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.
April 25, 2011, 12pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"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

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Published on Friday, April 22, 2011 in AOL News
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