SALEM, OR and OLYMPIA, WA - Just when you thought being eco-friendly was not only environmentally sound but also financially prudent, lawmakers in Oregon and Washington State are mulling electric car taxes as a means for recouping the lost gas tax revenue from the transit switch, the Register-Guard and Seattle Times report.
Oregon's bill takes the form of an odometer fee, with electric car owners paying a "vehicle road usage charge" beginning with model year 2014 vehicles and plug-in-gas-electric hybrids.
House Bill 2328 would charge drivers 0.6 cents for every mile they drive, the rough equivalent of what a 48-miles-per-gallon Toyota Prius hybrid costs in state gas taxes driving 15,000 miles per year.
"We have to make sure that they are contributing to the cost of the roads that they are driving on," said state Rep. Terry Beyer, chairwoman of the state Road User Fee Task Force, which recommended the tax legislation.
In Washington, Senate Bill 5251 would impose a flat tax of $100 per year for electric cars, a fee that Senate Transportation Committee Chairwoman Mary Margaret Haugen says is an equitable solution.
"Electric cars will be driving on the highways right along with all the other cars. One of our biggest issues is preservation and maintenance of our existing highways. We believe they should be paying their fair share," Haugen said.
The Times said it was uncertain whether the bill would clear the Washington Senate if it passes Haugen's committee, or how the House would view the measure.
If approved, the governor's budget office projects it would generate $400,000 in 2013 and $1.9 million by the 2015-17 state budget cycle.
The upcoming March issue of NACS Magazine is featuring a story on electric vehicles €" be on the lookout for your copy March 1.
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