WA State to implement 2.4 cents/mile motor vehicle tax?

I’ve averaged 1,500 miles/year over the past 5 years, so that’s only $36/yr. Folks in the rural areas who drive a lot more are going to suffer. Why is every attempt to “own the Libs” doomed to failure.

intercst

6 Likes

How will mileage be reported? Tax collected?

There are many ways to cheat on mileage.

Gas tax is easy to collect. Safeguards are well established and in place.

New system opens a whole new can of worms.

The article is exceptionally thin on details but there was a comment about self-reporting that is a non-starter. Without an official inspection, such a process is doomed to fail.

The way to make this work would be similar to those few states that require annual vehicle inspections and collect the tax during the inspection. Additionally, provisions would need to be made to either inspect or record mileage any time there is a change of ownership.

There would still be a major gap for anyone that moves in or out of the state. Someone could go 11 months since their last inspection/tax and register their vehicle in another state, avoiding the tax that would otherwise have been due for those miles.

Lastly, this also would be a major problem for anyone that spends much of their time driving outside of the state where they will effectively be double taxed (paying gas tax in CA and then being taxed on their miles in WA).

It would seem to be far easier to simply switch from a gas tax to a higher vehicle registration fee. It would not be a perfect replacement but it would not be punitive to select drivers and it could also more easily be adjusted from year to year as the state determines the most appropriate amount to charge to fully replace the gas tax.

Of course, none of the above helps a state collect any revenue from people that are travelling through the state or otherwise staying in the state on vacation who are not residents but are still using the roads. Such a change would necessarily result in WA residents subsidizing non-resident drivers.

3 Likes

This is why gasoline taxes, though not perfect (what is?) are the best way to deal with this pre-EV. So in the EV world why not just do the equivalent? Tax each kWH that someone charges up with? Easy to do at any public charger. The only gotcha there is home charging. But it does get the out-of-staters who drive in. It does not penalize the residents who travel out-of-state. Etc.

4 Likes

That is close to perfect BJ. If they add a value tax on every kwh even people at home will be charged on their bills. Only some of those KWH will not be for driving, but it would solve the problem. After all everyone uses the roads even if you ride a bus.

Andy

1 Like

Yep. When I eventually buy an EV, I expect 98% of my changing to be at home.

intercst

1 Like

In Missouri, we have a major scandal over expired temporary tags. To get plates you must pay sales tax and show property tax receipt and sometimes inspection report and proof of insurance.

But we have many expired temp tags on the streets. They say they can’t afford the sales tax but one suspects they also have no insurance and pay no personal property tax on the vehicle.

Enforcement is minuscule. Guns everywhere. Cops might get shot or risk their career–or jail time. Why bother to enforce such laws?

A recent letter to the editor suggested putting those iron boots on offenders while parked. Then no guns involved. Or will they cut the boot off and sell it for scrap. Better have GPS on it.

Crooks are so clever. Tough to beat them.

4 Likes

In Europe and some other places, they have these clever looking tow trucks that can lift a vehicle out of a parking spot from the side. They’re like a huge forklift. I’ve seen them do it in less than 2 minutes!

Here’s a video I found - Must see - Interesting Side loading tow truck - illegal parking - YouTube

7 Likes

Install them on the sidewalk side and you can have 2-level or more) parking !! More parking revenue.

Missouri had the right policy and the wrong enforcement. Once a subculture of scofflawing gets going you are waaaaaay behind the 8 ball.

Enforcement in Mexico is draconian. That works. Even the more dangerous crooks pay for their inspections, but only because from the get go the enforcement was fierce, beginning with removal of licence plates and enormous fines for driving without valid plates for your specific car, and ending with confiscation of the car.

Of course, on many other matters, including corrupt officials in governent, scofflawing has been embedded for centuries.

david fb

3 Likes

Recall that Missouri is the home of Michael Brown and concerns about loading minorities down with traffic tickets which puts them in jail due to accumulated charges. That means fines are maybe unenforceable.

And we have prosecutors who think too many minorities end up in prison for minor crimes. So they try to avoid sending criminals to prison when they can. This keeps criminals on the streets doing more crime. Plus Covid delayed many trials. Finally they are starting to catch up and perhaps there will be some progress.

High speed, running red lights, outdated tags are not enforced very vigorously if at all.

Liberals give us a whole new world of not much law enforcement.