2012 Ford Focus Electric

Washington State electric car tax going into effect in 2013

A new tax on electric cars is going into effect in Washington State, to collect road use fees normally collected at the gasoline pumps electric car owners never visit.

How do we collectively pay for construction and maintenance of "free" highways and other roads? Fuel taxes. In light of the inability to collect fuel taxes from electric car drivers, the State of Washington has passed a law requiring a yearly $100 fee to own an electric car. The fee goes into effect early in 2013, and has criticism from an electric vehicle advocacy group.

The existing fuel tax system is an extremely fair and anonymous way to collect road maintenance dollars from road users. The amount of fees paid by each individual is directly related to how much they use the road system. The fee is anonymously collected at the gasoline pump, which means the fuel tax can't be used by the government as a sneaky way to track all our movements. The flaw is that because the fee is on the sale of fuel, owners of cars that consume a fuel delivered through an alternative mechanism do not pay any fees for road use. For more information see Nicholas Zart's article at Washington State Taxes Electric Car Drivers For loss of Gasoline Tax

Pages

Share on Facebook submit to reddit Share on Google+
Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.

Comments

Washington state should collect the highway user fee for electric vehicles as a portion of the electricity bill taxes and fees. The utility should be sending the electric vehicle portion to the Highway Dept. Anything else is double taxation.
So, do DIY B99 (biofuel) users also have to pay an annual $100 penalty for trying to do their bit to ween the US off oil? I seriously doubt (by a factor of 10 if not 100) that the cost of implementing this ridiculous tax at this stage in the development of EVs is more than the money collected. I agree that EVs should pay their bit for maintaining the roads and $100 is not a high price to pay but it does seem daft that the G'ment is paying relatively high incentives to EV buyers on the one hand and then taking them back on the other particularly when most of the incentives are tax breaks in the first place! What a total nonsense. I can only assume the twits who came up with this idea are politically motivated against EVs - i.e. Big Oil supporters. MW
So, do DIY B99 (biofuel) users also have to pay an annual $100 penalty for trying to do their bit to ween the US off oil? I seriously doubt (by a factor of 10 if not 100) that the cost of implementing this ridiculous tax at this stage in the development of EVs is more than the money collected. I agree that EVs should pay their bit for maintaining the roads and $100 is not a high price to pay but it does seem daft that the G'ment is paying relatively high incentives to EV buyers on the one hand and then taking them back on the other particularly when most of the incentives are tax breaks in the first place! What a total nonsense. I can only assume the twits who came up with this idea are politically motivated against EVs - i.e. Big Oil supporters. MW
Please remember that the gasoline tax does not directly fund road repair. In fact, a significant percentage of the gasoline tax is diverted to other uses such as mass transit (trains). So It is hard to not to giggle a bit that there is a tax on EVs that then goes in part to fund trains burning diesel. I am not an expert on Washington State's state tax system, but In Mass. all funds collected go to the general fund and are then spent by the legislature. It is prohibited by the state constitution to sequester funds for any specific purpose. Tolls, sales tax on cars, excise tax, even the RMV's profit, which exceeded a half billion recently, all must be placed into the general fund. Good luck trying to figure out how much auto related funding goes in vs how much comes out.

Pages