A Road Tax on Electric Cars

WA state is considering the nation's first fee on electric cars to cover road wear since they pay no gas tax, the primary funding mechanism for funding road maintenance and construction. However, critics point out that the fee is flat, not variable.

"After years of urging residents to buy fuel-efficient cars and giving them tax breaks to do it, Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to charge them a $100 annual fee - what would be the nation's first electric car fee."

The state confronts a $5 billion deficit and declining gas tax revenues.

"Electric vehicles put just as much wear and tear on our roads as gas vehicles," said Democratic state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, the bill's lead sponsor. "This simply ensures that they contribute their fair share to the upkeep of our roads."

However, the flat fee approach has its critics, who point out that vehicles should pay according to their usage.

"Plug In America, a California-based electric car advocacy group, has come out against the proposed flat fee and has urged the state to consider one based on odometer readings that owners would self-report each year."

Thanks to Christopher Childs

Full Story: Wash. Considers Annual Flat Fee for Electric Cars

Comments

Comments

Paolo Pezzotta This

Paolo Pezzotta
This discussion about charging electric vehicles is so off the mark and out of touch with appropriate economic theory

The transport system needs to paid for by all who benefit. Drivers and cars are not a framework that enables that outcome. Further, drivers do not have the needed resources

Here is my suggested site based, trip generation basis for funding:

Step 1: Do away with the gas tax.
Step 2: Fees would be re calculated for all derived on site-based, trip-generation rates.
The homeowners’ current gas tax would the basis for deriving the cost per trip funding fee:

TRANSPORTATION USE FEE = average, annual, household, gas tax paid to the state government/average number of trips generated at the household level. This will come out to $/trip.
Step3: This fee is applied to ALL sites which generate trips.
This is user fee, and it is paid like water and sewer fees based on usage.
(THIS IS A TRUE USER FEE SINCE ALL USERS ARE PAYING IT AS OPPOSED TO THE GAS TAX WHICH IS AVOIDED BY THE USERS WHO GENERATE THE MAJORITY OF TRIPS!!!)

Step 4: I would then suggest that you reduce the number obtained by 10% WHEN APPLIED TO HOMEOWNER-SITES’ CHARGES.

This will result in homeowners/renters-drivers paying 10% less than they currently do via the gas tax to support highway and transit systems.

Step 5: HOWEVER, there are about twice as many tips generated in the system from other trip origins in a region besides homes.

By applying the TRANSPORTATION USER FEE TO ALL USERS, USDOT WILL GENERATE 3 TIMES THE CURRENT GAS TAX RECEIPTS, AND IT WILL NOT BE VIA A TAX INCREASE. IT WILL BE VIA TAX REFORM

These folks who use the systems but currently pay nothing into transport funding are largely corporations and institutions. But they generate the majority of trips. IT IS TIME FOR THESE FOLKS TO PAY THEIR RIGHTFUL SHARE-just like they do for electricity, gas, water, sewer, and the like.
Step 6: It can have a congestion pricing format.

Step 7: It can be modally differentiated.

Step 8: It can be a "bottom up" or "top down" formulation.
Step 9: I can outline the approach for new systems assessment and planning paradigm modification IN DETAIL AND WITH RIGOR!
Step 10:Trucks can be handled as they are now since they pay site based fees (via fuel tax) as it is
In economic terms, this is funding based on gain sharing derived from access delivered by transport.

In theoretical terms, the current driver-based based system is:
1. capital allocatively inefficient
2. supply insufficient
3. inequitable
My approach (that engages all users in paying for their use) corrects these flaws. My approach is PERFECTLY-CAPITALISTICALLY-THEORETICALLY BASED.

I will be happy to outline it in detail for you.

Simply "dumbing down" the process as the current congressional/house committee wishes to with its proposal such that revenues are consistent with current, gas tax/homeowner payments will wreck our productivity, GDP, and competitiveness.

Best regards,
Paolo

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