EV owners facing $100 electric car fee in Oklahoma receive court assist

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Mike Dolzer, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Mike Dolzer

    Mike Dolzer New Member

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    Tesla owners facing a $100 electric car fee are receiving an assist from the Sierra Club and others in a pair of Oklahoma court cases.

    The Sierra Club, a grassroots environmental organization that wields influence due to its over 3 million members, is taking the case to court. Bloomberg Technology reports that the organization is arguing that Oklahoma legislators “didn’t follow the correct procedures for enacting a tax or properly measure the benefits of having those cars on the road.”

    Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed the bill in May, which also imposed a $30 registration fee on hybrid vehicle owners. Gasoline and diesel engines did not get hit with the new fee.

    Johnson Bridgewater, Sierra Club’s Oklahoma Chapter director, said the fee acts as a new tax, but did not receive the support from a supermajority of Oklahoma lawmakers that is required for all new taxes. Bridgewater goes on to say that the fee was set without considering the fiscal benefits that EVs bring to the state, such as the savings generated from a lower number of pollution-related deaths.

    “These are tangible benefits that they are completely ignoring,” Bridgewater said in an interview with the news outlet.

    The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments pertaining to the fee in a separate lawsuit filed in June to block the measure. The related case was brought by gubernatorial candidate and Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson, who argues that the electric car fee, along with two other measures, “runs afoul of the state’s legal requirements for legislation that raises revenue.”

    The fees would affect roughly 26,600 hybrids, 800 plug-in electric vehicles and 1,300 low- and medium-speed EVs in the state. The money is reportedly going into the State Highway Construction and Maintenance Fund. Analysis from state lawmakers pegs the bill as bringing in $1 million to the state’s bottom line each year.

    The bill was one of Oklahoma’s several new measures to raise revenue that is being challenged in court. The outlet reports that they were “passed in a scramble to plug an $878 million budget shortfall.” The representative who authored the bill did not respond to Bloomberg’s email seeking comment.

    For now, the fate of Tesla and other EV owners in Oklahoma hangs in the balance as we wait to see if Richardson or the Sierra Club can make any progress in the court system.

    Article: EV owners facing $100 electric car fee in Oklahoma receive court assist
     
  2. orr

    orr New Member

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    Seriously, in a tight race for most backwards State in the Union. My sister lives out there and absolutely hates it. She says they create idiotic laws like this all the time that they know will get overturned somewhere down the line, thus wasting millions of tax-payer money, but do it to supplicate their lunatic base to get re-elected.
     
  3. Dowhatnow?

    Dowhatnow? New Member

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  4. orr

    orr New Member

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    Oh that's about right! My sister sends me articles from The Lost Ogle all the time. Not only from there do they pull money, but from education. My sister's job is on the chopping block every year - hasn't had a raise in 5 years and they're cutting her salary by 8K. It's deplorable.
     
  5. COrich

    COrich New Member

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    If you can divorce yourself from the specifics of this particular case and look at it from a more general view, the question boils down to:

    How does a state pay for roads?

    Most states (maybe not OK) use a gas tax to fund at least part of road maintenance/construction. When that source of revenue dries up (electric cars) where do they make up the lost revenue? The roads still require maintenance. There aren't magically fewer cars on the road.

    Colorado is wrestling with this dilemma right now. I was part of a pilot program last year that was looking at using miles traveled to determine the amount of road tax each vehicle would be charged. At least this program has more of a basis on real wear and tear on the roads.

    But, come on folks, $100 a year is nothing compared to what you would normally pay in gas tax over a year. It has nothing to do with penalizing EV owners. We still have to be willing to pay for the infrastructure we use. If the only cars on the road were electric, we would still need the roads.
     
  6. orr

    orr New Member

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    I get what you're saying and it's absolutely true, but that's not the point we're making. OK is a draconian, cynical State that devalues things like education and the environment over mineral rights (fracking) and stupid legislation on social issues like abortion, gay rights and prayer in public schools - issues that get overturned a majority of the time somewhere down the line. The amount of money wasted on this useless legislation could pay for every single road/bridge repair in the State. Instead they cynically stick it to progressives driving EVs that are good for the environment with onerous user fees. That's the point.
     

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