Posts Tagged disincentives

Another Reason to move to Oklahoma: Missouri Sucks

In an earlier post, I determined that Oklahoma provides the best tax incentives on a purchase of a Brammo Enertia.  Theoretically, you could buy one in Oklahoma for the final, out-of-pocket price of $ 4,059.

I was looking forward to finding out what an Enertia would cost me in my home state of Missouri.  Now, I’m sorry I looked any direction at all.

My first stop was the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center site, and specifically, the page for Missouri incentives.

Any tax credits? Not unless I’m installing an Alternative Fuel Vehicle Fueling station.  Hmm, could I use this to pay for a new extension cord for “fueling” my Enertia?  Nope.  Electric stations are not included among the eligible types.

Any other incentives?  Only for biodiesel and ethanol production and/or use.

Any rebates? Nada.

Wait . . . what’s this: Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Emission Inspection Exemption.  Oh, how thoughtful. Missouri has exempted “[v]ehicles that are powered exclusively by electric or hydrogen power” from undergoing an emissions inspection.  Woo hoo that would save me $24, except that buyers registering new vehicles don’t have to get an emissions test until the time they renew the registration.

But what is this?: Alternative Fuels Tax.

The $0.17 per gallon motor fuel tax does not apply to passenger vehicles, certain buses, or commercial vehicles that are powered by an alternative fuel. The owners or operators of such vehicles are required to pay an annual alternative fuel decal fee as follows (certain restrictions apply):

Gross Vehicle Weight Type of Vehicle Decal Fee
18,000 pounds (lbs.) or less Passenger, School Bus, or Commercial $75

Let me get this straight:  I have no objection to paying a fee or tax for the privilege of driving on the roads of this fine state of Missouri.  But to charge a flat fee, regardless of the type of vehicle or the amount of miles traveled, makes no sense at all.  Does a 324 lb. Enertia do the same amount of damage to a road as an 18,000 lb. truck?  For that matter, does a 16,500lb. Smith Newton (Electric Delivery Van) that drives its maximum range every day (100 miles) cause as much wear and tear as a Brammo, driven to work and back on dry, temperate days?

By its very terms, the $75 sticker is an alternative to the $0.17 per gallon fuel tax.  $75 divided by .17 is 441. Okay, so that means they are charging me for the equivalent use of 441 gallons of gas in a year.  A Kawasaki Ninja 250R gets about 60 miles per gallon.  60 x 441 = 26, 460 miles a year.  Even a hardcore rider in Missouri can only eke out about 10 months of riding a year. That means they must expect me to ride about 2,600 miles a month.  That’s a LOT.  Even if I rode an Enertia every day, to and from my workplace (roundtrip 20 miles x 23 workdays a month = 460 miles x 10 months = 4600 miles a year), plus let’s add 40 miles each weekend (40 x 43 rideable weekends = 1720 miles), that’s about 6,300 miles.   Not even close to the amount they would be charging me.

Plus, unlike the pay-as-you-go fuel tax, I have to pay this fee in a lump sum, before I am afforded the privilege of driving.  Grrr.

Is this bureaucratic absurdity enough of a disincentive to affect a decision by a wanna-be Brammo buyer?

Of course not, but it still chaps my hide.  I wonder how ugly this sticker is.



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