Michigan Next to Tax Plug-In Vehicles Owners With Proposed $75 Road-Use Annual Fee

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 9

Taxes...Taxes...and more taxes

Taxes…Taxes…and more taxes

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says the state is in desperate need of additional road funding.  Billions of dollars to be more precise.  So, where’s that money coming from?

If You Drive One of These, Then We're Gonna Tax You

If You Drive One of These (Or Any Other EV), Then We’re Gonna Tax You

Well, House Republicans may have found a solution to Michigan’s road-funding shortfall and its aimed squarely at drivers of alternative-fuel vehicles.

Unlike some other states that have decided to only tax plug-in vehicles, Michigan may end up taxing hybrids, as well as all plug-in vehicles.

House Bill 4608, introduced Tuesday by Republican Mike Shirkey, calls for electric and “alternative fuel” vehicles weighing in at under 8,000 pounds to be taxed $75 annually in road-use fees.  Vehicles fitting the above categories, but weighing over 8,000 pounds, will be required to pay an annual fee of $200.

Shirkey told MLive that owners of certain types of vehicles avoid taxation at the pump, so they aren’t contributing their fair share to the state’s road funs.

Quoting Shirkey:

“This begins the conversation about how to compensate for their non-contribution.  This is not intended to be a long-term solution for road funding, but it begins to address some of the unfairness issues.”

Shirkey says the bill will “level the playing field.”

Chevrolet Volt Owners Will be Taxed Too

Chevrolet Volt Owners Will be Taxed Too

MLive says “Shirkey’s proposals could be folded into a developing road funding package introduced by state Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse city, that calls for increased fuel taxes at the wholesale level coupled with at-pump exemption from the state’s 6 percent sales tax. The sales tax exemption would leave a hole in funding for K-12 education and municipal revenue sharing.”

Wayne Schmidt, chair of Michigan’s House Transportation Committee, spoke to MLive regarding this road-use tax proposal and even directly brought electric vehicle owners into the mix.  In the words of Schmidt:

“There are people who are going to say that we’re funding this on the backs of electric vehicle owners, but that’s not what we’re talking about.  This is about making it equitable. They use the roads too and need to help pay for repairs.”

Perhaps, but it’s not likely to be seen by plug-in owners as an equitable solution to a funding shortage problem.

via MLive

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9 responses to "Michigan Next to Tax Plug-In Vehicles Owners With Proposed $75 Road-Use Annual Fee"

  1. bloggin says:

    $75 or $100 annually is not much to pay to have access to roadways, while still saving hundreds if not thousands in fuel cost.

  2. Dave R says:

    Meanwhile in California, legislation (AB 1077) has been introduced that will reduce the sales and registration tax EVs and plugins currently pay.

    The goal is to tax plugins (and other zero emissions vehicles) on their price after tax credits and rebates.

    This would eliminate the sales tax paid on $10,000 for your typical EV saving consumers about $1,000.

    Registration fees will also go down accordingly.

    1. Open-Mind says:

      Not sure that’s a wise move for a state that’s $600 billion in debt:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/state-debt-report_n_1836603.html

  3. SuperDave says:

    I’m fine with paying my fair share of taxes for the roads. However, I hope legislators realize that BEVs like my Focus Electric have limited range, which means I’m not taking it on trips or anything. It’s just for around town. Mileage will be very limited…maybe half or third of a regular daily driver.

    1. Dave R says:

      Which is exactly why any properly designed tax that’s supposed to pay for road use and be “fair” should tax the vehicle based on annual miles driven and vehicle weight.

      A gas tax is at slightly fair since in general, the more you drive and the heavier your vehicle is, the more you pay in taxes.

      Flat fees are the opposite of fair and are only a cheap shot against technologies designed to reduce our dependency on oil and air pollution.

      1. Down with shared burden says:

        Great idea! Let’s do away with all upfront fees and only charge per amount of use since this is the most fair. Of course this means per use fees for city parks, the library, sending a kid to public school, snow plowing your city street, the list goes on and on. This plan will REALLY improve quality of life and the world we live in!

        OR

        Charge the $75 (or insert appropriate amount…I’m fine with more) annually on ALL cars regardless of fuel source to cover the “road fund” short fall and let fuel taxes essentially become smog/carbon tax without having to be legislated as such. BEVs, PHEVs, CNG ICEVs, etc will pay their share to access the roads so the perception of entitlement is diminished.

  4. Open-Mind says:

    Here in Illinois, our annual license plate renewal fee is over $100.

    Proposed solution:
    1) Eliminate the EV tax
    2) Eliminate the state gasoline tax
    3) Add a mileage adjustment to the plate renewal fee.

    Then all drivers could follow the same rules.

  5. Josh says:

    I understand the purpose of this, but until there are tens of thousands on the road implementing it makes no sense. Michigan probably has 1000 – 2000 EVs on the road. I bet they end up spending more than $150k collecting the tax. Even if the collection cost was zero, $150k would be lost in the roundoff error of a road repair budget.

    They should modify the bill to say it kicks in once registrations pass X% of total vehicle registrations.

  6. kdawg says:

    What a fricken joke. So much for Republicans being against taxes. I guess when it’s EV’s they are OK with it. Sorry to get political, but this is not the correct solution.

    Why would you discourage EV purchases when other programs are encouraging them? Especially in a state that produces EVs?

    Put up toll roads and use the $ collected to pay for those roads. That way the $ is directly collected from and used at the source. No chance for politicians to play with it.

    How is it fair to charge people that drive very little, but have an EV or hybrid a flat amount?