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Old 09-27-2019, 02:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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How about this to use to fit on Gov Ever's "Voice An 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:
---
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,
---

B


Last edited by bluesight; 09-27-2019 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Here is a different focus for an argument to make to Gov Evers that will also hopefully fit in his "Voice Your Opinion" page. This is a little more specific for Prius owners. Again, edit as you see fit...

B
---
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,

Last edited by bluesight; 09-30-2019 at 11:52 AM..
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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We've gotten at least 2 "opinions" sent in from the G1 Insight community today. It would be great to get to at least 10 overall before tomorrow's (Oct 1) scheduled full implementation date. The more, the better! So PLEASE, send one in. If you're willing, please let us know that you did...!

B
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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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 meet the WI Legislative Fiscal Bureau definition for mild hybrid. It'll be tougher to exempt gas-only Prius, but we'll see after more info on the categorization process is uncovered (or not). But there may be a way using to challenge the WI DOT process. After that, it will be arguments about "equal protection" as identified by the WI Legislative Fiscal Bureau, but that will undoubtedly take litigation. The equal protection arguments should be usable in any state. It might be possible to use the WI Legislative Fiscal Bureau's arguments as a "professional" opinion as to why equal protection should apply.

B
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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If you want to get an "early" start on this, here's what I recommend in contesting the fee for G1 Insights using the MV1020 "Registration Correction Request" form:
----
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.

----

Please do it! When I get more information and potentially better arguments, I'll put up an additional challenge statement. Submitting multiple challenges, one after the other, I consider a good thing!

Good luck...

B
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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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...

Last edited by bluesight; 10-15-2019 at 05:51 PM..
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The DMV found a cheaper way to identify the hybrids by selling your data, how nice of them.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I was just wondering, what part of that counts as due process?
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Old Today, 01:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
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OK...For us G1 Insight owners...I continue to try to find a way to get some transparency through WI open records requests on the outsourced, proprietary IHS Markit process for categorizing hybrid-electric vehicles . I will be looking for your help when submitting correction requests to also pursue public records on the process, as noted below. Here is my open records request to dotopenrecords@dot.wi.gov:

From:
(Me)
(address)

(date...whatever)

To:
Records Custodian
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
4822 Madison Yards Way
Madison, WI 53705

Dear WI DOT Records Custodian:

Under the Wisconsin Open Records Law, 19.31 - 19.39., I request documents in the form of correspondence with IHS Markit involving citizen requests through the MV1020 "TITLE/REGISTRATION CORRECTION REQUEST" form for correction of the categorization of hybrid-electric vehicles, as it relates to the hybrid-electric vehicle surcharge. Records would include WI DOT requests to IHS Markit for clarification of categorization of hybrid-electric vehicles, and responses, both general and detailed, from IHS Markit on acceptance or rejection of the correction, and, in the case of rejection, specific justifications from IHS Markit as to the reason for rejection. If it is necessary to redact details of VIN number, please provide description of the vehicle involved by make, model and year of the vehicle.

I expect this information can be provided electronically and I request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of which vehicles are subject to the hybrid electric vehicle fee. This information is not being sought for commercial purposes.

I would request a response in writing, within the 5 days described by law, if you intend to deny this request. Also, if you expect a significant delay in fulfilling this request, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records.

If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law.

Thank you for considering my request.

Sincerely,
(Me)
(phone)

----

So, the problem with this is that it may be rejected because WI DOT will not release "private" information, specifically the VIN which is what drives this process. We'll see. But, to get around this, anyone that submits an MV1020 "Registration Correction Request" form should attach an open records request to it, and send the same request separately to the dotopenrecords@dot.wi.gov address (with parenthesized modifications). It would look like:
-----------
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.

As part of this correction request, I am also submitting the following open record request here and directly to the WI DOT open records custodian:

Dear WI DOT Records Custodian:

Under the Wisconsin Open Records Law, 19.31 - 19.39., I request documents in the form of correspondence with IHS Markit involving my citizen request through this (the) MV1020 "TITLE/REGISTRATION CORRECTION REQUEST" form (I have submitted) for correction of the categorization of my vehicle, VIN #xxxxxxxxxxx, as it relates to the hybrid-electric vehicle surcharge. Records would include WI DOT requests to IHS Markit for clarification of categorization of hybrid-electric vehicles, and responses, both general and detailed, from IHS Markit on acceptance or rejection of the correction, and, in the case of rejection, specific justifications from IHS Markit as to the reason for rejection.

I expect this information can be provided electronically and I request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of which vehicles are subject to the hybrid-electric vehicle fee. This information is not being sought for commercial purposes.

I would request a response in writing, within the 5 days described by law, if you intend to deny this request. Also, if you expect a significant delay in fulfilling this request, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records.

If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law.

Thank you for considering my request.
------

I may be running out of steam on this, but it is such a travesty that I'll probably keep going until the brick wall starts hurting my head...

B


Last edited by bluesight; Today at 01:56 PM..
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