30 states now are hitting hybrid and electric owners with annual fees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, NCSL.
Another dozen states are considering adding these fees, to make up for the money their lawmakers say they are losing from gasoline taxes.
In my state, the extra EV fees are hundreds of dollars per year.
But there is more – my State – Oregon – also adds a surcharge on high mileage gas vehicles. If your gas vehicle is EPA rated at more than 40 mpg, you pay an additional registration fee for that too.
The State says it wants more people to be driving EVs or fuel-efficient vehicles but there is no question that the higher fees send a mixed message and discourage a switch. My own car, a 2015 Honda Fit, is EPA rated at less than 40 mpg, but in my own driving, I typically average about 42 on the highways, overall. If I were to replace it with an EV, I would be face with much higher annual fees.
Oregon has also introduced a new voluntary “tax by the mile” system where you can pay a fee based on total miles driven. When it was first proposed, this system would have cost me twice as much as current gas taxes and registration fees. I believe in the final draft it came out more even. But it also seemed to imply we would pay Oregon taxes on miles we drove in other states (and if driving a gas vehicle, still paying the other state’s gas taxes).
Today’s technology and government mindsets implies that eventually, we will all pay by the mile traveled. This extends the concept of toll roads to all roadways – and likely enables the government to track our behaviors.
Considering that the FAA proposed in December 2019, real time tracking and logging into a national database of the flights of all 8 ounce “drones” in backyards, flown by kids – you can see their mentality at work. If we can track it, then we can tax it!
(The White House, this past week resurrected this idea proposing having Congress draft laws that would enable local, state and Federal government agencies to track all “drones”, in real time, and even electronically disable them in flight. This is the mindset of government people. They will indeed eventually track all vehicles in real time and tax you by the mile.)