Senate Bill 1044

Senate Bill 1044

by
Phil Haunschild
February 7, 2017

Bill description: This bill establishes inspections of diesel vehicles to determine if they are using tax exempt dyed fuel.

Rating: -2

Analyst’s Note: Federal and Idaho law allow drivers in certain cases to use tax-exempt diesel fuel. This fuel contains a specific dye and can only be used primarily in vehicles licensed for off-road or agriculture or for home heating. This fuel is exempt from the full 56.4 cents per gallon in state and federal taxes that go toward the Highway Distribution Account. Dyed fuel powers vehicles that do not contribute to wear and tear on the state highways.

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government? 

This new inspection protocol will expand the function of state, county, and city law enforcement, as well as employees of the Idaho Transportation Department under the new Section 49-676, Idaho Code. The bill authorizes these agencies to run additional tests, requiring additional employees. They will be required to collect and store samples of fuel used and performing tests at portable and permanent stations. These agencies, in conjunction with private groups, the Tax Commission, and others, would also direct a six-month education campaign to alert the public to the new rules. (-1)

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non- violent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes? 

This bill increases the penalty for using this fuel on highways from a misdemeanor subject to a fine of $100 to $1,000 fine, along with a civil penalty that must be capped at $1,000 according to Idaho Code 63-2460 to a $10,000 civil penalty. It also adds a new penalty of $1,000 for refusing to allow the state to inspect a vehicle under the procedures listed in this bill. (-1)

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