PARK CITY, Utah. — Utah lawmakers are looking to tax electric and hybrid vehicles to make up for the projected loss of income from the state gas tax in the coming years.
According to the Utah State Tax Commission, the average vehicle in Utah pays roughly $380 a year in state and federal gas tax. The tax is fundamentally used for road repairs and construction in the state. The increase in demand for electric vehicles (EVs) projects a declining future for revenue from the pump.
Per Fox 13 in Salt Lake City, Utah State Senator Wayne Harper (R-Taylorsville) is planning a bill for next year’s legislative session that involves charging electric and other alternative fuel vehicle drivers based on road user miles. “This is equitable for the urban and rural parts of Utah,” Harper told Fox 13. “It should make it so people in rural Utah might pay less because they’re not driving as many miles in a month because they’re taking fewer trips even though they drive a little longer.” There are similar laws being discussed in other states.
The Utah Department of Transportation says 0.4% of total standard passenger and light truck registrations are for electric vehicles. However, the growth in the number of registered electric vehicles has jumped 940% since 2015.
Last year, Park City City Council voted unanimously to adopt new requirements for electric vehicle infrastructure. PC is planning on having all operations running on 100% renewable energy by next year. The goal for the entire community is to reach the full renewable mark by 2030.
The Biden administration is looking to kickstart the development of a stronger EV infrastructure through the current bill being debated in Congress. The Democratic camp’s initial offer included $174 billion for charging stations and tax breaks for EV buyers. However, the Republican counteroffer is pledging only $4 billion.
Tesla originally offered other car companies the ability to use the patents on its charging standards and equipment. None of the big automakers were interested and instead created a competing standard in the U.S. whereas their vehicles are incompatible with Tesla chargers (however, with an adapter, Tesla drivers can use almost all fast-charging stations).
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are only 4,890 fast-charging stations in the entire country. Also, more than 80% of EV charging happens at home.