Bill Description: House Bill 185 would define electricity as "electric fuel" when it is used by a commercial vehicle, and then impose taxes and regulations on it.
NOTE: House Bill 185 contains just one change from House Bill 130, introduced earlier this session. The change is that the tax imposed by this bill has been increased one-hundred-fold compared to House Bill 130, up from "eight thousandths of a cent (.008¢) per kilowatt hour of electric fuel" to "eight-tenths of a cent (.8¢) per kilowatt hour of electric fuel." The bill's Statement of Purpose has been updated to reflect the increased tax rate, but it provides no explanation for the change.
Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?
House Bill 185 would amend Section 63-2401, Idaho Code, to define "electric fuel" as "electrical energy delivered or placed into a battery or other energy storage device of a commercial electric motor vehicle from a source outside of the motor vehicle for the purpose of propelling such motor vehicle." Under this logic, electricity becomes fuel when it is added to a battery for a specific purpose. This is not logical and is only a pretext for imposing new taxes.
House Bill 185 would define "electric fuel charging station" as "equipment that is used to deliver electric fuel into a battery or other energy storage device of a commercial electric motor vehicle." This definition may be even more problematic than the definition of “electric fuel.” That is because there is no inherent reason why a commercial vehicle would need to use any specific charging station. A charging station at a home or business, intended to charge non-commercial vehicles, could just as easily be used to charge commercial vehicles.
House Bill 185 would define "electric fuel receiver" as "any person who receives electric fuel from an electric supplier for the purpose of charging a commercial motor vehicle." It further defines "electric supplier" as "any public utility, cooperative, or municipality supplying or intending to supply electric service to a consumer."
It should be noted here that the term "commercial vehicle" includes more than just large semitractor-trailers. The definition includes, for example, any vehicle "designed to transport sixteen (16) or more people, including the driver."
This would impose new burdens on a church or school that owned both a small electric bus and a charging station. The organization could not use its own station unless it followed all the regulations that apply to typical fuel distributors and then paid the newly imposed tax.
Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market?
House Bill 185 would amend Section 63-2427A, Idaho Code, to require distributors of "electric fuel" to obtain a motor fuel distributor license. This is the same license required of distributors of traditional fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, used in motor vehicles.
House Bill 185 would amend Section 63-2406, Idaho Code, to require distributors of "electric fuel" to create and submit reports detailing how much "electric fuel" they sold. This would apply even when a business used its own electricity to charge its own commercial vehicles.
House Bill 185 would create Section 63-2427D, Idaho Code, to say that "for all electric fuel charging stations that are installed prior to December 1, 2023, a person shall provide the state tax commission with documentation of a meter used for dispensing electric fuel upon obtaining a motor fuel distributor license. Such documentation shall be provided to the state tax commission by December 31, 2023."
This would require existing charging stations to be outfitted with a meter, at the owner's expense, to comply with this new regulatory and taxing system. Of course, all new charging stations would have to be built to comply as well.
This new section would also require that "a person who purchases electric fuel to charge a commercial electric vehicle for resale of such electric fuel shall separately state on any invoice or billing document provided to the customer the amount of the tax imposed pursuant to section 63-2402, Idaho Code. Such tax amount shall not be billed to the customer except as provided for in section 63-2402(3), Idaho Code."
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?
House Bill 185 would amend sections 63-2402 and 63-2405, Idaho Code, to impose a tax of "eight-tenths of a cent (.8¢) per kilowatt hour of electric fuel received for use in a commercial vehicle."
Incidentally, this is a one-hundred-fold increase over the "eight thousandths of a cent (.008¢) per kilowatt hour" tax proposed in House Bill 130.
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?
House Bill 185 would amend Sections 63-2450, Idaho Code, to make it illegal to "purchase, receive, or accept any … untaxed electric fuel" or to "sell or transfer any … untaxed electric fuel".