Nebraska penalizes EV

Nebraska penalizes EV

Just registered my model s a week ago. Paid sales tax, property tax, wheels tax, +++more tax. And then, the clerk informed me that since I had an electric vehicle, there was a penalty of $75 because I won't burn any gas!!

The total bill was nearly $9k. However, it was the $75 that hurts!


DTsea | 30. Juli 2013

That's not a penalty. That's just what ICE cars would pay to maintain the roads.

It's a lot less than the gas tax you would be yearly on an ICE.

soma | 30. Juli 2013

It's a story of conflicting/compartmentalized goals. One department needs to pay for the roads, another wants to incentivize cleaner energy. If we had a more coherent policy, things would make more sense.

michael1800 | 30. Juli 2013

Sounds like Nebraska is ahead of the game. We're changing paradigms here with EVs. Traditional methods of paying for roads and public transportation will not work in a mostly EV-world. I'm sure the budget cuts don't help in buying us leniency in the immediate term.

DTsea | 30. Juli 2013

I think the $7500 tax credit from the feds would pay for this road fee for what, 100 years??? Isn't that enough?

ian | 30. Juli 2013

You got off easy. It's $100 here in Washington State. ;-)

ian | 30. Juli 2013

Oh wait, we don't pay sales tax though (at least not until next July). Nevermind. ;-)

cfOH | 30. Juli 2013

At roughly $0.50/gallon in taxes on gasoline, $75 is 150 gallons worth of taxes. If you have a regular car that gets 35mpg, that's only 5,250 miles.

Of course, if your car gets 100 mpg, as the MS does, that's 15,000 miles worth of driving.

All that said, I agree with soma: Our incoherent energy and transportation policies (shouldn't those be the same??) lead to one hand giving and the other hand taking away. So silly.

jbunn | 30. Juli 2013

As goneskiian points out, its 100 bucks in WA. WA also has some of the highest gas taxes for roadways in the country. Even at 100, it was 1/7th what I paid per year at the pump in road taxes. So I was cool about it.

michael1800 | 30. Juli 2013

Try building or maintaining roads for $75. THAT would hurt. I'm not saying bend over and suck it up, but EV users have to contribute to the roads they use in a state as well. The incentive is federal; the tax is local. It's really not a case of mixed policy (IM-personal-O)--it's United States style and I support that. At the federal level, EV tech gets massive incentives. I consider state incentives a bonus, but respect their budgets when they reasonably attempt to recoup reasonable revenue loss.

ian | 30. Juli 2013

+1 The whole system for funding road maintenance through gas taxes is obviously going to have to change.

cohast | 31. Juli 2013

I believe it's $65 here in Virginia, My model S85 comes next week.

Docrob | 31. Juli 2013

Yeh, $75 for road maintenance for the life of the car is a bargain, certainly compared to what ICE drivers pay in feul tax for the same purpose. Hard to call it a "penalty for EV's" when in fact it is far less then ICE's pay for the same purpose.

David70 | 31. Juli 2013

I'd be surprised if the $75 isn't an annual fee. I believe the $100 fee in WA is every year. Still a great buy.

Getting Amped Again | 31. Juli 2013

@goneskiian - Is the WA state sales tax exemption on EV's going to be discontinued? I already have my S but plan to be a repeat customer.

mdemetri | 31. Juli 2013

The problem with road taxes in general is that the major contributor to road decay are trucks, not cars. We all are subsidizing the excessive damage trucks do by paying gas taxes at the same rate as trucks. Having said that, an annual fee for EV's is appropriate, but IMO it is premature. We should be encouraging the conversion to EV as much as possible and since EV's currently account for a tiny fraction of all vehicles, I think it is premature. Indeed, the conversion to EV's may actually provide the opportunity to make the trucking industry pay their fair share of road maintenance.

Brian H | 01. August 2013

If trucking pays more, your food and clothing and housing will cost more. How do you think it gets to you? TANSTAAFL

A technical fix for roads might be (partly) to use chopped used tires as part of the asphalt mix. Makes it tougher, grippier, and much less likely to develop potholes, I hear.

bent | 01. August 2013

Brian H: it would still be the right thing to charge the truck industry for this wear. It would lead to slightly higher prices for faraway goods and the market would then correct for this, probably causing slightly less truck traffic and therefore less needless wear on the road system.

Mark E | 01. August 2013

or encourage freight onto rail where it belongs...

tobi_ger | 01. August 2013

Everyone can contribute with being more aware of "local" products.
Example for Germany: why buy milk products from Munich (south) region when living in Kiel (north), assuming equivalent products exist in either region.
I guess the scale within the US is huge, comparatively.

cb9 | 01. August 2013

+1 mdemetri
It is bad enough that the trucking industry is wasting resources and creating traffic jams (guess how long your commute in DC takes when a tractor jack-knifes or dumps a load of lumber on the beltway, 270 95 or 66) that could have all been avoided if we used rail for long distance hauls. But no, tax us all for the damage they do while they're at it.

dlewis | 01. August 2013

I always see this about how trucks don't pay their share. As a small fleet owner as well as MS owner, trust me we pay our share. First we pay tax per gallon like everyone else, but diesel tax in many states is higher than the gas tax. Second we burn a lot more per mile so we pay a higher percentage that way, and finally to poke a little more some states charge a surcharge tax per gallon that we have to pay quarterly. Trucks pay much more per mile driven than cars ever will. Also we do quarterly reports that make sure every state we drive in gets the tax amount they should based on miles driven in that state and can't play the system by fueling in cheaper states like cars can.
For example NC has high fuel taxes, in a car you can choose to fuel in VA or SC and pass right through cheaper and NC loses out. Trucks can't.

I don't mind paying some fee for road maintenance for my MS as long as it is done fairly the roads need to be fixed. I'm also not at all against buying locally to minimize transport of goods. It takes a combination of a lot of little things to make a big difference, but I hate when people just point fingers without facts.

mvannah | 01. August 2013

I'm OK with taxing products based on the public expense to support those products. I just wish the Feds would calculate the cost to keep the Straight of Hormuz open for the flow of oil every year and tax amount to oil use. It would have to be taxed equally to all sources since our justification for the expenditure is to keep worldwide oil prices low. Tax oil spill cleanups and at least the first Gulf War the same way. Maybe electric cars will seem like a deal once the true costs of ICE vehicles is taken into account.

DTsea | 01. August 2013

Actually ...
1: Trucks pay huge road taxes typically $20000 per year.
2: BUSES are worse than trucks because they go everywhere. Many asphalt roads in my city are very heavily rutted from bus traffic, now they have to install concrete pads for bus stops. Huge subsidy for mass transit.
3. Here in Washington, studded snow tires are allowed and we have lots of concrete roads. Studded tires TRASH the roads so I don't agree that 'it's all trucks fault.'

I would support a ban on studded snow tires... and I certainly wont put them on my Model S!

DTsea | 01. August 2013

cb9- the US uses rail for most long haul freight. Much more than Europe- trains are passenger only and the roads are STUFFED with big trucks.

You want to eat, you are going to have to have trucks. It's called 'multimodal transport'- the containers go straight from ship to train to truck. It's actually quite efficient.

Olof | 01. August 2013

I agree with mvannah that you need to tax the whole value chain of gasoline and all the trillions of dollars worth of wars it takes to secure the supply.

Add to that the national cost cancer and all other exhaust fume triggered decease and EVs will turn out as a real bargain.

Dr. Bob Reinke | 01. August 2013

Good to see some others realize that the majority of road costs are caused by the trucking industry. A joint study by NITSA and GM released in 1988 found that the average semi did over a million dollars in road damage anually and that estimate was about 30 years ago. Certainly, that $20,000 per unit milage motor fuel tax paid by trucks falls dreadfully short of paying the trucking industry's way. Compaired to the railroads who not only have to maintain their own road-bed and additionally have to pay property taxes to every fiefdom they run through. For all meaningful studies the trucking industry has a free ride and the rails could better compete if they had a free ride on the rails like the trucking industry has on the roads soon trucking would be out of the long-haul business. Property taxes and motor fuel tax on gasoline by far pay the huge portion of new road and road maintainence costs. Those in the trucking industry who say otherwise are only portecting their own easy ride on the property and auto fuel tax.

zijunhao1 | 01. August 2013

Fellow MS owners,

I never intended to stir up a debate about who pays what is fair share. I just wanted to vent a little about my state of Nebraska which offers zero incentive on EV and it assesses a pretty penny on vehicle purchases. That heavy taxation has caused some residents to register their vehicles in the neighboring state of Iowa. That is clearly illegal but some people do that never the less. I wish Nebraska would have a broader, more industrial tax base in the future so that personal tax burden would be less.

Brian H | 01. August 2013

The "shop local" turns out to use more truck miles per item or dollar than standard distribution, because there are many small trips and loads, and far more wastage.

♫♪Things aren't always what they seem;
Skim milk masquerades as cream.♫
-- Gilbert & Sullivan