Committee favors bill to raise registration fees for natural gas and electric vehicles

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  • clearthink Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    It's penny-wise and pound-foolish to discourage electric and hybrid vehicles when we're trying to reduce air pollution. Increasing the gas tax is a far better solution because it would raise the funds needed to maintain the roads and encourage both less driving and more fuel-efficient vehicles (which reduces air pollution). Raising the gas tax and encouraging more efficient vehicles is the fastest and most economic way to improve our air quality.
    Any legislator who votes to discourage electric and hybrid vehicles deserves to lose the next election on that issue alone!

  • civic minded salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    Clearly, if drivers make substantial a switch to alternative fuel vehicles, we will have to find new sources of funding for our roads. However this proposal is both premature and based on false pretences about alternative fuel vehicles. As we have seen this winter, however, the dramatic public health consequences and costs are already present. Several posters have accurately criticized this fee proposal on alternative fuel vehicles as a property rather than a use tax. If we analyze use of electric vehicles, for example, more closely we see why these assumptions are false. The average Nissan Leaf owner drives only 7500 miles year ( 11/2013). If we assume these miles had been driven with an average sedan with 25mph rating, this would have been 300 gallons of gas, or $73.50 in utah gas tax ($0.245/gallon). Thus, the current proposal in our legislator would ask more than twice that of EV owners. Of course, as many posters have pointed out, small cars put neglible if any wear on roads, gas or atlernative vehicle. Though reasonable arguments can be made about upstream costs (coal, carbon) of electric vehicles, what is the price of cleaner air now?

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    Are we serious about cleaning the air or not?

    NGV exhaust is cleaner than the ambient air in SLC. In fact, virtually nothing comes out of the tailpipe but water vapor. NGVs must be part of any clean-air solution. Electric (coal-powered) cars shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath. Every conceivable incentive ought to be in place to get more NGVs on the road -- tax credits to offset the higher purchase; subsidies on the fuel and FREE registration. Drivers paid more for NGVs believing the state had already taken into consideration lost fees and tax revenue in exchange for cleaner air.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    Exactly the kind of nonsense we've come to expect from GOP lawmakers.

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    These "clean" running vehicles don't use a lot of gas, so the gas tax revenue decreases. It seems right to have these vehicles pay a higher annual registration fee to offset the gas tax revenues, which are used for road maintenance and road construction. And while the Legislature is at it, they should drop the tax credit for buying these vehicles. It was meant to be a temporary incentive for car manufacturers to design and build "clean" vehicles. That has been accomplished and people are buying them. It is time to drop both the federal and state tax incentives.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    This bill is about gas usage and the senator attacking a type of vehicles. There is no thought that some gas-only vehicles get better mileage then hybrids, but only the hybrids, natural gas, and electric vehicles are paying the increased PROPERTY TAX. The new tax is a fee on a type of vehicle not on usage (gas tax). There is no consideration in the bill for how much use/driving the specific cars use the State roads.

    This is also a direct attack on those individuals that have invested in specific vehicles that reduce air pollution. FACT: The majority of the dangerous air in the Wasatch Front comes from driving vehicles.

    If this was fair, lets keep the gas-tax, AND increase the taxes on all vehicles. Lets finally do something serious about Utah's historical dangerous air problems, not discourage those that have invested their treasure in helping reduce the problem.

  • rwhog West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    way to knock out the incentive to drive a NGV. I thought I was already paying road taxes at the
    cng pump. Legislation that won't do much for getting more NGV's on the road to help clean the air. DUH !

  • rwhog West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    way to cut incentives of driving ngv. I thought I was already paying road taxes on every gallon of cng. They won't even let me drive my bi-fuel in the HOV lane even though it operates almost exclusively on cng, except in states that don't have stations. Dumb tax increasing legislation!

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    I ton trucks pay MUCH more than small hybrids – in fuel taxes. Small hybrids still use roads, and should also pay for them.

    No, they do not want to discourage fuel efficient vehicles, they just want them to help pay for the roads they use.

    The use fee is for the use of the ROADS – not gas.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    The Utah State Senate is once again demonstrating its inability to demonstrate any intelligence, or any strategic thinking.

    Problem bad air - Utah's senate's solution increase taxes on cars that don't contribute to the problem.

    These guys are looking at increasing taxes without looking in depth into their increase in their taxes. They are assuming that all cars drive the same mileage. If someone buys an electric car they would have a tendency to drive less miles and use public transportation.

    If the gas tax is a "user tax" than in an effort to avoid the tax it is also an encouragement to avoid using gas. Find a different area to get your money that will encourage clean air.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 3:44 a.m.

    Some people are a little slow in figuring out how government and its greed and corruption work. Did the Greener's really think they would get off tax free? What a selfish idea. They pollute and harm the environment in more ways than they were told by dealerships and government bureaucrat to fool them into buying the coffins on wheels.

    Did you know that air quality in Utah is not relevant to combustion engines using fossil fuels? Did you know that the half ton of batteries in the car cannot be recycled? They are made of toxic materials that must be buried, the release of these toxic batteries in a car accident is still secret.

    And all the plastic in the body and car, they are made from fossil fuels and when they burn its like burning a pile of rubber tires with its toxic smoke. These cars will have to be condemned every 7-10 years and resale is impossible.

    You got shafted into thinking you are helping the environment and you never even give it much thought and yes the Green cars must be equally taxed for road repairs, air quality, road wear, environmental damage.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    Well, well, well. I nice thank you to those who've at least made an effort to keep our air a bit cleaner. The best solution is actually the most capitalistic one: Charge by the mile driven. That way everyone pays their fair share equally. For some reason though, our conservative politicians like to lecture everyone about the virtues of capitalism, but at the same time pass laws that redistribute the tax burdens in a myriad of ways.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:35 p.m.


    What you suggest about higher user fees on trucks is already done. Their taxes are directly tied to the amount they burn, the tax is also proportionate to the level of wear they cause to the roads. For years that way of collecting more taxes from those with the biggest impact has worked fairly well. And just for the record, if vehicle weight causes road wear, a diesel tractor moving food uses less fuel and causes less road wear per pound moved than an economy car hauling a person.

    However, there is a new breed of traveler that has been using the public roads but has not been paying their fair share for maintenance. They pay little or nothing for the construction and maintenance of the roads because their pollution comes from electric generating plants instead of a tailpipe. I'm not sure whether that reduces pollution or not. Every time you change energy form or transmit it over power lines there are losses.

    This fee is nowhere near the fair share electric vehicles owe for their road wear, but it is better than the nothing they currently contribute to maintain the roads they use.

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    those ostriches!
    My suggestion is to change the vehicle registration math, to favor fuel economy (epa fuel economy rating), type of fuel, emissions, and miles driven annually (available at the annual safety / emissions event) i.e. adjust / calculate registration fees based on these factors. Stop the present method that uses age, weight, and presumed value. Our vehicle registration fees can be used to encourage motorists good behavior.

    And change the income tax deduction for business use of a vehicle. Instead of perpetuating the present reward for using fuel, change this deduction to favor the use of cleaner / more economical vehicles, such as by capping the cost per mile amount, such as by capping the miles period, such as by eliminating the deduction for diesel or gasoline engines while keeping a deduction for hybrid or nat gas engines or full electric systems.

    This headline article tells us how the legislature is doing the opposite of what's needed. And they're using a hammer approach, with the wrong hammer.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    Ligislative comittee favors bill to raise fees on natural gas and electric vehicles.

    And in other news legislature struggling to find ways to help clean Utahs dirty air.

  • Esimerp Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 7:43 p.m.

    Let me get this straight. You want to discourage fuel efficient vehicles operating in Utah? How about this idea, increase the taxes and fees on large SUVs, vans and trucks. Those vehicles, SUVs, vans and trucks, with their increased mass causes much more damage to the roads than a compact hybrid, e-vehicle, or normally aspirated sedan. Further, large vehicles contribute much more to air quality issues in Utah, have of course lower fuel economy. And last, as those vehicles have lower fuel economy, they drive the demand for gasoline higher, thereby increasing the fuel costs for those sensible folk who drive economical sedans. All I have written is the obvious and of common sense. For the sake of argument, I presume you, the committee also has the capacity of common sense. As the committee passed this piece of legislation, I can only presume that the individuals in the committee have some personal agenda or corporate relationship that has motivated your tally in opposition of common sense and the citizens of Utah. Shame on you once again.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 7:08 p.m.

    Why do small hybrids and electric cars pay more than the 1 ton trucks? The trucks do more damage and pollute more.

  • md Cache, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 6:39 p.m.

    We have a spending problem with our government, not an income problem. How about we curb/control/reduce spending rather than try to get more money that can be wasted by political players in our federal and state governments?