State transportation bill could more than double registration fees for electric vehicles

A new state proposal could more than double registration fees for electric vehicles.

Because electric vehicle owners don't pay a gas tax, they are currently charged an extra $150 per year on their registration. SB 5971 would more than double the fee to $350.

Gas taxes fund road maintenance, and Sen. Steve Hobbs, one of the sponsors of the bill, said increasing registration fees would help with increasing state revenue.

"That's enough that it will pay for roads, also we will have enough to pay for infrastructure buildouts... so charging stations being able to give people incentives to buy electric vehicles by providing a tax exemption," said Hobbs, one of the sponsors of the bills.

KRIO 7's Ranji Sinha spoke with electric vehicle driver Adam Stoffel as he charged his VW at a Capitol Hill charging station. He expressed concern about the hike in registration fees.

"I think we should be trying to incentivize people to use cleaner alternative energy," Stoffel said. "I don't think this legislation does that very well."

Hobbs says tax exemptions will also help encourage people to buy electric vehicles, but that exemption only applies to newly purchased cars. Anyone buying used electric vehicles would just pay higher registration fees.

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