Driver ticketed for using biofuel

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #1
    Charlotte Observer

    good thing we're not trying to wean ourselves off foreign oil or anything like that. and using US-produced fuel in the process. i mean, that would be terrible!
     
  2. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #2
    To be fair he was fined for not paying taxes, not for using biofuel.
     
  3. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    Location:
    Clovis, California
    #3
    TELL ME THAT'S NOT TRUE!!!

    This story makes me mad as hell. :mad:
     
  4. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #4
    To be fair he was fined for not paying taxes on fuel he was not buying.

    Don't get me wrong, he was using all the public roads which are kept in good shape via fuel taxes, but would this also happen if he were to buy a Chevy Volt or ride a bike on public streets?

    What the state needs to do is look at the various vegitable oils available and see which ones could easily be used as auto fuel in this manner. Then talk to the producers of the oils and see if there would be a way to get mass quantities that are fuel grade but maybe not fit for cooking on the cheap and sell that as the auto fuel and tax it. With any luck it would be cheaper than what a person could buy at the store and would solve this problem.

    Fining creative individuals for toying with alternative fuels is not a good way to break our oil dependency.
     
  5. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #5
    Id like to see the law he broke, like the actual wording.

    You buy gas, you pay tax.

    You no buy gas, you no pay tax.


    Its a fact that not everyone is going to switch to Biofuel of their own concoction; meaning its not taxed.

    I think all the gas guzzlers on the road make up for his lack of taxation, which would probably be on the order of a few dollars at most.

    Plus, he BOUGHT his oil, instead of making his own, so he did pay sales taxes...that is, if cooking oil is taxable...


    ps: id not pay the fine and just fight it with a nice enviromental lawyer, sit back and watch the circus come to town.
     
  6. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    Sep 18, 2006
    #6
    Glad I'm not the only one that saw it that way. This incident is rediculous. If anything they should have praised his innovativeness.
     
  7. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #7
    What, and forego the tax dollars?

    I do agree it's ridiculous to have to pay tax on biofuel.
    When the whole "old chip oil as fuel" thing broke in the UK people were expected to pay tax on oil that had been used to cook chips (fries) in, which would otherwise been discarded.
     
  8. Turkish macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2007
    #8
    Next thing you know we'll be charged income tax on money we didn't earn.
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #9
    wow this one took a little while to come up here. I read the article last week and it was quite a bit more in depth. The law he broke was if you convert you car over to biofuel you have to pay a 2500 bond. This bond makes up for the fact you are not going to be gas tax. You are still using the public roads so you should help pay to maintain them. It is not fair to everyone else that he would be getting a free ride on the roads.
    That being said the law was put in place not to hit the small users but to make commercial vehicles be force to pay for the damage the do to the roads and the wear and tear they cause since they are not paying fuel tax.

    btw you could hire the lawyer and fight it but then you would be out the court cost, lawyer fees and fine. The law is rather crystal clear on it what he was doing wrong.
     
  10. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #10
    That makes sense.

    It truly does.

    Yes, you use the roads, you should pay for them. $2500 seems reasonable, I guess.

    But Id like a quick breakdown of the taxes of my gasoline per gallon. Over the life of this car (lets say 150,000 miles) how much gas taxes would I actually have paid over that time? Is it really going to be $2500? Maybe it is, maybe its not. Id like to know.

    Though, on another end, people who pay taxes (federal, local etc) usually are paying for stuff they dont use.

    Should someone with no children be putting into his local public education fund? Id say no, but I know that doesnt work.

    Same idea though, right?
     
  11. Turkish macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2007
    #11
    So should people who drive fuel efficient vehicles have to pay a surcharge because they burn less fuel and in turn pay less tax?
     
  12. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #12
    not because those care are also general lighter and do less damage to the roads.

    I just stated the exact law he broke and the reason it was put in place.
     
  13. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #13
    its not about fuel efficency its about taxation.

    a gallon of gas has taxes that go towards road upkeep.

    a gallon of biofuel is homemade/storebought and has no road taxes.

    but both cars, the gas and biofuel, use the same roads.
     
  14. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #14
    not how tax work. I bet there are a lot of things you use every day that you did not pay your full share of the cost of it but it was the taxes that covered it. It the end it balances it out. Anything under Public the general public helps pay for. A lot of things would be impossible to pay for if only the users paid for it. For example Public heath care even though what the US has right now is poor it still cost a lot of money what it currenty takes to run and the users could not afford to pay for it so it falls on everyone else.
     
  15. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    Say what?

    Because they spent money to buy ONE bus with battery hybrids? I've never seen alternative fuel filling stations. And yet we have the highest gasoline tax in the southeast. $.31 per gallon!
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #16
    It's interesting that the story stated that he was identified during a check for unlawful fueling of recreational vehicles at an event... I was wondering about that part: it's not like anyone has ever asked to inspect the gas tank of my sedan!

     
  17. Turkish macrumors 6502

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    #17
    The law seems silly.
     
  18. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #18
    Well I can understand that but the law is set-up wrong. The $2500 should be set up as a road use/vehicle inspection fee. After all if you modify your car it should be subject to a thorough inspection to verify that it is safe for you and other drivers. If pulled over at that point he could be ticketed for running a non-road-certified vehicle rather than for not paying taxes...
     
  19. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #19
    We sort of already do in the UK, or at least on money we haven't earned yet. Us company directors have to pay tax for the upcoming year in advance :rolleyes:
     
  20. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #20
    This whole argument about his not paying a tax rubs me the wrong way. Are we going to start applying taxes to extremely frugal vehicles because they don't use enough gas and therefore pay enough tax?

    In the states here, fuel taxes are only one piece of the taxation pie. We pay registration fees, there's wheel tax, tax on tires sold, emissions test fees etc. All pay for roads, highway patrol etc. and are paid on all vehicles no matter what fuel they use.

    The tax on gas is just that - a tax on petrofuel. Diesel has a different tax, propane has it's own tax and so on. Sounds like government is irritated when someone finds a way to use a food product as fuel and they haven't figured out a way to apply a per gallon tax to it.
     
  21. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #21
    Glad to see more people getting away from fossil fuels. This behavior should be encouraged, not discouraged. After this, no one can tell me we absolutely "need" foreign oil. If one person can convert a diesel engine to run on vegetable oil, surely the entire auto industry could do the same.
     
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #22
    You have to remember why the law was set up. It was not set up to target small users but to make sure commercial vehicle paid there taxes for road use since they were not paying gas tax.

    If you read though it they are not trying to get a bill though to exempt small users (aka home) from having to pay the 2500.
    I do not think commercial vehicles should be exempted from it and they should pay the 2500. Remember they general do a lot of miles on the road.
     
  23. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #23
    fuel tax is also the by far the largest cut of the pie. That emission testing fee goes to the placing doing the test to help recover the cost of the equirpment which is around 10 or 50k depending on what type you get. Auto Registration fee is pretty low compared the amount the gas tax brings in per vechical. Tires is well pennies ect. over 1/2 the pie is more than likely gas.
     
  24. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    Aug 30, 2003
    #24
    The fine here was pretty nasty. There is something really screwy about that $2500 bond requirement, because ultimately the tax liability for an independent user of alternative fuel in Virginia (that is, someone who acquires alternative fuel that hasn't already been taxed that way) is only $50 a year! Someone didn't quite think things through.
     
  25. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #25
    To think we'll ever make sense of the taxation schemes currently in place is probably not realistic ;)

    Governments are always looking for ways to fill the coffers, sometimes through things that at least seem legitimate, and other times through things that don't. In most cases they use a very broad brush to paint the tax law, and as such don't think about the potential "exceptions" to the rule cases, such as this.

    I agree we should be paying some sort of fee/tax for road maintenance, and that those that use alternative fuels should in some way help to bear the burden of that cost. However, the means to calculate that tax will likely never insure that everyone pays a "fair share" of their maintenance costs.

    If you averaged 20 miles per gallon for that 150K miles, you'd have paid about $2250 in taxes based on the 29.9 cent per gallon levied by that state.
     

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