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Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

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  • #16
    Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

    Originally posted by flyguy View Post
    You make some good points. Here's another. Why should we pay our fair share of road maintenance when no one else pays us for cleaning up and making air better in Utah. There should be more incentives to own alternative fuels vehicles. And if we need more road maintenance revenue, raise the gasoline tax which will get more revenue where it is needed and hopefully motivate more people to buy alterative fuels vehicles.
    And I think that's why we ended up with a smaller portion of state road tax back in '09 when we started paying tax at the pump. They used to charge us more for registration and it failed miserably, hence the pump charge. I'll call Wayne again tomorrow and make sure NGVs get taken out of this bill.


    • #17
      Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

      I have emailed both my representatives utah senate (Harper) and Utah house. E-mail should be the bare minimum. I will try to call them as well.

      Utah has everything to lead the nation in alternative fuels and alternative transport but prefers to follow the rest of the country instead of taking the lead.

      There is also an interesting point running around about having Motorcycles get reduced registration fees and tax benefits which would be amazing for Utah since the pollution gets trapped within the valley and traffic can get limiting at times. While these efforts can help, CNG should be in the forefront of the effort for cleaning the air along with increased availability and reduced costs of public transportation, particularly the creation of business parks where bus stops would make it possible for workers to commute reliably.

      Also the representatives could make an effort in increasing the availability and reducing the costs of conversions. Instead, they simply go the easy route and just increase taxes and fees. We should all mobilize against this insanity!!


      • #18
        Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

        I agree with previous comment though calls and emails should be to each Senator right now and not the house of reps. This should be stopped in the Senate. And we should be requesting they AMEND SB139 to take out the increase for alternative fuels vehicles and keep them at the current $43 per year.


        • #19
          Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

          I have printed up a bunch of flyers with John's original post (and the revised bill link) and am posting them at every station between Blu Stations off the 201 and the Orem station (my commute home). I even added QR codes so people can easily see the bill status and this chat thread from their cell phones.

          Every little bit helps.
          Orem, UT
          2003 Ford F-150 7700 Dedicated
          2003 Chevrolet Express G3500 Bi-fuel


          • #20
            Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

            Way to go SingerGuy....we more people taking action like you.

            The only problem with the original Kill SB 139 that I suggested to John Mitton is that the bill is most likely going to be passed according to my senator. What we need to do and have a much better opportunity is to REQEST AN AMENDMENT TO TAKE OUT THE CNG PRICE INCREASES AND LEAVE AS IT WAS AT $43. (AND ELECTRIC, AND HYBRIDS). CNG is our main initiative if we can't get all three.


            • #21
              Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

              Thanks everyone for the overwhelming support to my e-mail blast the other day and for your comments in the Utah Forum at

              Some have asked how the Utah legislature landed on 8.5 cents per GGE as the current rate and why this is less than the 24.5 cent per gallon for gasoline or diesel.

              Before I get into the Utah history, remember that 18.4 cent federal tax has always been collected at the pump by Questar and others who provide public refueling in Utah.

              Prior to the 2008 Utah legislative session CNG was not taxed as a vehicle fuel in Utah, however NGV owners were required to purchase an annual $35 clean special fuel tax certificate. Here is the old statute:

              Key here was 59-13-304(c) which stated "Clean special fuel tax certificates are provided to encourage the use of clean fuels to reduce air pollution." Many of us remember paying this by way of an additional fee each year for the clean air "C" license plate which provided singe-occupant access HOV lane access. (Note that UDOT has since gone to an RFID sticker with the same "C" emblem on the windshield).

              In 2008 the Tax Commission asked the Legislature to remove a number of "nuisance taxes" i.e. those which cost more to administer than they provided in revenue. The special fuel tax certificate was one of them. In response the legislature passed and the governor signed HB 106, which replaced clean special fuel tax certificate revenues with 8.5 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent or "GGE." This rate per GGE was calculated as expected annual tax certificate revenues divided by the annual GGE dispensed. HB 106 also lowered the CNG/LPG vehicle tax credit from $3,000 to $2,500 with the savings going toward a $750 credit for SmartWay Elite vehicles (this has since been lowered to $605).

              We have some discussion threads here in the Utah forum from back then which are instructive:



              So here are some questions which we should be asking in this debate over SB 139:

              1. Do we no longer wish to encourage, by way of lower taxes at the pump, the use of clean fuels in reducing air pollution?

              2. Do we no longer wish to encourage, by way of lower taxes at the pump, the use of Utah fuel for Utah vehicles as opposed to sending a good portion of our motor fuel dollars to hostile foreign countries?

              3. How did SB 139 come up with $133, or a $90 incremental annual cost for natural gas vehicle registration to support road infrastructure Utah in addition to also paying 8.5 cents per GGE? What is the new rationale for this in comparison to the $35 annual cost calculated prior years?
              Last edited by John Mitton; 02-27-2014, 10:26 AM. Reason: Clarification


              • #22
                Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

                Just found a good clip as to Sen Harper's rationale:

                I have been cc'd on many of your e-mails to Senators. Here is one argument that particularly resounds:

                Traditional petroleum-fueled Gasoline & Diesel vehicle registration fees will remain
                unchanged at $43. It's mis-guided and says, "Go ahead, we want to
                encourage you to drive your seven-to-nine-passenger, gas guzzling SUV's;
                So we'll give you a over $100 (every year) off your vehicle registration,
                as a reward." These are the very constituents that need education and
                incentives on Energy Efficient vehicles and cleaner alternative fuels.
                Senator Harper would be well advised to consider asking these drivers to
                fund HB 74, rather than solely on the backs of existing energy efficient vehicle

                Electric cars typically charge at home or work; thus no fuel tax is
                collected -- let's fix that issue! Meanwhile all Utah public Compressed
                Natural Gas (CNG) refueling stations collect fuel taxes at the pump for
                paying their fair share to state transportation coffers.

                PLEASE -- DO NOT support SB 139 or HB 74 in their present form. Joining
                SB 139 and HB 74 is flawed because shorted-sighted lawmakers are
                retroactively asking existing Green Vehicle owners (largely CNG and Hybrid
                owners) to fund the State tax incentive for new electric cars (EV's) and
                plug-in hybrids (PHEV's).

                I would add to "gas guzzling SUV's" that this initiative also encourages "particulate-belching diesel trucks" too.
                Last edited by John Mitton; 02-18-2014, 07:53 AM.


                • #23
                  Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

                  Help me understand with why NOT to support HB 74 the "existing green vehicle owners(largely CNG and Hybrid owners) to fund the State tax incentive for new cars (EV's and PHEV's)"? Is that really true? Help me understand why? And the talking points why we shouldn't support HB 74?


                  • #24
                    Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

                    Very helpful info John...thanks so much


                    • #25
                      Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

                      So... in drafting my letter I considered the fact that Utah leans Republican (ok, maybe tilts heavily) and that this bill is basically a tax increase.

                      Dear Representative,

                      While I realize funds are needed to maintain our roadways, I feel the additional tax on alternative fuel vehicles is misplaced at this time.

                      Vehicles are the primary contributor to the poor air quality we experience during inversions. Alternative fuel vehicles (CNG and Electric) help reduce this source of particulates, but there are not enough of them on the road (yet) to make a big difference.

                      We need encourage folks to make the change over to alt fuels and Bill 139 does not help do this. If we need additional tax revenue for our roads, let's collect more from the traditional vehicles as a way to encourage drivers to look at clean fuel options.

                      Once alternative fuel vehicles are more widely adopted (say 25% of cars on the road) then we should consider phasing in road tax. Nationally, less than 1% of the vehicles are clean fuel driven. I don't have numbers for Utah... and I suspect we are doing a little better than that national average with one of the best CNG infrastructures in the country, but I doubt clean fuels represent even 2% of the cars on the road.

                      Which is another reason to vote no on this bill... it won't raise much money. Even with quadrupling their registration fees, there are not that many vehicles to tax (and will be even fewer if the bill passes).

                      Please consider the air issues we have to live with as you consider this tax increase.

                      Thank you,


                      • #26
                        Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

                        Here's my letter to Kevin Vantassell, my Senator and Chair of the Transportation Committee. Use any part of it you find worthwhile. Please write your State Senator! -Art
                        Hi Kevin,

                        You have been in my home. We've talked. I know you care about clean air. I know you chair Transportation. As my Senator, I need your help.

                        Just heard about SB 139. This legislation needs to die.

                        If Senate Bill 139 passes MY clean-air, CNG vehicle registration fee (and annual renewals) will go from $43 to a whopping $133 per year!

                        Why am I being singled out for a nearly $360 annual tax increase? (I own four dedicated CNG vehicles.)

                        Is it because I care about clean air?

                        Is CNG being lumped together with ELECTRIC and HYBRID vehicles that typically recharge at home and pay little or no fuel tax?

                        If so, IT ISN'T FAIR. I pay my fair share. In fact, I pay extra because I invested in what the EPA calls the cleanest cars ever sold in America. The Honda Civic GX. Four of them! I spent thousands to help. Granted, I got a tax credit, but I paid much more than the credit gave me. I supported the Governor. Now I am being penalized by this bill.

                        The bill's author says we don't pay our fair share. BUT CNG VEHICLES PAY FUEL TAX AT THE PUMP (just like gasoline buyers, plus most CNG vehicles are bi-fuel and pay regular gasoline tax too). I know CNG and LNG pay 8.5 cents, but there is a reason. WE HELP CLEAN THE AIR.

                        EVERYONE BENEFITS from MY INVESTMENT (and it is substantial) in clean four clean-air vehicles. I paid EXTRA to buy these vehicles. Why should everyone else freeload off my investment AND then charge me additional taxes?

                        I've been told that on a "bad air day," my exhaust is cleaner than the air going into my car!

                        This bill is MADNESS. If we CARE about air quality we need to RAISE the TAX on dirty fuels and LOWER TAX on clean fuels.

                        This bill is counterproductive. It is deeply FLAWED. CNG is locally sourced. It keeps money in the community (instead of going to nations that don't like America). According to the EPA it is cleaner than electric. I paid extra when I bought it and everyone benefits.

                        CNG helps Utah. This bill hurts Utah.

                        Please vote NO on 139. It should have never come out of committee.

                        Thanks for serving. I know you care about the air. I was near your home a few weeks ago. Vernal's air was retched! Let's fix it!

                        Kill SB-139. It isn't fair. It is drafted poorly. It does not support Utah's interests. We need more CNG not less.

                        Sincerely, etc...


                        • #27
                          Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

                          I understand what Sen. Harper wants. He wants everybody to pay for the upkeep of the roads in Utah. When everyone bought the same fuel at the same location (gasoline pumps) it was easy to impose a road tax at the pump. But now, drivers are getting alternative fuels by alternative means and collecting a road tax at the pump is not equal. And singling out clean fuel vehicles is not the way to do it. Here is an idea:

                          The road tax should be paid by everybody that uses the roads and those that use the roads more should pay more. So, the road tax should be based on mileage driven and not fuel consumed or which fuel is consumed. I think it would be easy to monitor odometer readings from the vehicle safety inspection and then charge a corresponding fee at registration time based on the number of miles driven from year to year. Therefore, those that drive more on the roads should pay more and those that drive less should pay less. You could get rid of the 24.5 cents/gallon road tax for gasoline and you could get rid of the 8.5 cents/gge for CNG. There is an issue with out of state drivers and trans-state commercial drivers as well. But I'm sure there is a solution for them.

                          Again this is just an idea, so please throw rocks at it and tell me what you think.
                          Last edited by Highmarker; 02-18-2014, 08:58 PM.
                          Mountain Green, Utah
                          2003 CNG Cavalier
                          2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD


                          • #28
                            Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

                            I can surely see where the Utah legislators have a problem. The only taxing avenue available to them without re-engineering the system are pump imposed fees and registration fees since our legacy system is gallon based and pump collected at both the state and federal level. Use more pay more may sound like a good idea, but road usage is only one of the factors of road deterioration. Age and vehicle weight also pays a large part in road decay. While a mileage tariff for each vehicle should be part of the answer, a vehicle weight multiplier should also be included. Neither are easy or quick to implement.

                            This vehicle taxing issue is way more than a single bill issue and a taxing problem that will only get bigger over time. I'm not sure what a fair resolution would be but it has got to involve re-engineering our legacy vehicle taxing system and phased in over several years. Incentives or special interests for AFVs could be amended to the final version to address environmental concerns. Again, way more than a single issue.


                            • #29
                              Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

                              SB0139 was substituted a second time today to incorporate public comments:



                              • #30
                                Re: Utah SB 139 to Quadruple CNG Vehicle Fees!!!

                                Oh! I think we were successful

                                Seems the new version Substitue2 struck all of the proposed higher fees for alternative fuel vehicles excepting electric vehicles which will pay $83 per year additional -- which makes sense as they charge at home and pay no taxes at the pump.

                                Am I reading this right?
                                Last edited by John Mitton; 02-26-2014, 04:52 PM.