapbox. Look – I agree with you about climate change, but I’m not silly enough to protest in the streets, overturn cars and break windows while calling conservatives bad names. Instead I reach out with suggestions regarding CLEAN AIR. Hey! What a concept! Something we both agree upon!

                Just look how positively response comes from a conservative in your state when you discuss clean air. You see – the way politics works, is – if you quote the man/woman as being “anti clean air for your children to breathe” – it’s bad PR for him/her during election time. So you want to create an atmosphere where some progress can be made – not sit around at your keyboard and amongst your liberal choir and sing a tune of hate, distrust and name-calling.

                Easy. Right?

                1. James says:

                  Sometimes I think the left wing of our community are not married.

                  Why? When you’re married, you’re entire life consists of compromises. In order to stay married and out of divorce court – we have to find common ground. Doing so, we can spin positivity out of, “I’m right and you are wrong!”

                  Too many people today trying to be right and not caring if any forward progress can be made.

                  As I’ve stated here before – I have tweeted and facebooked conservative politicians and figured out how to let them steer the conversation as if it is their idea. If you approach them and say, “YOU NEED TO DO THIS OR THAT!” – Good luck!

                  If you have children, you know a great tactic is to let them get the credit for, and come up with their own idea. You plant the seed and they come up with it as their idea. So if you want credit for saving the world or more truly, “BEING RIGHT” – then go ahead and call names, label political ideologies and just keep blabbing to the choir about how dumb the other side is.

                  I love it when a Representative emails me and says, “thank you for you input. In 2015 I forwarded a bill to reduce diesel emissions from commercial vehicles and public transportation. We all need cleaner air, especially in our commercial zones and public areas”. Wow! IT WAS HIS IDEA! – Hey, I don’t care if a blowhard politician wants to blow his own horn —- if that horn is honking “reduce emissions in towns and suburbs”.

                  🙂

                2. ClarksonCote says:

                  Did you intend to respond to me James? I don’t think I did lots of the things you mentioned above… or you didn’t reply to me, and the reply thread is displaying wrong on my phone…

                  1. James says:

                    @Clarkson,

                    Sorry, my man. Looks to be my bad.

                    My responses were to Kevin Cowgill and Marshall G at the top of the thread.

                    I was reinforcing your cogent points with a couple of my own.

                    Thanks – Go Volt!

                    1. ClarksonCote says:

                      All good! I thought so but just wanted to make sure. We seemed to be more in agreement than not. 😉

      3. Kevin Cowgill says:

        Point taken indeed CC.
        I hope there will be millions more like you.
        (I get all bitchy when conservation is out-sourced from conservative)

        1. James says:

          We’ve just had a special election and the temperament of the public still seems to be that they are tired of partisan fighting.

          Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump ran as independents from different ends of that spectrum.

          As a right-leaning middle guy, Trump won. This seems to be lost on Democrats today. The Wikileaks we all read showed that the farther left Clinton campaign broke laws of many kinds in collusion with the DNC to thwart the threat of Sanders.

          Likewise the far right was deathly afraid of Donald Trump. To this day, the far right Congresspersons are standing in the way of the president carrying on his reforms.

          I’m not sure why Democrats seem blinded by this trend of “populism” that has seemed to overtake both the right and left.

      4. MikeM says:

        Kevin Cowgill said: “Leave it to conservatives to be openly hostile . . . .”

        The particular strain of right-wing mentality that exhibits hostility to all things sustainable/renewable/green/what-have-you is only too happy to label itself conservative – even if reasonable minds are not. And even if said “conservative’s” policies and habits are diametrically opposed to true conservatism.

        So, I don’t think castigating Kevin is in order. And sadly, real conservatives need to “suck it up”, recognize what is happening to their brand and maybe try to do something about it!.

        I intend this respectfully. I may be as much a conservative as any EV owner (even if my voting record doesn’t always show it these days).

        1. Rightofthepeople says:

          Recognize what is happening to their brand? The party with the R now controls the House, the Senate, the White House and 33 state governments. I think their brand is doing ok right now. It may be liberal progressives who need to re-examine their branding efforts.

          1. Nick says:

            Right, the new brand seems to be: “f the country, win at all costs”.

            They used to be fairly attractive. 🙁

        2. ClarksonCote says:

          From my own standpoint, I’ve never personally met a truly hostile Conservative. I’ve personally met a lot of Liberals that claim Conservatives are hostile, and I’ve met a lot of hostile Liberals that wish all sorts of bad things on Conservatives.

          Does the reverse happen too? Of course, I’m sure if does. But my experience has been the liberal stance is often far from liberal if the viewpoint held contradicts their own. Conservatives seem to have a lot more tolerance for different beliefs than Liberals (I’m talking population here, not politicians).

          As an anecdotal example, some of this same mentality seems to be showing through on the comments on this page.

          1. ffbj says:

            I can see that since many of their representative number in positions to spout their philosophy, Bill O’ Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, are really nice guys that put on facade of being completely self-absorbed and pontificate on how Liberals have ruined this country, till they are blue in the face.

            Admittedly the brand of conservatism being expressed in D.C. is much more strident and harsh that what most conservatives think.
            They are not big “A” holes, like their leaders, just little ones.

          2. James says:

            I don’t think its a controversial statement to say that a great deal of Americans fall into the category as having spiritual and religious belief systems.

            These people tend to fall into the conservative camp as there are so many strong attempts by progressives to mandate what a person’s religious rights are and are not.

            Such an example would be the Indiana mom and pop business who did not want to cater a gay wedding with their pizza. My point was – how many pizza shops are there in Indianapolis – hundreds? Just walk down the street and have your gay wedding catered by the next guy. Don’t tell the mom and pop what they can believe! That, to my mind – is our Bill of Rights and Constitution.

            These and several other instances during the Obama years literally shocked conservatives into action. We all saw our rights eroding and our liberties being changed by government.

            Thus the populist backlash.

            Yesterday at Target I saw a bright T shirt on the endcap of the department store. It had a slice of bread with a gay rainbow flag on it, a butter knife lay to it’s side. It read: “SPREAD IT AROUND!”

            To a progressive, that means pride in who you are. Yet we don’t see heterosexual or racial flags on bread saying “spread THIS around”. So we see big changes in our society where we push back. Does this mean we should recruit all people to consider being gay for a change?! I mean… ???!

            It’s about balance. I am tolerant as any person anywhere. We tolerate everyone’s right to be who they are and believe what they want. Yet the new “progressive” movement forces me to not only accept diversity but to embrace it. This is great news in my moderate eye when it comes to cultural differences. Now on the other hand, tell me to EMBRACE ISLAM or HOMOSEXUALITY and I’ll push back – HARD!

            The difference between amicable acceptance and EMBRACING something is lost on progressives. To them, it’s shove what they feel is important down my throat and mandate I conform to their views.

            If I do not. I am not only “stupid”. I’m a “hater” and a “liar”. The name-calling from the left is insanely brutal, childlike and harmful. Today we see bloody heads of our standing president and actors saying they should murder him! And they know this is wrong, but offer a lame apology a day later and call it good.

            The left is outing itself as “The Party Of Hate And Intolerance”.

            If this goes on – expect the trend nationally to remain conservative for the foreseeable future.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              Well said James.

        3. James says:

          I love to tell folks like you the story of Dixie Lee Ray.

          I live near the beautiful Puget Sound. An enclosed body of water with 700 islands in the extreme northwest of our nation that is open to the Pacific Ocean via a small inlet call the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

          We elected a Democratic governor once named Dixie. She had written a very nice book about conserving our natural environment. To get elected she needed funds. One source she went to were oil companies. You see, they were facing state legislation to mandate only double-hulled oil tankers could ply the waters of Puget Sound to the cities of Seattle and Tacoma. This was legislation after the infamous Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska you may have heard about.

          An oil spill in the Puget Sound would be like dumping your toilet into the bathtub. There is nowhere for it to run out and cleanse. Orca whale pods, healthy salmon and steelhead runs, million year-old six gill sharks, oysters, clams and all sorts of amazing marine life lives in these waters.

          Governor Dixie, the environmentalist sided with the oil companies and pushed her Democratic legislature to strike down the law and mandate laws insuring single hull oil tankers have right of way in Puget Sound for decades to come!

          So go ahead and place all blame on the right. You forget that in an attempt to get a couple Republicans to sign Obamacare, then president Barack caved on near shore oil exploration and drilling in several states. Two weeks after that complete flip flop from his campaign promises – – THE BP DEEPWATER HORIZON disaster!

          I challenge you to refute these facts.

          Point is – partisan blaming is nonsense. Politicians are just that – politicians. They play games to get what they want. No side is immune.

          When liberals finally tire of name-calling, joking about assassinating the president of the United States and accusing him of everything they can toss at a wall – maybe we can find ways to work together for the good of our nation, world and environment.

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      It’s not a right left thing. 3 Dem Reps in Maine proposed a $200 fixed fee for hybrids and BEVs. The bill had other stupid things in it as well.

  4. Otto Sayas says:

    Yeah, but, we don’t pay the gas tax, which ostensibly goes to road mainentance and projects. I do not object to paying my fair share. I see this problem as, the road damage done by Granny driving her Nissan Leaf 6000 miles per year pales in comparison to a big SUV driven 30,000 miles. Why should we punish the eco conscience driver? Just raise the god damned gas tax, charge EV’s a reasonable registration fee, and get on with it!

    1. James says:

      You said it, Otto!

      🙂

  5. Marty Weirick says:

    I live in West Virginia and I don’t object to a tax that matches about what ICE vehicles pay in use taxes through liquid fuel sales. While this tax comes a few years early on the adoption curve, in my opinion, there was no doubt that EVs were going to have to pay their way at some point. What EV drivers do have to be vigilant about in future tax increases that price EVs above the fees payed by ICEs.

    Take a ride on our roads sometime and I think you would agree the state’s roads needs more money. But taxing EVs isn’t going to bring in very much of what’s needed to fix our roads. Even with the extra fees, the car registration tax in West Virginia is far less than in many states.

  6. Rick Bronson says:

    For a Coal state like West Virginia, ideally they should encourage Electric vehicles which could shift transport from Oil to their local Coal, instead they are taxing them.

    This shows that its the Big Oil that runs the show everywhere.

  7. Ron M says:

    West Virginia is also fracking extracting oil and natural gas from the Marcelus Shale. Oil and coal companies must run the politicians, companies the frack receive tax breaks and ground water gets contaminated by the chemicals used in the fracking process. North Dakota flares off more natural gas than the rest of the country combined. The Space Station crew says they can see hundreds of of guys from the flaring of wells.
    I don’t understand when you have technology that is getting cheaper we wouldn’t want the clean energy solution. Taxing EV’s a new industry while we still give fossil fuel companies tax breaks. Unbelievable

    1. James says:

      I believe it was West Virginia – the source of a documentary I saw about fracking where a homeowner goes out to his water spigot in front of his house and lights the water on fire with this Bic lighter!

      It is so fracking dangerous!

      All I can say about today’s article is that I’m glad I’m not living in West Virginia, but this situation is cropping up all over the United States.

      My state of Washington had a $100 road tax nailed onto EVs license tab fee. They raised it to $150. If you own a Volt you’re in for an even bigger surprise. You have to pay both a $63.00 tab fee for your gas car plus the $150.00 because to them, it’s an “EV”!

      Washington State does have an EV sales tax exemption though, which counters these expenses so far. That said, they set a ceiling on MSRP of $35,000 noting that Tesla and BMW i3 buyers were in no need of a tax break in their opinion. Now the governor raised that ceiling to $42,500 in anticipation of the Model 3. So not bad. But still a tax grab nonetheless.

  8. Todd says:

    Can someone put out a recommendation for how recouping gas tax should be handled? I happen to be on a committee in Florida that will be discussing the same issue. Clearly we are movie away from gas so do we deal with keeping the same revenue stream to maintain the roads? Of course we could rise gas tax but that will only work for so long.

    1. Hans says:

      Any fee/tax change to fund roads should be linked to EV adoption rate; one does not want to discourage early EVs growth.

      What I would propose:
      * No fees/taxes on zero emissions vehicles until reach 20% market share. In the interim raise the gas tax to make up for the difference in revenue.

      * When zero emissions vehicles are 20% market share, swap all vehicles to a yearly fee paid at inspection time that is a function of miles traveled and vehicle weight (when the inspection is done they read the odometer).

      This would create a fuel agnostic usage-based system after zero emissions vehicles are mature, common and competitive.

      1. James P Heartney says:

        Hans, that seems like a pretty logical solution. But logic is a scarce commodity in politics these days.

      2. unlucky says:

        That takes away the incentive to drive fuel-efficient vehicles (regardless of fuel).

        Also, state vehicle taxes based upon weight cannot be deducted from your federal taxes.

        Finally, trying to bill a person for a year’s worth of fees at once is going to increase delinquency. Of course, a fixed yearly fee would do the same.

        All in all, I think your system would present a strong case to vehicle owners to try to not register their cars in state. All those snowbirds wouldn’t pay any road maintenance taxes because their cars are registered in Northern states and you’ve removed the state gas tax.

        1. James P Heartney says:

          It would take away the tax advantage of driving an efficient car. It wouldn’t take away the advantage on not paying for as much fuel.

          WRT it not being deductible on federal taxes, that’s a function of the federal tax code that could be addressed by Congress. Once enough EVs are on the road, there’d be a constituency for such a deduction. In any case, any measure to replace the gas tax with some other fee for EVs will have the same problem.

          The fact that the fee is collected in full up front is a real problem. Again, once enough EVs are on the road, state legislatures will be motivated to do something about this.

          One real problem for any of these schemes is that, unlike a gas tax, the fee is only assessed on the state the vehicle is registered in (if you drive outside your home state, you’ll be buying gas, and paying taxes, in your adoptive state).

          As with many vehicle-related fees, the new paradigm will render a lot of them obsolete (parking and traffic tickets, and the fees they generate, will go away once full vehicle autonomy becomes widespread). Legislatures will have to adapt; they’ll need to find a way to generate revenue while not driving people out of their states.

          1. unlucky says:

            You can say the Feds can fix it but they have shown no interest so far. Some states used to charge by weight but stopped because the Feds didn’t move.

            No, not any other fee would have the same problem. Flat fees or fees based upon value of the car are deductible. Weight-based fees are not.

      3. Steven says:

        ^That.

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      I just want to see a good, accurate, fair road pricing system. Fuel consumption can’t possibly be a direct cost input so fuel taxation was never a great system. Figure out the cost inputs and apportion appropriately as technology and privacy allows. Apply it to _all_ kinds of vehicles.

      I think that the only realistic system for _private_ vehicles is weight mile, with a function on weight (I’d hope determined by engineering, not politics). Weight can be determined from the VIN (databases have vehicle weight information), and registered weight, and distance by odometer. No new information needed.

      Weight-mile would put even more emphasis on odometer readings and registration (natural payment time), so legislation in that area would be needed.

      Not perfect, but neither was fuel taxation. But once it’s done you’d have a system where you can promote efficiency without second thoughts.

  9. Alaa says:

    It should be the opposite. They should tax the gas cars $200 or more a year. And encourage the BEV by $0 tax.

  10. Doug says:

    $200 this year, $250 next year, $300 the year after. This is only the beginning.

  11. Peter says:

    The question is why should a BEV pay 200 when a PHEV only pays 100 ????

    1. Rightofthepeople says:

      Because PHEVs also buy some gas and thus pay some gas tax, while BEVs buy no gas. Seems logical.

      1. Peter says:

        Ok I understand that everyone using something like roads show pay there part.
        Fine with me.

        But the maybe more fair that there is a special tax for cars that contaminate?
        They who contaminate our air should pay for doing that.

      2. Mark.ca says:

        Definitely not logical!
        Ask around any Volt owner you see and i bet none of them will say they use gas for half the miles. That $100 should be close to $150 to make it more acurate.

    2. Brandon says:

      Because a PHEV will still use fuel (and hence contribute to road maintenance costs still) around half of the time. This is likely figured for what we now have as the majority of PHEVs that get around 20 miles range.

  12. Kdawg says:

    Camera-based tolls. You drive, you get a bill at the end of the month. Doesn’t matter the fuel. The more you drive, the bigger your bill.

    1. Steven says:

      Pennsylvania is going towards a EZPass/Camera based turnpike system.

      If you don’t have an EZPass, you get a bill in the mail for usage.

  13. Spoonman. says:

    Every state records odometer readings yearly, right? Why not a road tax of vehicle weight * miles driven/1 million? Simple, no need to GPS track every car, and you pay for use and intensity.

    1. Steven says:

      But not all those miles are going to be “In-State” miles. Being in the south-east corner of Pennsylvania, some of my miles are also in Delaware, New Jersey, and even New York. How do you justify paying one state for usage in another?

      1. Larry says:

        Do you make sure you buy some gasoline in the neighboring states in order to spread the tax income?

    2. Kdawg says:

      Michigan doesn’t record odometer readings.

  14. leafowner says:

    Another state trying to kill EV adoption. Very sad to see…..

    There is a simple fix — remove all gas taxes and bill everyone equally for a road use tax for every vehicle they have registered. Then no matter what everyone pays the same.

    I pay a ridiculous $204 in GA for my leaf and I drive it about 9k miles per year. My neighbor has a hummer and likely pays less overall as he does not drive it much either. STUPID

  15. Mister G says:

    As a leaf driver in Florida, I wouldn’t mind paying an EV tax. But if I’m going to pay an EV tax I want state funded and maintained EV charging stations on all major highways.

    1. William says:

      I would rather keep the state out of the EV charging business. Let’s keep competion among private commercial entities.

      1. Mister G says:

        Unless you’re the entity with the government contract LOL.

  16. Gv says:

    Georgia charges $200, alternative fuel tax on all BEV’s too

  17. Tom W. says:

    As they say in the country … “these two bills won’t make a hill o’ beans difference” when it comes to fixn’ up the roads ’round here. Policies like this are weaker than a cat.

  18. peetah says:

    $200 big whoopie…at least you don’t have to pay for gas. remember the $$$$ you are saving at the pump.

    I drive a Model X and would pay Ohio $200 (where i come from) if that’s what they say needed to happen.

    All this being said though, a usage based fee for every single car on the road no matter what fuel source would be the best as it’s the most logical. like you pay for the amount of road you use…people might start driving less?

    1. SparkEV says:

      Just because you’re filthy rich doesn’t mean everyone else is, especially the poor state of WV. They may not have solar, so they’d pay for electricity even if they don’t pay for gas.

      At about $1.25/meal/person food stamp, $200 is good for 160 meals, or over a month of food for family of 4. Having lived on $1/meal in the past, it’s tough, but can be done. $200 is huge chunk for those trying to save money by driving (used) EV.

      1. FISHEV says:

        Now lets not go crazy in the other direction. People spending $10,000 more for an EV over an equivalent ICE and not worried about where their next meal is coming from.

  19. FISHEV says:

    It’s a Trump coal state lashing out at a world that is passing them by. This is on par with banning the teaching of evolution or maybe on par with actively teaching creationism.

    Just walk on by.

  20. Denis says:

    The best way to make a usage based tax is to tax tyres. The more you drive, the more you damage the roads. The more weight rating of the tire is, the more the tax is. Enforce tyre thread depth at smog/safety check or registration. Test tyres for wear speed and friction just like EPA tests effeciency.
    Leave the tax on gas at the curent level and make it a pollution tax.

  21. Martin says:

    I live in TN and they gave me $2500 as an Incentive to Purchase a PEV, now they want me to pay for buying one?? What’s up with that?

  22. Tim Miser says:

    I live in Washington state. Our road maintenance is funded by a gas tax so obviously EVs wouldn’t be paying their fair share for repairs so we have always had a supplemental EV annual registration fee of around $200-$400 per year.

    1. Martin says:

      So, when I was in school and someone did something wrong the whole class had to pay, is that where you are coming from? Let’s ALL pay $200 or $400? I have 3 other ICE vehicles so I’m already paying plenty in registration fees. Sorry

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