Louisiana Electric Car Owners Might Face More Fees
Louisiana has a backlog of more than $18 billion dollars of highway and bridge projects that need to be taken care of, but we don’t have enough money to get to all of those projects.
This is one of the reasons state leaders are looking for a way to share some of the tax burden with drivers of electric vehicles.
The Louisiana Electric Vehicle Task Force has been holding meetings to talk about gas tax revenues and other dollars that are used to fund our roads.
Louisiana could see a drop in fuel tax revenues of more than $500 million dollars over the next 10 years. Part of the decline is due to more fuel efficient cars. But the rise in popularity of electric vehicles is another part of the equation.
Our Transportation Trust Fund has about $2.2 billion in it, but more than a third of that is from the federal government. 25% of the fund comes from action taken by the Louisiana Legislature and the rest (About $600 million) is from our gas tax.
This is prompting some lawmakers to talk about a road usage fee of some sort which would apply to owners of electric vehicles.
Last year, lawmakers approved an additional fee to be paid annually by owners of electric and hybrid cars. EV owners have to pay $110 each year while the owners of hybrid cars pay $60 a year. But is that enough?
Plug In America reports fuel efficiency is up from 18.8 mpg in 1990 to at least 22.3 mpg. The report says many cars are now getting over 35 mpg. That is one of the reasons many states are dealing with declining gas tax revenues.
So Louisiana, like many other states, are dealing with a drop in gas tax dollars and more electric cars on the roads. Some reports have indicated fees for EV rides might have to go as high as $300 a year to help makeup the shortfall.
There is also some talk about a sales tax at the EV charging stations. But the experts say most of the charging is done at homes and that tax would not apply because residential utilities are exempt from sales taxes in Louisiana.
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