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Tuesday, 03 May 2022 13:57

Louisiana House Committee Passes Bill that Could Impose Usage Fees on Electric, Hybrid Vehicles

Written by Victor Skinner, The Center Square

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A bill to impose annual road usage fees for electric and hybrid vehicles gained approval from the Louisiana House Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee.

Committee members voted 9-3 to approve House Bill 1031 to require owners of electric and hybrid vehicles to pay an annual road usage fee, "so those people driving hybrids and electrics are paying something for our roads and highways," said Rep. Barbara Freiberg, R-Baton Rouge, the bill's sponsor.

 

Freiberg said May 2 the state Office of Motor Vehicles does not have a means to identify hybrid or electric vehicles and collects registrations every other year, so she worked with the Department of Revenue to include an annual fee on the state income tax form.

 

"It says the Department of Revenue shall require each person filing an individual income tax return to report and certify on such return the number of electric vehicles and the number of hybrid vehicles registered in the state and owned by the filer," she said.

 

"The Department of Revenue shall collect the fees imposed … at the same time and in the same manner it collects taxes," Freiberg said.

 

HB 1031 dedicates 70% of the money collected to a Department of Transportation and Development fund for road and bridge projects, while 30% would go to the parish transportation fund to be distributed to local governments.

 

The bill initially included annual fees of $400 for electric vehicles and $200 for hybrids, but was amended to lower the fees to $110 and $60, respectively.

 

"What we wanted to do in the bill initially was to collect what the average payer of a gas vehicle would pay in not only Louisiana gas tax, but also federal," Freiberg said.

 

Instead, Freiberg limited the fee to what the average traditional car owner would pay annually from the state's gas tax of 20 cents per gallon, coming up with a figure based on average miles traveled and miles per gallon.

 

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson told the committee other states have already adopted similar measures.

 

"The intent behind this bill is to establish a principle of paying a fair share," he said. "And the fair share is...


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