Letters to the Editor

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CAR FEES: Olympia doesn’t hate electric vehicles

Letter by James A. Wooster, Lake Tapps on April 4, 2011 at 10:08 am with No Comments »
April 4, 2011 2:25 pm

Mike Workman claims (letter, 4-2) that because he and all electric vehicle owners are already paying for road maintenance through property taxes and license fees, they shouldn’t have to pay the proposed $100 annual fee for EVs. His claim that he would be a victim of discrimination is flawed.

All gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicle owners pay those property taxes and license fees too, but still must also pay the 37.5 cents per gallon state fuel tax that Workman avoids. Using an average of 10,000 miles driven annually and 20 mpg fuel economy, each owner of an internal-combustion engine-driven vehicle buys about 500 gallons of fuel per year and pays about $187.50 per year in fuel tax (per vehicle, per year).

The state would not be punishing EV owners, but rather is merely trying to preserve this revenue stream in the event that a significant fraction of Washington vehicle owners switch to electric power. Olympia doesn’t hate EV owners, but it does love tax revenue. I predict we’ll soon see a similar federal fee on EVs to replace revenue lost in federal fuel taxes if fuel sales decline.

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