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Saturday, January 05, 2013

Oregon To Join Washington With Special Tax On Electric Car Owners

By Susan Duclos

Well, why not? I mean people are taxed to eat, taxed to work, taxed even more if they are successful and taxed to die... hell, the death tax gives a while new spin on the old saying  "taxed to death."

Now, Washington is set to impose their new special tax on electric car owners and Oregon is ready to follow their neighbors example.


The new tax will take effect February 1, 2013; lawmakers claim the electric car owners are avoiding paying the taxes for roadway usage because such taxes are included in the price of gasoline. The state of Washington includes a 37.5 cents per gallon tax on gasoline, the state’s largest source of transportation dollars.

Road and highway improvements are primarily funded through taxes at the pump, and Washington State lawmakers are demanding electric car owners compensate the state for the loss in tax revenue. The $100 “fee” will be required to be paid upon annual vehicle registration renewal. This tax will be in addition to the standard vehicle registration fees already charged.

The new tax is included in Washington State House Bill 2660; the bill’s sponsors and supporters say the electric cars put the same wear and tear on roads as gasoline powered vehicles, but electric car owners are not paying their fair share to upkeep the roads they use.


 While the federal government hands out tax credits for high-mileage cars, the state of Oregon may ask owners of hybrids and electric vehicles to pay more.

When the legislature convenes in February, lawmakers will consider taxing eco-friendly vehicles, ones that get 55 miles per gallon or more, based on how much you drive.

Their logic: electric and other fuel-efficient cars aren’t paying the state tax on gasoline (which you pay when you pump) and therefore aren’t contributing to road construction and repair.

Oh and just to top it all off ... Obama's "Cash for Clunkers" program back in 2009, where consumers could trade in an old gas-guzzling used car for up to $4,500 cash back towards the purchase of a fuel-efficient new car, actually harmed the environment more than the fuel-efficient cars, helped the environment.

Though almost a million people poured into car dealerships eager to exchange their old jalopies for something shiny and new, recent reports indicate the entire program may have actually hurt the environment far more than it helped.

According to E Magazine, the “Clunkers” program, which is officially known as the Car Allowance Rebates System (CARS), produced tons of unnecessary waste while doing little to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The program's first mistake seems to have been its focus on car shredding, instead of car recycling. With 690,000 vehicles traded in, that's a pretty big mistake.

According to the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), automobiles are almost completely recyclable, down to their engine oil and brake fluid. But many of the “Cash for Clunkers” cars were never sent to recycling facilities. The agency reports that the cars’ engines were instead destroyed by federal mandate, in order to prevent dealers from illicitly reselling the vehicles later.

The remaining parts of each car could then be put up for auction, but program guidelines also required that after 180 days, no matter how much of the car was left, the parts would be sent to a junkyard and shredded.

Shredding vehicles results in its own environmental nightmare. For each ton of metal produced by a shredding facility, roughly 500 pounds of “shredding residue” is also produced, which includes polyurethane foams, metal oxides, glass and dirt. All totaled, about 4.5 million tons of that residue is already produced on average every year. Where does it go? Right into a landfill.

Is it too much to ask that politicians actually think out their programs and proposals before passing them, do a little homewok, some studies maybe instead of saying  three years later.... oops, untintended cnsquences.

This is what happens when politicians tell you... "we have to pass the bill before you can find out what is in it. "

The clowns truly are running the show.