California love it or hate it,lol

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Wild one

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Guess Which State Is Exploring Replacing Gas Taxes With Surveillance​

More EVs on the road means less gas tax revenue—so how can states generate similar revenue in the future?


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One of the benefits of buying an EV is saving money by ditching trips to the gas pump in favor of a plug either at home (usually affordable) or at a public charging station (at times less affordable). There’s also the added benefit of being better for the environment—well, depending on who you ask—or at least appearing to be. However, EV owners saving money might good for them, but it's less good for state governments, which lose out on some tax revenue from those citizens driving electric cars. We're talking, of course, about the gas tax, which is levied on fuel purchases but not charging, and revenue from which is supposed to go toward road maintenance.



California is no different: a gas tax is added on every time someone fills up at the pump. However, with more Californians switching to EVs—the adoption rate there is higher than anyplace else in the country—and ditching dinosaur juice, those tax revenues are allegedly “dwindling” according to an ABC 7 news report.
To combat the reduced gas tax revenue without singling out EV owners or trying to approximate an electric car's equivalent gas use or some other scheme that, it's assumed, nearly everyone (owners of gas cars and EVs alike) might find unfair, the California Department of Transportation (known as Caltrans) is considering ditching the gas tax all together in exchange for imposing a use tax on all vehicles, which would charged per mile driven, regardless of what powers your car. To test it out, Caltrans has launched a pilot program called “California Road Charge.”
How will the state keep track of how many miles you drive? Well, those who are volunteering to participate in the Road Charge pilot program can elect to have a tracking device installed in their car. Alternatively, participants can also just take a picture of their odometer and submit that instead.
By now you’re probably wondering just how much cash is at stake if Caltrans is willing to explore a program like this? According to Caltrans spokesperson Lauren Prehoda, the state could be looking at a major loss.

"On average, Californians pay about $300 a year in state gas taxes," said Prehoda. "EVs have a $100 [annual] registration fee... that's a $200 million a year loss." Sure, $200 million a year is a lot of money, though when zooming out a bit more, that may not be as high as it sounds, relatively speaking.
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Caltrans says that currently there are 1.2 million electric or hybrid vehicles registered in the state. According to the DMV there were over 35 million registered vehicles in California in 2023. So, while California is losing roughly $200 million a year from EVs, they’re still making that $300 or so in gas tax revenue per car from 33.8 million internal combustion vehicles. That’s technically still enough to cover the $8 billion to $9 billion a year Caltrans says it spends on road maintenance in California, but the margin left over isn’t much. We can see why Caltrans is exploring options.

Obviously, the number of EVs owned in California is going to steadily rise, especially as we get closer to the state’s ban on new ICE vehicle sales. Part of EVs' appeal, again, is avoiding gas prices altogether (into which the gas tax is blended), and charging from home, where you'd think or expect the tax man isn't following your every move like they might at, say, a state-regulated gas pump. Which is why a per mile tax might make financial sense for the state, but it is going to be more than a tough sell to California lawmakers leery of angering voters who are already among the most taxed in the country.
There may also be other solutions. For example, Texas decided to hit EV owners with a $200 annual registration fee ($400 at time of purchase, since Texas offers two-year registration on new vehicles) to offset lost gas tax revenue, though that figure, alleged to equate an EV's average annual use with that of a normal vehicle's gas consumption, has been deemed excessive and seemingly punitive by some third parties. (Can you guess what industry is powerful in Texas and lobbies actively? Did you answer fossil fuel?) EV owners in California likely wouldn’t be happy with something like that, but if the alternative is everyone having the state track their miles—in essence, surveilling their car use—maybe the EV fee would be an easier pill to swallow for voters—again, most of whom don't drive EVs.
In the meantime, the California Road Charger pilot program is offering up to $400 in incentives for anyone who wants to test the system out and have their miles tracked by Caltrans.
 

tron67j

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I know a few EV owners who lament the high cost of registration and think it is unfair, but have no problem charging for free at family and friends homes. I know this isn't exactly on target to thread, but does show how the equity just isn't there between vehicles yet.
 

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You had to know something like this was coming. Fact is, there is an unfairness to the idea of EV drivers not paying any gas tax.

I would be OK if they eliminated the gas tax completely, and figured a way to charge everyone by the mile. There are big time privacy concerns, and logistical questions in this, but it may be the way to go.


Or - find a completely different way to raise the revenue that doesn't tax the fuel.
 

markabby

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we pay a yearly registration tax here in kentucky....the rate depends on the value of the vehicle. a new vehicle would pay a higher rate, but, as the value decreases each year, so does the tax rate.

i know it might sound a lot, but, we moved here because all other taxes are ten times lower than what we were paying in NYS.
 

PolarisCobra

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I live in Mass. We pay an excise tax on vehicles (car-truck-trailer, anything with a license plate). It's a percentage of book value, although the values they use drop quickly from new. Doesn't matter if gas or EV, so no help for this particular discussion.
 

turkeybird56

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TX surcharge to register EV is $200 a year.

As far as California been there once that’s enuf lol.
 

GTyankee

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California's Fuel tax just jumped another 2 cents on July First

Registration Fees are based on a scale, similar to Kelly's Blue Book

For my 2016 Ram Big Horn, i just paid $408 for the Registration :(

California's Fuel Tax is right ar 70 cents per gallon
federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon,

Back in the 1970's, things were much different

Fuel Taxes paid for the
Highway Patrol, ( CHP )
Department of Motor Vehicles ( DMV )
&
State of California, Department of Public Works, Division of Highways

That was written in the BY LAWS of the State of California.
That money was put into a Fund & no other Office in the State was allowed to touch it.
That Fund was quite large ...

Other Departments in the State eye balled that huge stock pile of funds.

So all these other Departments, got together & changed the BY Laws.

They all voted to change the By Laws & that meant the Name,
State of California, Department of Public Works, Division of Highways, had to be changed.
They changed the BY LAWS to a different name

CALTRANS, California Department of Transportation

that allowed them to grab up all of that money & redistribute it.

So the CHP, DMV, & Division of Highways, had to share the Funds with everything transportation related.
Trolleys, Passenger Trains, Buses, & Airport functions, just to name a few.

Needless to say, the Fuel Tax Fund disappeared quickly.
Now they are trying to find more ways to raise money from the Fuel Taxes.

We all know that passengers on Trolleys, Buses, Passenger Trains & Planes are not paying much of anything to use those Facilities.
So any funds needed to operate those things, comes out of the Fuel Tax.
I say, make them pay full price to ride Public Transportation, not just a token fee !!
 

John Jensen

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You had to know something like this was coming. Fact is, there is an unfairness to the idea of EV drivers not paying any gas tax.

I would be OK if they eliminated the gas tax completely, and figured a way to charge everyone by the mile. There are big time privacy concerns, and logistical questions in this, but it may be the way to go.


Or - find a completely different way to raise the revenue that doesn't tax the fuel.
Califunny has the highest registration cost in the USA. And they passed a bill that automatically increases it each year. I just paid 877.00 for my 2020 3500 HO. Now they want to charge a fee for every mile driven to get revenue from the EV owners. However, it will apply to everyone. They are so bent on passing that bill that they are starting a trial and asking for volunteers.
 
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GTyankee

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I would guess that our Fuel Taxes will also pay for the EV Charging Stations on State of California Land & IF land is needed where the Highway is not wide enough to set up Charging Stations, the State will use the Rule of Emanate Domain to seize the land needed.
The State of California would have to put in a REST AREA, wherever there will be Charging Stations

 

ppine

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I live in Nevada about 10 air miles from the California border. It is like a foreign country. I visit often because that is where the mountains and forests are. Mostly I don't go east of the Sierra crest unless there is a good reason.

I tell people that Nevada is mostly cactus and rocks, but that does not stop the constant flow of transplants from the West. Most of them are pretty conservative in their outlook which is why they left. The one thing we do not tolerate in Nevada is people from CA telling us how to run our affairs.

I automatically notice license plates on vehicles, because gives me a frame of reference about what to expect from people. May Californians are very urban in their outlook. They don't say hello and are suspect of strangers. They do some odd things. But mostly we just have peaceful coexistence.
 

Tray Burge

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I don't believe gas is going anywhere, but the future is either nitrogen and/or ammonia imo. EV's just ain't it because they create as many, if not more, environmental issues just creating and disposing the batteries.
 

skates15

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The govt is going to get their taxes one way or the other regarding EVs. EV owners are still in their honeymoon because charging is free and other entitlements and incentives.

However, what I believe will happen is that the gas tax will simply move to your home and charging stations. Electricity prices will go way up as demand is placed on charging vehicles and commercial, residential needs.

The spot market for electricity will either need to be capped, or whoever pours electricity into the grid for spot market selling will make a lot of money.

The gov will tax consumption based on daypart, ie. are you charging at home or at chargers During peak hours? If so, you'll pay a lot, along with higher taxes and probably other fees like a premium charge fee for peak hour charging.

You will also probably be given an option to charge at a much slower pace during peak hours to avoid premium fees and higher taxes.

At home it will be the same. Charge during peak hours will cost a lot vs. Overnight.

If there is not enough electricity to go around, then cal can bring back rolling brown outs, or simply shutoff access to charging during peak hours.

In this scenario you would only be allowed to charge during off peak hours, overnight and since everyone is doing the same, you will still pay exorbitant taxes.

You will be taxed on the time of day you charge, the amount consumed, and whether or not you used high speed charging or not. You will also be hit with local fees and other fees such as charging in the city vs. rural, etc.

They have already thought this thru, no doubt a huge money grab.

EV owners today have a free ride, but it will end soon enough and the govt will get their due.

Since electricity is arguably more valuable to daily lives, the govt planners must be salivating at the potential for revenue.

If I were young, I'd probably invest in a solar farm, betting that within 15 years I may be a millionaire supplying the grid with excess electricity for the spot market.
 
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