The Washington State senate has passed a bill that will impose an annual fee of $100 to electric-vehicle drivers.
Senate Bill 5251 was introduced a year ago by the Senate’s transportation committee chairperson. The bill’s goal was to find a way to compensate for the fact that electric vehicles put the same wear and tear on state roads as a conventional vehicle does, but electric vehicles weren’t paying any of the road tax that is currently embedded in gasoline costs. Washington state charges 57.5 cents per gallon in fuel taxes to pay for road maintenance and development. The fee of $100 is about half of what a typical Washington State driver pays in gas taxes, and will add as much as $1.9 million to the state’s budget by 2017.
The bill was passed by a two-to-one margin, and will next be voted on by the state’s house of representatives.
Many states are looking at ways to generate road tax revenue from electric vehicles. Kansas, Oregon and Arizona are considering different methods of road taxation.