Because nothing says environmental sustainability like a per-mile tax on electric vehicles.

That's what some Arizona legislators are proposing as a way to raise funds on the backs of those not paying taxes usually associated with fuel purchases.

Arizona Representative Steve Farley is proposing HB #2257, which would tax drivers of electric vehicles as much as 1.43 cents per mile. GreenCarReports.com notes that the Oregon legislature is reviewing a similar plan, while Washington State and Kansas are also looking at special electric-car taxes.

The Arizona proposal isn't exactly onerous – at an average fuel cost of $3.50 a gallon, a driver taxed at 1.43 cents a mile would have to drive about 244 miles to rack up taxes equivalent to a gallon of gas, making the tax about half as costly as the electricity needed to propel a Nissan Leaf.

Still, the proposal marks another effort by some Arizona legislators to take away some incentives for buying electric-drive vehicles. Last month, Arizona repealed an emissions program designed to cut vehicle emissions just one year after it was enacted. Arizona's Clear Cars program, which was approved in 2008, was voted down by a 5-1 margin by the Arizona Governor's Regulatory Review Council, according to CronkiteNewsOnline.com. On top of this, any time a tax based on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) was discussed in the past, people were opposed to the idea.


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  • 103 Comments
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Radical Right Wing Extremist Here... At some point, if electrics get really popular, the taxes for roads will have to be replaced (from gas to another methodology). But, as the Great Renaldus Magnus (Ronald Reagan) once said: [G]overnment's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. Obviously right now we are doing that in a different order, but the EV industry currently doesnt move much - yet. Let the numbers grow, the I dusty flourish, then think about a replacement tax. With the industry in its infancy, do we really want Take away a great incentive? And as someone did correct all of the anti-republican Cheney Kock Brothers Chimpy commentary, the congressman listed above is a democrat.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Reagan had some pithy phrases we all loved. But, we now know how the system works. Corporate Control of American Politics thru the new tool 503c's, and plain old lobbying. We, only get the government we want if we put up a huge battle, otherwise Corporations win. Democrat's can be bought too. Exxon might think they can get this through will less of a fight if it's put forth by a Democrat.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Interesting back and forth...keep in mind, I am against a tax on EV's right now, and to add to that, against a mileage tax in general. I do not thing hybrid owners should lose an advantage given to them (in the form of less taxation through less fuel) due to the owner making a GOOD decision. We should not, encourage people to do good, green things, then create NEW forms of taxation and punish them. Not yet at least. As far as the trucks go, that is all true, except since they are hauling goods we all buy, additional taxes on the, will be paid by us as the end user of said products. So keep I mind, before any of my right wing fun gets anyone mad, I agree with you. At the very least, wait up until there are enough EV's on the road that one sees a significant reduction on tax revenue prior to doing a mileage tax.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        99% of road damage is caused by Trucks, Heavy Trucks. So, No TAX on EV's is actually placing the burden of taxes on the parties that produce the damage.
          Scambuster
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          fordinsight is absolutely correct. The proof of the truck damage to highway pavement: just look at the number 3 and 4 lane of your typical urban interstate freeway. Then look at the number 1 lane.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Road wear rises by the forth power of axle weight. So if a car is twice as heavy it does 2*2*2*2 = 16 times as much damage. Presumably Arizona in the interests of equity will charge a levy on 4,000 lb SUV's.
      brotherkenny4
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ideally we would all pay a fair share of taxes based on the value of the services we recieve. This never happens however. If the trucks on the road were taxed at a level that was comensurate with the usage they apply to the road (basically, how much damage they do) the rest of us would have extremely low taxes for road usage. We subsidize the trucking industry through our taxes. There are numerous similar situation like this at all levels of government. However, industries hire lobbyist and individuals do not. Individuals vote, but are easily fooled into voting against fairness.
      Smurf
      • 3 Years Ago
      So should a 50 mpg hybrid owner pay a tax since he is less gas taxes than a person driving a 25 mpg vehicle? Should a 25 mpg passenger vehicle owner pay a tax because he pays less gas tax than a 15 mpg truck owner? Where does it end????? Arizona.... The last of the 48 states. Still trying to grow up....
      Mindy Boo
      • 3 Years Ago
      How will they know the whether the Volt is burning gas or electricity and when and for how long?
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mindy Boo
        Reading the bill, it calls for a per mile tax on all electric vehicles, and defines an electric vehicle as: " A VEHICLE THAT IS PROPELLED BY A MOTOR THAT IS POWERED BY ELECTRICAL ENERGY FROM RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES OR ANOTHER SOURCE ON THE VEHICLE OR FROM AN EXTERNAL SOURCE IN, ON OR ABOVE THE STREET AND THAT IS NOT CAPABLE OF BEING POWERED BY MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL OR USE FUEL." (yes, they put it in ALL CAPS) The "not capable of being powered by a motor vehicle fuel or use fuel" means that plug-in hybrids would be exempt, even if they never used any gasoline, and so would fuel cell cars. This tax is aimed exclusively at battery electrics. The tax starts at 1 cent per mile, and will be increased each year "BASED ON THE AVERAGE ANNUAL PERCENTAGE INCREASE, IF ANY, IN THE GDP PRICE DEFLATOR IN THE TWO MOST RECENT COMPLETE STATE FISCAL YEARS". Unless I'm mistaken, that means that if the economy declines and reduces the "Gross Domestic Product", the tax will be increased - not the best time to increase taxes. Reading the details, it clearly isn't about "tax fairness", it's all about suppressing BEVs. I have a better proposal - make it a 1/10th cent per mile tax on all road vehicles, paid once a year upon license renewal and odometer reading. For a typical 1,500 mile per year driver, that comes to $150 per year. Nah, the truckers and long distance commuters would scream...
          McHoffa
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          1,500 miles at 1/10th of a cent per mile would be only $1.50 per year... I'm assuming you actually meant 15,000 miles because I don't know anyone that only drives 1,500 miles per year... 15,000 miles at 1/10th of a cent would still only be $15.00
          Chris M
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          Hmm, just noticed that it not only covers battery use, but also "ANOTHER SOURCE ON THE VEHICLE OR FROM AN EXTERNAL SOURCE IN, ON OR ABOVE THE STREET" In other words, trolley busses or other vehicles that get power through induction or overhead lines would also be subject to this tax, even though they could be billed taxed directly for the power used.
      hahiran
      • 3 Years Ago
      I live in Phoenix and would be happy to pay a mileage tax that's equitable by comparison to the taxes on gas for infrastructure. Since our Leaf doesn't ride on rails I find it's only fair. Plus, I can still zip down the HOV lane while those gas-burners slog through rush hour.
        Smurf
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hahiran
        New EV owners cannot use the HOV lane in AZ. You must have traded in a hybrid to keep your existing HOV plate....
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is no doubt that EVs will eventually have to pay some road use tax eventually. However, bringing up the issue now is done purely out of spite and hatred. There is such a teeny-tiny number of EVs on the road today that they would not make any noticeable dent in taxes. Is better to wait on this issue and leave it as yet another incentive to get people to buy EVs.
        paulwesterberg
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        And since there are very very few EVs on the roads now the politicians can vote for this and then turn around and tell their constituents "I didn't raise your taxes." Even though many people will buy EVs in the next 5 years and be subject to this tax.
      Ele Truk
      • 3 Years Ago
      To all lawmakers propsing taxes on EVs: Do the math! The number of miles driven by EVs and the lost gas tax revenue is going to be less than what it costs to administrate the tax. Until there are significant numbers of EVs on the road, any tax aimed at EVs will effectively LOSE money. Instead, think about equalizing the tax structure. For instance the antiquated tax structure is aimed at gas consumption, yet the trend in new vehicles is to reduce gas consumption. Adjust the tax stream for ALL vehicles per mile traveled, not just EVs.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ev to recharge use electricity that would not be produced otherwise and is taxed so ev drivers pay a tax for the road. No need to put another tax on a tax. But if the ev recharge by free non-polluting solar panels or windmills then it lessen the burden of state having to subsidise solar and windmills for the grid.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Oil Industry is a CANCER on Progress and America. Plain and Simple.
      Ele Truk
      • 3 Years Ago
      So your suggestion is to tax for a zero net gain? Why tax at all? Here's my issue with a flat rate, it's unfair and arbitrary. I drive my EV about 2000 miles a year. Paying $100 fee means I am paying 5 cents a mile in taxes. Whereas a gas vehicle that gets 30mpg paying 18 cents (federal) + 15 cents (state) pays less than a penny per mile. Prius drivers pay even less. Sure some EV drivers drive more every year, but that's the real question, how do EV drivers equitably pay their fair share of road taxes? An arbitrary number won't do it.
      BipDBo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Calm down people. There's no evil conspiracy here. Gas taxes pay for roads. People who drivecars, including EVs do so on roads. Therefore, it's not a question of if EV owners should pay taxes that contribute to roads, but how much and how. EV owners get taxed on their electricity, so that should be taken into consideration into how much. As for how, I see two decent options. The simplest and cheapest to administer method would be a flat annual registration fee. Perhaps the most fair would be millage based on odometer reading. GPS tracking simply doesn't make sense me.
        EV News
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        Fuel taxes pay for roads about as much as cigarette taxes pay for health care! A per-mile tax steps on too many privacy issues, no-one is going to allow themselves to be tracked just to pay a tax! The BEST solution is to simply RAISE GASOLINE TAXES! That should make up any shortfall caused by the less than 0.5% of EVs in the national fleet!
          Ele Truk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EV News
          Your number is way way way off. With a total of maybe 20,000 freeway capable EVs vs. 350,000,000 cars the actual percentage is .006% Just raise gas tax by .01 percent and you offset the EVs loss of revenue.
          samagon0
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EV News
          agree. it's been a VERY long time since the national or state collected funds from gasoline or diesel have 100% covered the cost of highways and roads.
          Yespage
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EV News
          Agreed. I have a hard time thinking there is a drop in gas tax revenue because of those 10,000 EV's driving throughout America. If Gas Taxes are dropping its because of better fuel mileage for all cars being driven. So raise the Gas Tax! Worry about EVs once they become a non-negligible percentage of cars on the road.
      • 2 Years Ago
      One already pays tax on the purchase of electricty to charge their EV. Now a tax based on per miles driven? That smacks of double taxation.
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