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Sandoval’s punitive electric car registration fee

Thursday, May 9, 2019

* I lease a hybrid, so I’m not sure if this fee would apply to me, but even if it doesn’t this $1,000 fee to register an electric car every year is just goofy. That ridiculously punitive fee is in Sen. Marty Sandoval’s proposal to fund $2.4 billion in capital projects. Hannah Meisel moved the story forward

“Everyone that uses the roads, whether you’re a car or you’re a truck, should pay their fair share,” Sandoval said. “And electric vehicles — I understand about being environmental and I understand about saving the ozone layer and protecting the ozone layer, but you know what? If you use the roads, you should pay into the road fund.” […]

But environmental groups are opposed to any sort of increase in electric vehicle registration, and criticized existing capital plans for not addressing electric vehicle infrastructure.

Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, told The Daily LineWednesday that a $1,000 fee is “shocking.”

“We definitely shouldn’t be penalizing electric vehicles right now,” she said.

Instead, Walling touted the benefits of electric cars, and said Illinois should be doing what it can to get electric vehicle usage in the state up to 15 percent market share of cars on the road.

“They can serve almost as batteries…at the times when most people are charging their vehicles,” Walling said. “Most people are charging their vehicles at night and it can work to stabilize the grid, lower electricity prices, really help everybody.”

The ozone layer?

* The national average for miles driven every year is 13,476. The average national fuel economy was 22 miles per gallon in 2017. That works out to 613 gallons of gas per year. Multiply that by 45 cents per gallon (Sandoval’s proposed Motor Fuel Tax) and you get $275.85. Add in the proposed $148 registration fee for gas-powered cars and that’s $423.80 - less than half what electric car owners would pay.

And if that $1,000 fee applies to hybrids, people are really gonna get hosed. Mine, for instance, will go about 30 miles before the gas-powered engine kicks in. That’s fine around town. I can go back and forth to the Statehouse without needing to run the gas motor. But when people take their hybrids on long trips they pay for motor fuel like everyone else.

* By the way, the House Revenue Committee passed an identical bill to Sandoval’s this morning (HB391, Amendment 1). I asked the governor’s press office for a response. Here’s Jordan Abudayyeh…

The administration appreciates contributions and ideas from lawmakers who agree the state is long past due for critical upgrades to infrastructure. Negotiations are ongoing over a comprehensive capital plan that addresses the needs for roads and bridges, as well as vertical infrastructure like universities and schools.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

62 Comments »
  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    –The ozone layer?–

    I think Sandoval got a jump on the weekend and is lost in the ozone again (Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen).


  2. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    The amount charged for electric cars in this bill is goofy. However it is similarly goofy for electric car registrations to be lower than ICE vehicles.

    Make the cost of registrations equal and develop a way to collect a tax equivalent to what is collected at the pump. Don’t forget to index it to the gas tax since that will be raised from time to time.


  3. - its a dirty scam - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    and right now Sandoval ensures victor reyes gets new clean enregy clients to oppose this.

    its exhausting how Illinois can even make clean energy dirty.


  4. - Perrid - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    Make the registration fee like $200-$250. It’s a drop in the bucket, and charging them more to “recoup” some/most of the lost revenue from gas makes sense. At $250 most car owners would still be saving money, and paying in more. But $1,000 isn’t recouping lost revenue it’s an actual punishment for going green.


  5. - OneMan - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    He might also be playing to the idea that electric cars may generally be owned by people of higher income than the average car owner.


  6. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    Sandoval probably started with a high number, and is prepared to negotiate down to his real number. Any good lobbyist will tell you that is the smart way to get something done.


  7. - A Jack - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    $1,000 is excessive for electric cars. The plate fee probably should be around the $275 you figured, plus the same fee that the gas auto owner pays. And maybe tack on an extra $50 to the hybrid registration, since they do require some gas.

    But I don’t think they should be raising any fees or gas taxes until the progressive tax is passed by the voters.


  8. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    ==Sandoval probably started with a high number, and is prepared to negotiate down to his real number.==
    Or he thinks he’s at the flea market.


  9. - A guy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    == $1,000 fee is “shocking.”==

    Clever choice of words for electric cars.


  10. - A guy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    At the moment, electric cars are prohibitive cost-wise, and he likely doesn’t have too many people in his district driving them, so this proposal doesn’t likely offend the folks in his area. Keeping with the theme of raising taxes on higher income people that’s the rage right now, he probably didn’t expect this much blowback.


  11. - {Sigh} - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    How much do electric vehicles pay now in registration fees {sigh} If the enviros are opposed to a fee increase, then how does the state and local governments maintain the roads that electric vehicles use?


  12. - Al - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    Meanwhile Liquor Warehousing license is, gulp, $400. Very cute.


  13. - Lefty Lefty - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    Can we get an answer about hybrids? Seriously I have 2. One is an SUV that increases mileage from 18-20 mpg to 24-28 mpg.

    If Mr. Sandoval is going to have everyone pay their fair share, he should google “highway damage from tractor trailers.” one estimate is a heavy truck causes 9,600 times more damage than a car.


  14. - Al - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    30 years multiplied by the $80 million clams a year by matching Iowa’s liquor tax yield’ s $2.4 billion. How much new revenue are they looking for to cover capitol bonds?


  15. - Southern Illinois Bob - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    Last year we owned two cars, a 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid and a 2013 Honda Civic. The Civic averaged 34 miles per gallon while the Fusion Hybrid averaged about 32 miles per gallon. We got rid of the Ford. Not all hybrids get great gas milage.


  16. - Skeptic - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    Some hybrid cars only use the electric motor to supplement the gas engine so those drivers would really get hosed.


  17. - SpfdNewb - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    -Can we get an answer about hybrids? Seriously I have 2. One is an SUV that increases mileage from 18-20 mpg to 24-28 mpg.-

    I drive one, I get ~50 mpg (no it’s not a prius). It drops by about 3 mpg when I am driving on the highway. Still would rather drive an electric car. I hate gas stations after working in one for about a year.


  18. - d. p. gumby - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 11:52 am:

    Maybe “it’s just a bill”, but it is closed to the dumbest bill of the session.


  19. - SAP - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    (a) The owner of a motor vehicle of the first division or a
    25 motor vehicle of the second division weighing 8,000 pounds or

    The $1000 fee does not apply to hybrids, only to vehicles that are fully electric.

    Also, registration for electric vehicles is $35 for a 2-year registration. While Sen. Sandoval’s bill may be punitive, the current fee is too low.

    10100HB0391ham001 - 70 - LRB101 03022 TAE 60431 a

    1 less propelled by an electric engine and not utilizing motor
    2 fuel shall register the vehicle for a fee of $1,000 for a
    3 one-year registration period , may register such vehicle for a
    4 fee not to exceed $35 for a 2-year registration period.


  20. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    ==Keeping with the theme of raising taxes on higher income people that’s the rage right now,==

    That settles it. When something’s all the rage it’s no longer hip. You didn’t hear it from me but shag carpet and avocado appliances are making a comeback. Redecorate your home this way and you’ll be a trend setter. The first one in the neighborhood.


  21. - lakeside - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    Legitimately cannot believe it wasn’t a typo. Makes the whole plan seem ridiculous and random. (Also, DL fees still way to high in the proposal.)


  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    Surprised he hasn’t asked how many Latinos are on the Ozone layer’s board like he asks of everyone who’s ever appeared as a witness before his committees.

    And starting high to negotiate down makes sense. But starting at an absurd level just gets you mocked and rightfully so. This is ridiculous.


  23. - Anon-I-Guess - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    Hello, 1983? This is 2019 calling. It’s WAY worse than the ozone layer…


  24. - DougChicago - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:29 pm:

    Tax hair dye and cheese burritos and at least Sandoval would be paying his fair share.


  25. - Wylie Coyote - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    DOA. Again.


  26. - thoughts matter - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    Does he mean all electric powered vehicles or only those whose owners choose to buy the EL electric plate? I believe electric vehicles can have any plate that a passenger car can have- they aren’t limited to the electric vehicle plate category. If so, then it’s a moot point. Although i’ve been known to be wrong.


  27. - Steve - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    The $1000 fee isn’t fair. Few would have gone electric if they thought this sort of bait and switch was being pulled on them.


  28. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:41 pm:

    A thousand bucks! … per year … Yeah, let’s stick it to those environmental snowflakes. I’ll bet the Koch brothers are sending him a contribution as we speak.


  29. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:43 pm:

    A thousand bucks? … per year? … Yeah, let’s stick it to those environmental snowflakes. I’ll bet the Koch brothers are sending Sandoval a contribution as we speak.


  30. - Mlon Eusk - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    I think it might be more fair and efficient to just tax the number of wheels you have, not what propels them. Also, it could be varied by weight, because as it has been pointed out, trucks of all kinds are heavier and proportionally cause more wear on the roads.

    A third way is, you just tax everybody one amount specifically for road maintenance regardless of vehicle ownership because the roads serve all of us, every day. Even those who don’t own a vehicle, are served by roads.


  31. - common_sense - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    I think any legislator that speaks should pay an environmental fee for the pollution that escapes during their conversation.


  32. - City Zen - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 12:49 pm:

    We got department stores
    And toilet paper
    Got electric cars
    For the ozone layer


  33. - Nothing - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    SAP - How do you know it is only for full-on electric?


  34. - Snapper - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    Yeah, let’s tax people for making a choice that’s responsible such as driving electric cars. What’s next, charging extra tax on Salads over Pizzas because they cause less health problems?


  35. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    I don’t own a car. How much does Sandoval think I should pay?


  36. - Going nuclear - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    Twenty states charge special registration fees for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, ranging from $50 to $200. I don’t think a fee is unfair but keep it reasonable. Currently EVs don’t cause as much wear and tear to roads as gas-powered vehicles because they tend to be lighter. And people should be incentivized, not penalized, for switching to cleaner vehicles.


  37. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    ==I don’t own a car. How much does Sandoval think I should pay?==

    You will be paying a higher amount of taxes regardless, because increased costs of delivering “stuff” will go up and be passed on to the end consumer. Not as much as someone who owns a vehicle, but then, you are not responsible for as much road wear, so it’s probably “fair”. What we need to do, is institute a “compressed air tax” and “Shoe tax” to capture the wear and tear from bicyclists and pedestrians. /s


  38. - A guy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    ==I don’t own a car. How much does Sandoval think I should pay?==

    Stay tuned. I bet he has a number. Just looking to finalize it. lol


  39. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    I am more disturbed by registration fees raised on beater cars typical of the less well off than I am of those for a Tesla (although $1000 is too much). How about a little less regressiveness on registration fees in general? If you can afford a luxury car, you can afford a little higher fee than the person who can only afford a $4000 used vehicle.


  40. - RoscoeRatMatt - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    Sandoval’s plans on raising plate and licence fees, as well as the gas tax rates seem as equally as hair-brained as his plans for hybrids.


  41. - SAP - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    Nothing: My last post got garbled. This is from pages 69-70 of the bill:

    (a) The owner of a motor vehicle of the first division or a 25 motor vehicle of the second division weighing 8,000 pounds or less propelled by an electric engine and not utilizing motor fuel shall register the vehicle for a fee of $1,000 for a one-year registration period , may register such vehicle for a fee not to exceed $35 for a 2-year registration period.


  42. - Nothing - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    Thank you SAP. Well I own a hybrid Prius, so I am glad to say I will not be paying $1000. I see no way this passes anyway. Many people are barely getting by now as it is in its current form, and raising normal registration and gas taxes is only going to damage Illinois further. At some point reality will hit that raising taxes on everything simply isn’t going to work in the long run.


  43. - crockett - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    It’s not earmarked for roads, but isn’t the state already taxing electricity usage?


  44. - California Guy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    The MFT is not a tax where revenue is earmarked for carbon mitigation, is is there for infrastructure repair. If the electric cars are not paying into infrastructure repair like every other ICE car, they need to be taxed at some other point. A reasonable fee that’s consistent with some kind of average miles driven (and MFT tax paid) by ICE cars is rational.


  45. - DuPage - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    Electric and hybrid car registrations should be lower to encourage their purchase and use. The big advantage to the state and public is lower pollution. The state gets it’s tax on electric bills. Every time an electric car plugs in, the state collects money. The state could also save money by closing the emission test stations. They are expensive for the state to run and a big waste of time for car owners.


  46. - WIU prof - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    Even the $423 that Rich proposes is too high.

    Suppose you own a Prius (not the plug-in kind, the sort that runs only off gas) and you get 50 mpg. If you drive the average of 13476 miles per year and the gas tax is 45 cents per gallon, then you pay $121.28 dollars in tax instead of the $275.85 of the average car. So in effect the state gives you a $154 dollar per year incentive to drive an efficient car.

    That makes sense! We should give people incentives to save the environment!

    But if you give that incentive to the owner of a Prius, who (at 20 lbs per gallon) is still putting nearly 5400 lbs of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, then you should give at least as much incentive to the driver of an electric car.

    That means a surcharge of $120 for electric cars seems to be the absolutely highest that anyone could reasonably defend. So $268, not $423, and certainly not $1000.


  47. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:27 pm:

    ===that Rich proposes===

    I didn’t propose anything.


  48. - {Sigh} - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    {sigh} To everyone complaining about Sandoval’s bill: what funding options have you suggested?

    No revenues = crappy roads. We can’t go back to horse and buggy bc I’m certain the Humane Society would oppose.


  49. - Enviro - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:08 pm:

    ==To everyone complaining about Sandoval’s bill: what funding options have you suggested?'’

    I suggest that the car registration fee should be linked to the price of the car with a discount given for hybrid and electric cars.


  50. - A Jack - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:30 pm:

    {sigh}…. why not? Horse and buggies works for the Amish. Horses emit very few green house gases and are very fuel efficient. And you don’t have to worry about battery recycling. They don’t require a license to operate. And horses can run on dirt roads with wooden bridges. And you can probably even safely text while riding a horse.


  51. - lectric - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:47 pm:

    Just make all state roads toll roads and charge all vehicles. if you choose to still burn carbon and continue the escalation of planetary warming, that’s your call.

    Why penalize those who are trying to slow down warming . . .


  52. - Old gringo - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:13 pm:

    This is a first proposal no?
    Stated that they are still working on bill and intent.
    Maybe the end result is less for all increases take a deep breath let process play out.
    Agree you use roads should pay for them never mind fuel source fair to all then.


  53. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:25 pm:

    I definitely am in favor of toll roads. Use it, pay for it.


  54. - Former State Worker - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:27 pm:

    I can’t believe that wasn’t a typo. Thought for sure people were overreacting over nothing but $1,000 is ridiculous. I don’t drive an electric car and probably never will but that’s an absurd price to pay especially when it doesn’t create that much additional revenue.


  55. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:33 pm:

    Former, this is what the Democratic Party has come to in Illinois.


  56. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:52 pm:

    – Horses emit very few green house gases…–

    I wouldn’t test that theory up close and personal if I were you.


  57. - {Sigh} - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 9:19 pm:

    =this is what the Democratic Party has come to in Illinois=

    {sigh} Republicans use roads too. If we want to point fingers, then where is the Republican proposal to invest in our infrastructure? We can complain on the blog about the fees in this proposal or we can all work together to find a solution.

    If we don’t invest in our infrastructure, in a couple of weeks we will all be complaining about more potholes & possibly failed bridges and how the GA should have passed a capital bill.


  58. - Anonymous - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 8:11 am:

    Of course Republicans use roads, no one said otherwise. But a $1000 fee for an electric car is an utterly ridiculous proposal that could only make sense in the mind of an Illinois Democrat.


  59. - Chicagonk - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 8:35 am:

    Wait until Sandoval finds out about DDT.

    This has to be the worst roll-out of a bill in a long time.


  60. - Angry Chicagoan - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 9:13 am:

    Message to Sandoval; the only thing stopping me from buying an electric isn’t the cost — after all, they’re now competitive on cost of ownership with gas unless you just HAVE to have a Tesla — but rather the lack of an off-street or even on-street outlet by my building.

    In general, living as close to the Dan Ryan as I do, I’d love it if there was a mass switchover to EVs; and there will be, if lunatic ideas such as what might be mischaracterized as “punitive registration fees for hippies” don’t get adopted. Can you imagine the improvement in air quality for the south side of Chicago? South Side air quality is 20 years behind that of the North Side, and EVs are part of what will close the gap, as long as politicians don’t make them the preserve of the well-heeled.

    While we’re at it, I’d like to know why Illinois is so attached to regressive taxes in general. We have a flat income tax with a tiny personal exemption; our car registration fee is flat regardless of the vehicle, as opposed to being based on the year and/or value of the vehicle like in states as wide ranging as Minnesota and Virginia, we refuse to back school boards up with income tax revenue. And all this is helping aggravate our financial crisis and lock us in the past.


  61. - {Sigh} - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    =but rather the lack of an off-street or even on-street outlet by my building.=

    Who/how would we pay for the installation of charging stations?


  62. - Eleanor - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 9:24 pm:

    There is general agreement that this $1,000 registration fee for electric vehicles is unfair, out of proportion to the gas tax. Plus, we should not discourage cars that are environmentally friendly. But what can be done to stop this outrageous fee from being adopted?


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