To the editor:
HB209 Vehicle Registration Fee Revisions is a bad idea.
Electric vehicles (EV) fees would more than double from $120 to $300/year. Plug-in EV fees would quadruple from $52 to $260. Gasoline hybrids would increase from $20 to $50 annually.
Vehicle exhaust (especially diesel) is the largest contributor to Utah’s serious air pollution problem. EVs produce no tailpipe emissions; plug-in hybrids are cleaner than any gas or diesel vehicle. Thus, it makes no sense to charge EV owners a surtax to register their vehicles. Why penalize EV owners when they are helping clean up the air?
Electric vehicles do pay their “fair share” for roads: $120 yearly fees to pay for road maintenance. They also pay local taxes on electricity that go to local budgets for services.
If there are gaps in the state road maintenance budget, other solutions make more sense. Raising the state gasoline tax would add the additional funds for road maintenance much faster than the electric vehicle fee and would have the added benefit of disincentivizing the drivers of pollution-causing vehicles, lessening wear and tear on roads. EVs are much lighter and thus cause less road damage than the increasingly popular pickup trucks.
A fee of $300 a year for an electric vehicle is unfair and disincentivizes people who are helping clean up Utah’s air.
Jean M. Lown