Utah Pushes For $2,500 EV Credit – State Simultaneously Quadruples EV Registration Fees


In an odd twist, the state of Utah is pushing for laws that are both pro and anti-EV.

LEAF in Utah

LEAF in Utah

Lawmakers in Utah have approved a measure that provides EV buyers with a $2,500 tax credit, but a separate bill aims to quadruple the annual registration fee for EVs.

As The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

“HB74 by Rep. Lowry Snow, R-Santa Clara, would create the new tax credit, similar to a tax break already available for other types of clean-fuel vehicles. The House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved it on a 13-0 vote, and sent it to the House.”

“Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, said his SB139 would pay for that credit by raising registration fees on clean-fuel vehicles. The Senate Transportation Committee passed it 3-0, and sent it to the full Senate.”

So, EV owners will basically pay for the tax credit in a roundabout way.  SB139 had previously shown that the increased registration fees would be put aside for road maintenance.  However, it was later amended to show that the fees would pay for the tax credit.

SB139 calls for the annual registration fee for hybrids to be $138.  The current fee is only $43.  Additionally, the bill “triples registration fees for natural gas vehicles, and quadruples them for total electric vehicles,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune

Categories: General


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26 Comments on "Utah Pushes For $2,500 EV Credit – State Simultaneously Quadruples EV Registration Fees"

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It makes sense if the taxstreams end up in different moneypools.
So if the annual registration fee does support the building and caretaking of roads than its not a bad idea to change this stream.

Its like a good Carbon tax.
Introduce a carbon tax.
Lower general tax on the people, so they get to the same bottom line, but have an inventive to save money on gas and therefore save gas and emit fewer carbon.


Fine pollution. Reward work.

There’s something science says we have to get rid. Something we have to change, yesterday. Good then. We are all agreed. Take money from that in particular, give it back to everyone equally. Let’s do it.

What one hand giveth, the other taketh away.

I agree that we should be paying our fair share for road maintenance. But the key here is fair. Let’s tax ICEVs and BEVs directly for road use by a common measure. Take an odometer reading at your annual inspection or something.

I believe in the UK they pay their road tax based on the vehicles CO2 rating which takes care of the situation easily. Because they seem to have equated the more CO2 the vehicle emits, the larger and heavier the vehicle will be, and the more road tax they should pay.

So big heavy vehicles will naturally pay more than lighter weight hybrids and commuter plug-in vehicles.

That could easily be done in the states.

Brian has nailed it in two words — “common measure”. Tax all vehicles which use the roads in a common way.

Do you know how easy it is to rollback an odometer on a late model car? Google odometer rollback. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that show you how to do it.

You would have to do the lengthy process of reprogramming your odometer once a year. Is it worth it to save a few bucks in registration fees? Probably not.

That being said, I typically drive fewer than 6000 miles a year. Why should I pay as much as someone who drives 16000 miles a year or more?

I see it as current EV owners paying for an incentive for newbies to purchase/lease, spreading the love. I think $138/year is a bit high though.

Lease your EV for 3 years, rinse, repeat.

The shift of the wordage of the bill sounds like using pandering language to accomplish the goal of increasing Highway Taxes for EV’s that don’t pay highway taxes through gasoline purchases. They just changed the language to make some folks happy.

Overall, I don’t object to this in theory. If I currently pay $138 in Highway Taxes collected through my gas purchases, and in the future I have to pay that same amount in a state tax, I’ve lost nothing. The only thing that has changed is the method by which I pay my fair share of my own Highway Taxes to pay for road damage due to weather, new road construction, lane widening, etc. None of those things have anything to do with vehicle weight, or emissions, so I should pay my share even in a green car.

But I do wonder about whether these taxes are too high, and are starting to shift into the punitive side, making EV drivers pay more. I’d like to see some hard numbers by the bill’s sponsors.


Gasoline is taxed at 24.5cents/gallon in Utah.

At 25mpg and 12,000 miles/year, that’s $117.60 / year in gasoline taxes. Even if 100% of that goes to the same fund, the $138/yr is punitive.

Thanks. Definitely punitive. Sounds like the 43 bucks was closer to the right number for taxes on a small fuel efficient car.

uhmm, don’t you want to figure the $2500 incentive into that math somewhere?

strait political, representative gets to say that the EV’ers pay More..

Do diesel and gas cars pay different fees too? What about cars vs. trucks?

It seems like politicians seeing EVs not using liquid fuels and looking to patch a hole, but stepping back to review a 1930’s method to raising funding to sustain public infrastructure.Mixing funding for access (registration) vs. use creates a discrimitory tax system.

A “registration” system should apply equally to all vehicles (be it a flat registration fee, or vehicle value). A “use fee” based on vehicle weight class and/or miles driven per year would be more consistent. Emissions is another “use” area, vehicles generation higher level of pollution particles and gases should pay a higher fee; as they use more of a states clean “free air” to combust carbon based fuels. (Clean air is a limited resource, why not tax the biggest users?)

So they are not wanting to actually give a tax credit, but offer the tax credit on loan with a high interest rate. Doesn’t Utah have laws against predatory lending?

So EV credit is more of a loan then…. :roll eyes:

Increasing fees on conventional hybrids is the most brain-dead, stupid, and out-right counter-productive idea ever. Why penalize innovation and efficiency?!?! FFS! I understand a $100 annual ‘road use’ fee for pure EVs . . . and maybe one for plug-in hybrids. But a conventional hybrid is nothing but an efficient gas vehicle . . . why do we want to punish that?

Any politicians that supports that should be mocked mercilessly and thrown out of office.

Eventually the loan credit will vanish in some future legislature, but the tax/fee whatever they are calling it, will remain. Politicians are crooks.

Next up: to discourage smoking, taxes on cigarettes were increased.

As non-smokers don’t contribute their fair share though, to compensate, they will be required to pay between 250$ (10 cigarettes/day or less, in a state where taxes are low) and 2000$/year (1 pack/day in NY).

Yeah, this makes just about as much sense.


First, keep in mind these bills haven’t been passed yet. Second, the craziest part has to be the tripling of hybrid fees. Hybrids get maybe a 10% improvement in fuel mileage (the best gas mileage hybrids have those ratings because they would be high mileage cars regardless). Given Utah’s $.24/gallon gas tax those hybrids would have to drive about 30k miles in a year to justify the “loss” of gas tax revenue. This is just irrational EV hatred. Third, Colorado’s decision to have a $50 annual EV registration fee as a “pre-emptive measure” against these kind of efforts is looking better all the time – especially since $20 of that is supposed to go to charging infrastructure. And frankly, if all of the fees went to charging infrastructure most of us would gladly pay them. Fourth, for the people proposing annual odometer checks – please reconsider. The gas/diesel tax is a much more efficient mechanism. First, it takes into account how much fuel is burned, not how many miles driven. A simple fact, proven by countless traffic studies, is that heavier vehicles cause far more road wear and tear than lighter ones. We *want* those massive heavy duty GMC 3500s… Read more »

Hybrids should pay NOTHING more . . . we want to encourage efficiency not subsidize inefficiency!

Correcting my comment above. I said that hybrids (thinking Prius) would have to drive 30k miles in a year to justify the extra fees due to the loss of gas tax revenue. Wrong. 30k miles is approximately how long it would take to generate that much gas tax revenue. If we’re just talking about the *loss* of gas tax revenue due to being a hybrid the car would have to drive about 150k miles/year to justify an additional fee of $138.

I agree with Spec9 and everyone else. None of these fees make sense. It is in America’s interest to dramatically reduce oil consumption. Even if you don’t believe in Global Warming or Evolution, you still should understand that we spend at least $150 billion/year in tax dollars on a military presence in areas such as the middle east, with the predominant reason being to protect access to oil and other fossil fuel products.

I did the math on how much an ICE car might pay in fuel tax. I use the national average of 13476 miles a year and then calculated out the taxes for 30 and 50 MPG vehicles based on the tax rates for each state. In Utah, the gasoline taxes are $66.03 and $110.05 respectively. The new proposal taxes EVs more heavily than ICEs. While it isn’t a huge amount, it is unfair. $138 is what a 23.9 MPG vehicle would pay in 13476 miles in Utah. In 2011, the average passenger car MPG was 30.1 In 1982 it was 24.0 MPG so you might say that Utah is more than 30 years behind the times. I bet that $138 is the average revenue per car they want to collect. I predict in a couple of years, they will abolish the gas tax entirely and replace it with a flat model. If done today with the numbers they have floated, it would have the effect of raising road use taxes by 25%. Very clever these Utah tax collectors… (note, I’m not sure how to model the tourism contribution, perhaps is where the extra 25% comes from)

sorry, I switched the costs – a 50 MPG car pays 66.03 and the 30MPG car pays 110.05.

Also bear in mind that this is an election year, so this legislative season is going to be action-packed with sleight-of-hand lawmaking.