Olympia Wants Fees Added Onto Electric Car Registration

by lewwaters

The expected craze over electric cars has some Democrats in Olympia concerned that should people begin buying and driving them en masse, the state will be losing some revenue that is currently collected from drivers of cars powered by internal combustion engines.

They have already experienced a loss of revenue from the economic downturn, what with people driving less and that cars are more fuel efficient today than they have ever been, but should people begin going to the electric car the state would receive no gas tax revenue from drivers who purchase electric vehicles.

To make up for the estimated loss, Senator Mary Margaret Haugen, Democrat from Camano Island has introduced SB 5251, “AN ACT Relating to electric vehicle license fees.”

Currently before the Transportation Committee, the act proposes adding a $100.00 registration fee on top of other fees and taxes at the time of purchase and registration in Washington and at every re-registration thereafter. In simple language the bill states:

“Before accepting an application for a vehicle registration for an electric vehicle that uses propulsion units powered solely by electricity, the department, county auditor or other agent, or subagent appointed by the director shall require the applicant to pay a one hundred dollar fee in addition to any other fees and taxes required by law. The one hundred dollar fee is due at the time of initial vehicle registration and annual registration renewal.” 

It goes on to give the purpose:

“The fee under this section is imposed to provide funds to mitigate the impact of vehicles on state roads and highways, and is separate and distinct from other vehicle license fees. Proceeds from the fee must be used for highway purposes, and must be deposited in the motor vehicle fund created in RCW 46.68.070.” 

While it is doubtful too many original purchasers will ever be faced with having to replace the extremely expensive battery packs that power the cars, they will have this extra fee to face every year. I assume it will also carry over to those who might buy one used as well.

The 10-year projection hopes to raise nearly $10,000,000.00 as more and more people are coerced into buying the little cracker boxes.

Add to this the very high price of purchasing one, the time taken to recharge the batteries if leaving the county, what with the decreased range offered with our hills and curves in Washington State and the extra electricity that will have to be created to recharge the batteries, that $100 annual fee might begin looking expensive should this leave committee and be passed into law.

So far, one Republican, Senator Dan Swecker has signed on as co-sponsor with Democrat Senators Mary Margaret Haugen, Tim Sheldon, Steve Hobbs and Scott White.

8 Comments to “Olympia Wants Fees Added Onto Electric Car Registration”

  1. Wow, another incentive to buy this lousy car.

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  2. if my math is right, they only expect to sell/register 1000 vehicles for that 10 year time frame(yeah they might start at a lower number and climb up but the 10 year average would be 1000 per year).

    Thats not a lot of vehicles, and not a lot of miles(short range/long charge times) why would they need this money for road maint?

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  3. dagamore, you don’t seriously believe any moneis raised would be strictly retained for road maintenance, do you?

    And you are right too, they do appear to be overly generous on how many will be sold.

    And, as always before, this just might be their foot in the door for money taken away from citizens.

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  4. What the article only states as this is just some registration vehicle to raise the former mvet? (not sure of the correct name?) that was just recently voted down within the past 5 years by one of Tim Eyman’s initiatives.

    What has not really been talked about & the iron horse that is not out of the gate just yet is HOW we are going to have to replace the lower and lowering gas usage (exception made for some hybrids that use gas partially to recharge batteries but they actually use a lot lower amount than our current generations of vehicles) with either higher and higher gas taxes to make up the difference at SOME point in the future OR come up with some new tax scheme to cover this in some other form.

    Maybe a utility surcharge on power plants or home – commercial electricity usage rates? I mean on top of the higher & highering usage of these battery based vehicles and even the better point??

    What did the majority in WA, California and Oregon just vote for? Yep, use of renewable energy platforms that are MORE expensive to run than your average nuke plant OR 75 percent of better Hydro dams that most of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia power is based from?

    And in those huge, increasing over minimums over 20 years, at this point will not consider coal or our local hydro as sufficient to cover a portion of these Washington state laws on climate change.

    Now back to the original blog post. My point in posting this was that I felt that all of this is going to have a shifting effect of charging the state populace from gas station taxes to power – utility bills. (Or some other incredible scheme??) And with certain minority of our population DAMNing us to not build any new hydro dams, nuke plants or other effective energy producer to add to our continuing addition need for power.

    And even further, our local community is saying NO to BPA to bulld more & additional utility lines to help to handle these ever increasing loads.

    I am starting to begin to wonder *IF* we might start becoming one of the most expensive electricity areas in the US if these mandates keep flowing down like Reagan’s trickle-down economics…..

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  5. if its like the current gas tax, yes it would all go to the road fund, IIRC there was a law passed that stopped them from putting the gas tax in to the general fund, even if the same amount went to DOT and what not.

    I could be wrong on that.

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  6. While I do believe there is such a law to prevent them from using any funds raised elsewhere, the current crop in Olympia have in the past and are currently showing they have no regard for those laws, they just change them as needed.

    Just as they continue to do with citizen initiatives that get voted in requiring a 2/3 majority to raise taxes.

    Sorry, I just don’t trust them.

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  7. So… Money collected for roads now may be spent on strippers, Nuclear power plants boil water to spin a turbine which if an event like a earthquake might happen the radiation could kill many and sicken the earth. In the 50’s the Government told citizen’s the radiation was safe. HMMM Do I believe this government now?
    Any new form of energy used will always be taxed even if we choose to run our vehicles on rubber cement fumes. Well that is until WE THE PEOPLE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

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  8. Since the oil embargo of 1973, we keep hearing ending our dependence on foreign oil.

    Yet, we are more dependent than ever on foreign oil.

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