New legislative measures are being proposed in Arizona and elsewhere, that would seek to impose additional taxes from owners of electric cars.
This is a reaction to the growing population of electric, as well as alternative fuel cars, that start to fill up the nation’s highways. For its supporters, since they also use the same highway system, they should also be charged for the costs to build and maintain the network of roads and bridges. The status quo now is that gasoline fueled cars pay to defray the costs of maintaining highways and roads.
One of the first proposed legislations was filed by Arizona Representative Steve Farley with House Bill No. 2257. The bill is to impose a vehicle mileage tax on electric vehicles pegged at $.01 per driven mile. This proposed measure gives the Arizona Highway Department the authority to collect the tax and create the implementing rules and regulations for its operation. There is also an automatic clause that increases the tax that uses the Gross Domestic Product of the country as its yardstick.
Other states have followed suit and have already existing laws to that effect. There have been previous incidents where biodiesel activists have been arrested for their failure to pay road taxes. They fall within the purview of the tax measure because biodiesel made at home falls within the category of home charged electric vehicles and this group is taxed because they fall outside the current system of cars that are chargeable for road taxes. Another measure has been proposed in Washington State that imposes a flat $100 fee per year per electric car over and above existing car taxes, in lieu of the mileage measurement per year requirement.
In order to pass, this measure would need a two thirds majority of the Arizona State Legislature.
The problem though is that there are only a few electric cars compared to the overall car population in the world today. The infrastructure cost is still minimal at best allowing for electric cars to still be around today. Putting up a tax system may only serve to be another setback to the full advent of the electric cars on the road. Until the electric cars rule the road, taxing them may not be a good idea in the long run.