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If you can find a way to trim this down to send it to him, I'll do it, but I don't want to send him half of that. I just renewed my insight a few months ago, I suppose I could use my own VIN to send an inquiry to the DMV, but this just feels like a lost cause. Bailout the banks, bailout the automakers, **** over the middle class and **** people trying to be efficient and nice to the planet.

Humanity is screwed.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
If you are getting cut off trying to communicate with Gov. Evers on his "Voice Your Opinion" page (guess they may not like long opinions), you can try emailing your opinion to:

[email protected]

B

PS...you (and anyone) are welcome to edit down my screed to fit the Governor's page. I'll take a look at some point. But, if they accept the long version through govinfo, let's go for that...
 

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Maine almost passed one of these laws under our last governor (don't get me started). I know we need funds to maintain our roads. My thought, each year our registration should have a fee labeled Road Maintenance or some such, and the amount due should be calculated by multiplying your miles traveled by the weight of your vehicle. Seems more fair than gas consumption and then a "hybrid tax."
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
How about this to use to fit on Gov Ever's "Voice Your Opinion" page? You should edit as you see fit, but please, I recommend all WI "members" submit these comments to Gov Evers to show the commitment of our community:
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Governor Evers,

I am a member of the community of hybrid-electric vehicle owners, specifically, gas-only hybrid-electric vehicle owners. I respectfully request that you instruct the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WI DOT) to stop collecting the $75 hybrid-electric vehicle fee that is now being imposed on gas-only hybrid-electric vehicles pending challenges to the legislative and WI DOT definitions that form the basis that justifies the fee, and to the processes and procedures WI DOT uses to select vehicles that will be charged the fee.

Other members of this community have contacted you about the poorly worded and unworkable legislative and WI DOT definitions being applied to hybrid-electric vehicles. They have also challenged the opaque and apparently arbitrary processes and procedures WI DOT is using to target vehicles for the $75 fee. The bottom line is that gas-only hybrid-electric vehicles exist on a continuum of energy efficiency that include small-engine turbos, vehicles that employ weight reduction, and vehicles that use alternative, but still taxed fuels, such as diesel. The imposition of the $75 fee on gas-only hybrid-electric vehicles is entirely disparate, relative to the difference in efficiency classification, as to be wholly arbitrary both for vehicles generally considered hybrid-electric, and any other efficient vehicle.

"Equal protection requires that classification rest on real and not feigned differences, that the distinction have some relevance to the purpose for which the classification is made, and that the different treatment be not so disparate, relative to the difference in classification, as to be wholly arbitrary."

There appears to be no motor vehicle taxation exemption under the "Equal Protection Clause" for this type of arbitrarily targeted fee. On all points, the gas-only hybrid-electric vehicle fee is inappropriate, unfair, and probably illegal.

Again, as a member of the gas-only hybrid-electric community, and an affected Wisconsin citizen, I request that you, as governor, instruct the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WI DOT) to stop collecting the $75 hybrid-electric vehicle fee pending challenges to its implementation.

Sincerely,
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B
 

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Discussion Starter #27
That is FANTASTIC...let's keep up the pressure!!! Maybe we can get 10 Opinions in today!

If you want a different focus for an argument to make to Gov Evers that will also hopefully fit in his "Voice Your Opinion" page, here you go (edit as you see fit):

B
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Governor Evers,

I am a member of the community of hybrid-electric vehicle owners, specifically, gas-only hybrid-electric vehicle owners. I respectfully request that you instruct the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WI DOT) to stop collecting the $75 hybrid-electric vehicle fee that is now being imposed on gas-only hybrid-electric vehicles. The fee is subject to successful challenge, being clearly inappropriate, unfair, and probably illegal under tax law:

"Equal protection requires that classification rest on real and not feigned differences, that the distinction have some relevance to the purpose for which the classification is made, and that the different treatment be not so disparate, relative to the difference in classification, as to be wholly arbitrary."

According to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau's own analysis in "Paper #696" dated May, 2019:

Regarding a comparison between a 2017 gas-only Prius and a 2017 Honda Fit: "setting the additional hybrid-electric fee at $32 annually ($75 current fee - $43) would be more in line with the difference in state fuel taxes paid by a hybrid-electric vehicle compared to a conventional fuel-powered vehicle."

but, more critically:

"between two comparably-sized vehicles, one conventional and one fully hybrid-electric, the hybrid electric would typically pay less in fuel costs, including state fuel taxes. However, the same concept would hold for any consumer who makes a decision to purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle when choosing between two conventional vehicles. That consumer would also pay less in fuel costs, including state taxes, than if the consumer had chosen the less fuel efficient vehicle."

The imposition of a $75 fee on gas-only hybrid-electric vehicles is entirely disparate, relative to the difference in efficiency classification, as to be wholly arbitrary both for vehicles generally considered hybrid-electric, and any other efficient vehicle.

There appears to be no motor vehicle taxation exemption under the "Equal Protection Clause" for this type of arbitrarily targeted fee. On all points, and as previously stated, the gas-only hybrid-electric vehicle fee is inappropriate, unfair, and probably illegal.

Other members of this community have already contacted you about the poorly worded and unworkable legislative and WI DOT definitions being applied to hybrid-electric vehicles. They have also challenged the opaque and apparently arbitrary processes and procedures WI DOT is using to target vehicles for the $75 fee.

All of these arguments are clear and compelling. So, again, as a member of the gas-only hybrid-electric community, and an affected Wisconsin citizen, I request that you, as governor, instruct the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WI DOT) to stop collecting the $75 hybrid-electric vehicle fee pending challenges to its implementation.

Sincerely,
 

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Just found out that WA state passed the same initiative. WITHOUT a vote of the people. I hope we get the opportunity to repeal this come NOV.
 

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This bit partisan law directly follows the model legislation off Alec’s website and mirrors Scott Fitzgerald’s 2009 era Prius tax.

I recommend trolling specific individuals on Scott and Tony’s pages


They will argue with you, say your horrible for not paying your fair share and use all manner of other tactics but many do not even realize that a Prius or arbitrary hybrid pays this fee and it will gain weight when it’s no longer that one guy hollering in a cave.
 

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I don't think anything will change without violence.
 

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Thought of something: What about modified cars? Like, if I had a prius, and I gutted it and put in a V8, do I still have to pay a hybrid tax? What about an insight that has the IMA system bypassed?
 

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What about an insight that has the IMA system bypassed?
Be careful with this.
Technically bypassing IMA could be considered tampering with emissions systems and would make the car strictly off road use. Especially if you are using computer to spoof signals.

A better question would be if you swapped in a different engine that ran on gas alone, like a K Swap.

Of course this could work the other way araound.
Convert a gas car to all electric? Be sure to inform DOT so they can charge you $100 annual fee.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Some movement as a result of my WI DOT open records request, but it begs the question as to how these categorizations were arrived at:

All G1 Insights identified as "Full Hybrid" subject to the fee.
All gas-only Prius from 2001 to 2016 (and probably beyond) identified as "Full Hybrid" subject to the fee.
Chevy Malibu Eco is NOT subject to the "Full Hybrid" fee.

I'm seeking additional details about the VIN values and subsequent processes that generate these categorizations. The fight at this point is to equate G1 Insights with Malibu Ecos as both meeting the WI Legislative Fiscal Bureau definition for mild hybrid. After that, it will be arguments about "equal protection" as identified by the WI Legislative Fiscal Bureau, but that will undoubtedly take litigation.

B
 

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Thank You for fighting, it is confusing that they would classify a car that can’t power itself on battery power alone as a “full hybrid “

Also curious if the 2016+ Malibu Hybrid qualifies as a full hybrid, if not might have a case
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Unfortunately, the 2016 Malibu Hybrid comes out with a VIN ID value of:

Engine Electrification Level Strong HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

So it would be exactly what WI DOT would be looking for to charge the fee. But the Malibu Eco is somewhere between. The issue is that WI DOT/Legislature is trying to carve out specific vehicles to charge the fee even though there is no strong basis on which to do it. The particular target appears to be (is) gas-only Prius, at least for now, because otherwise they can't make the $9M revenue that was originally promised.

B
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Here's what I recommend in contesting the fee for G1 Insights using the MV1020 "Registration Correction Request" form:
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Please correct my vehicle registration to remove the hybrid-electric vehicle registration fee of $75. This XXXX (year) Honda Insight is a mild-hybrid vehicle equivalent to a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco that is exempt from the $75 fee. This XXXX Honda Insight is, therefore, also exempt from the $75 fee based on these comparative specifications taken from descriptions of the two vehicles:

Malibu Eco: 15-kW motor-generator
Honda Insight: The electric motor on the Insight is rated at 10 kilowatts
Malibu Eco: Electric motor cannot power the car by itself
Honda Insight: Electric motor cannot power the car by itself; the gas engine must be running for the car to move
Malibu Eco : Lithium-ion battery provides electrical boost in various driving scenarios
Honda Insight: Electric Motor assists gasoline engine for extra power while the car is accelerating or climbing a hill
Malibu Eco: Automatic (electric motor) smooth engine start-stop functionality
Honda Insight: Electric Motor Starts the engine
Malibu Eco: Regenerative braking, which provides up to 15 kW of electricity to charge the battery
Honda Insight: Motor acts as a generator and recharges the batteries using a process called regenerative braking
Malibu Eco: 0.5 kWh, 115V lithium-ion battery
Honda Insight: 0.9 kWh, 144V NiMH battery
Malibu Eco: 2.4L Ecotec direct-injection four-cylinder engine rated at an estimated 180 hp
Honda Insight: 1.0-liter, three-cylinder that produces 67 horsepower
Malibu Eco: Weighs about 3700lb
Honda Insight: The Insight weighs less than 1,900 pounds

The primary difference between these two vehicles is the curb weight and the size of the gasoline engine. These distinctions are not relevant to the hybrid classification.

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Please do it! Good luck...

B
 

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Bluesight what is your opinion of this

Alternative Fuel Tax Exemption
A county, city, village, town, or other political subdivision may not levy or collect any excise, license, privilege, or occupational tax on motor vehicle fuel, alternative fuels, or the purchase, sale, handling, or consumption of motor vehicle fuel or alternative fuels. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 78.82)


From what I was told that law was originally meant to “protect” alternative fuel vehicles (which now apparently includes hybrids and plug in hybrids )
from being taxed at the county or local level but the word “ fuel“ makes the protection meaningless

since wheel tax is a license tax it would seem I should exempt from local taxes since the state charges fees instead, given that fuel is somewhat meaningless in this context and going against the intent of the law.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Tough sell I think. They seem to imply that it is an actual consumable fuel product (propane/natural gas) that is taxed separately. Closest we can come is the "battery" as consumable...but the actual "fuel" is electricity that is being taxed (hybrid fee definition). Long way around to define that as a consumable...but batteries produce electricity and eventually are "consumed" by doing so.

At least we are eligible for this..."may exceed the state's gross and axle weight limits by up to 550 pounds (lbs.)" because our hybrids have "idle reduction technology". So, bulk up!

B
 

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
OK...so this is interesting...

WI DOT is not willing to take any responsibility for categorizing vehicles to be subject to the hybrid-electric vehicle surcharge (that's YOUR $75). Instead, they outsource the whole process to a company called IHS Markit, apparently using some software application called VINtelligence. IHS Markit just gives a final result...in the case of my 2003 Honda Insight, "full hybrid-electric vehicle"...that's $75 please. Since they outsource this, it will likely be difficult (probably impossible) to get the details on the categorization process through open records requests, but I'm trying.

But, the fact they use IHS Markit is also interesting. See, IHS Markit is into data analytics, but not just for automotive VIN categorization and stuff. Putting on my tin-foil, conspiracy theory hat....IHS Markit is also very into energy sector analytics...and I don't think it is so much for wind and solar. They are owners of folks like PFC Energy...a global energy research and consultancy group...previously known as Petroleum Finance Company. Mainly, it's gas and oil, and maybe a little clean energy mixed in. OK...then the other thing is that, like lots of companies, IHS Markit happens to be a member of ALEC...you know, the folks that write the model legislation that is the basis for the hybrid fees.

Maybe they are really good guys. It's hard to tell. But I'd be real interested in whether other states are using the same company, and the VINtelligence software, to categorize vehicles for the hybrid taxes. And, if so, how IHS Markit managed to be of so much interest to these states. It looks like a nice, national contribution to the cause.

B

PS...the well know vice-chair of IHS Markit, Daniel Yergin, is an apparent advocate for fracking and shale oil extraction. Probably no correlation...
 
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