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Texas Latest To Consider Dedicated Electric Car Tax

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2011 Nissan Leaf plugged into an EVgo quick-charging station, Texas

2011 Nissan Leaf plugged into an EVgo quick-charging station, Texas

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If you bought an electric car to try and save a few dollars on gas, you may start to find it a little more difficult in some states.

Texas is the latest to consider an extra tax on electric vehicles to make up for lost gas revenue, helping to raise money for road maintenance.

According to state Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), increasing registration fees for electric car owners is "one of the options on the table", The Texas Tribune reports.

Such a scheme would follow on from similar arrangements considered by Virginia, and a $100 fee due in February in Washington state.

Much, like Virginia, Texas gasoline taxes have remained unchanged in 20 years, at 38.4 cents per gallon.

The tax has failed to keep up with inflation, and failed to consider the increasing efficiency of vehicles--meaning revenue streams from gas taxation are waning.

Darby suggests that "electric vehicles that tear up our roads pay their fair share", though figures from electric car coalition Plug-In Texas say there are currently only 2,000 plug-in vehicles in the state--a drop in the ocean among the millions of gasoline-fueled vehicles in the state..

Plug-In Texas is worried that an extra registration fee will put off customers at a time when electric car adoption is still growing.

Russ Keen, spokesman for Plug-In Texas, says that many owners charge mainly at home, and already pay tax on their electricity. Some vehicles, like the Chevrolet Volt, do also occasionally use gas--further complicating the issue.

The group suggests that the outcome of such a tax is studied carefully, as it'll take a good few years for electric cars to have any negative effect on current gas revenues.

Electric car taxation isn't an issue that's likely to go away any time soon.

What are your thoughts on regular and one-off fees aimed at plug-in car users? What contribution should electric car drivers make to road maintenance revenue--and are regular taxes the way to collect it? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Comments (14)
  1. As you drive your Tesla Model S coast to coast, should you pay a highway use-tax/fee for each state, or just to the state the vehicle is registered? What if an EV is rented, or leased from another state?

    Shoud Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV) pay the fee too? FCVs are essentially EVs with an open cell battery that requires the electrolyte to be refilled.

    Currently some states have a tire tax that goes towards road maintence. Since tire use (& wear) approximates into road miles, it may be a fair way to tax all vehicles? (ie: a tire use tax to replace gas taxes)
    A "tire tax" avoids many of the tracking (privacy) & reporting expense overhead with "per mile" proposals.
     
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  2. Drew Darby is no RepubliKKKan if she demands more taxes from Texas residents. Maybe they can tear her up and expose her liberal hippie communist agenda during the next election cycle.
     
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  3. Since that John attempts to be evenhanded but falls short, I'll post a reprint for him so he doesn't have to or won't:

    "We're all in favor of robust debate in the comments here on Green Car Reports. Points of view backed by *supporting links* are even better.

    Could I ask, however, that we avoid comparisons to Nazis? Especially when we refer to the democratically elected president of our country?

    Frankly, for at least some of our readers, I suspect that such inflammatory hyperbole serves to undercut the more serious points that you're trying to make.

    As always, I'd urge that we put ourselves in the opponent's shoes and speak to them as we would wish to be spoken to.
    Thanks in advance, and thank you for contributing to the discussion(s)."
     
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  4. Agreed. Thanks Randall for taking the time for this post.
     
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  5. @Randall: Thanks. I would indeed add that comparisons of elected officials to the KKK are no more appropriate than comparisons to Nazis.

    In other words, Jan: Please keep it respectful and civil. Thank you.
     
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  6. Apparently, Jan, you don’t know your history very well. The KKK was founded by democrats, and they hold the same values to this day. The democrat party has just morphed into the “army of compassion” wielding soft bigotry instead of burning crosses. Don’t feel bad Jan…I vouch to say that a significant number of the readership harbors similar ignorance based on the propaganda of liberals and democrats.
     
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  7. @Randall: See above. While I appreciate the history, blanket comparisons of an entire modern-day political party to the KKK are not helpful either. Please avoid them, just as you suggested that Jan do (quoting me) in your previous post. Thank you.
     
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  8. True but comparing today's freaks (acceptable word?) to the members of the Republican party from, say, 20 years ago would be very offensive, hence the differnce in spelling :-)

    Thank you so much for a lesson in history too. I'd push as far as asking Obama to officially apologize for his party forming the KKK in the South.
     
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  9. They should fix the gas tax but just don't have the nerve to do so.

    With gas prices currently down in the USA, now would be a great time to add some tax.

    FYI, the Texas gas tax is 20cent/gallon. The 38cent/gallon in the story includes the federal tax.
     
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  10. Are they going to do the samething for ultra efficient hybrids?
    What about Natural Gas cars or bicycles?
     
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  11. This is all just a ploy to get personal attention.
     
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  12. Add a one-time fee to purchasers of all-electric rigs in Texas not to exceed $75. Throw it into the purchase price and be done with it. Don't overcomplicate it. And don't add the tax to the next year's tag renewal, either. There aren't enough all-electrics on Texas highways and bi-ways that are "tearing them up" right now nor will there be next year at this time. Try and keep things somewhat real and not so X-Files-ish, please Tejas lawmakers.
     
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  13. It's just human nature to resent the fact that someone else is "getting away" with something that you can't "get away with". The electric car movement is in its infancy, and we should encourage anyone brave enough to buy one to do so, for a few years at least. A small tax doesn't seem like it would affect electric car sales, but I'm sure it will. Ease up folks, and give a new industry a chance to survive. Electric car owners aren't a "cash cow" yet!
     
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  14. at least Texas's response to the budget shortfall is not as idiotic as VA's proposal. WA had no problems simply raising the gas tax. We did rollback some of the tax jump when the economy tanked (we were the highest in the nation. we only rank like 3rd now...) and thinking its time to put that dime back on but...
     
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