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Oregon Also Puts Electric Car Tax On the Table

Electric cars have to pay their road and maintenance due, of course. The problem is how?

Washington, Texas & Virginia. If you recall, it all started a little while back when Washington State decided to tackle the issue of who pays for electric cars on the roads, when gasoline taxes pay for infrastructure and maintenance. With this in mind, they decided to slap on a $100 electric car fee every year to help with infrastructure. See; Washington State Taxes Electric Car Drivers For loss of Gasoline Tax. It wasn’t long before Texas followed step, see; Texas Also Considers Taxing Electric Vehicles and finally Virginia State decided to go all the way with a wild and outrageous plan to do away with gasoline tax and make electric cars pay. See; Virginia State Is Now Also Considering Taxing Electric Vehicles.

Now Oregon Wants To Tax EVs. To be fair, we can’t be too harsh on Oregon for looking into what numbers point, the continuous higher amount of electric cars on the road. The state has already been recognized with early infrastructure implementation for electric cars. So it’s no surprise to see the state considering who pays for roads, infrastructure, lighting when there are more electric cars. Since the current gasoline tax covers about 60 percent in the State, including all funding for state, county and city road projects. With it drying up, the state is eager to find a new revenue.

Oregon Smartly Tackles EV Tax. Where Oregon differs from others so far from the others is that they have electric car experience, as well as Washington State where both have been involved with the North to South Electric Pacific Coast Corridor, allowing electric cars to ideally travel from San Diego to Vancouver, a 1,400 mile trip. In Oregon, the idea would be to tax on miles driven, much as a road user fee that assesses high-mileage vehicles owners based on the number of miles driven. After all, your car insurance knows how many miles you’ve driven.

According to the Register Guard; House Bill 2453 will ask for a per-mile fee to vehicles that get 55 miles per gallon or better efficiency that are produced in 2015 or thereafter.

If Washington State started the debate in the right direction, $100 a year per electric car or motorcycle, they left a door open, that of not capping it over the next few years. Texas followed suit and was topped by Virginia’s no more gasoline tax, let’s tax electric cars and have everyone pay more on all purchases, giving electric cars the double whammy. The Oregon electric car tax has more merit and shows its past electric car experience. You can sense Oregon has a better grasp on the realities on electric vehicles, and as the taxing debate continues, we will find states that implement better electric car taxing systems than others.


John Goreham    March 3, 2013 - 12:56PM

Does Oregon give EV buyers any kind of tax credit? If they do, why not just reduce that if they want some money back from EV owners? I assume Oregon uses car gas taxes for things other than roads like Mass. does, and like the feds use the fed gas tax . Like funding light rail budgets, airport budgets, and bicycle lanes. Too bad we can't put all the sales taxes on cars, sales taxes on car repairs, excise taxes, gas taxes, profits from RMV operations (half a billion in Mass last year), parking fees, tolls, and any new electric car taxes towards roads (and things having to with roads). We should use that money for what we pretend we use that money for. If we did that, taxing the couple thousand EVs per state wouldn't even be necessary.
That said, the simplest way in Mass to add any tax to any car is to simply have it be paid per mile when one has the car's annual "safety and emissions" inspection. The miles are already recorded then and the station owners could simply collect and send the money on just like they do with sales tax. Simple as pi.
Here is another idea. Have all the public and private chargers, not located in one’s home, collect a tax on EVs. If the charger is used between 9 pm and 4am (when the power stations are in surplus mode anyway), no fee. If you are charging during the day on either a public or a private charger, pay the fee. Users could avoid the fee by charging at home at night.
My preference would be to give the EVs a pass on the gas tax. Sorta stupid to give them $7500 fed tax credit, a state tax credit of a couple grand, then ask them for a few bucks a month back.