As lawmakers look to add mileage tax to electric vehicles, critics worry it’ll deter sales

A rate has not been set, but Senate Bill 3313 would charge electric vehicle owners annually...
A rate has not been set, but Senate Bill 3313 would charge electric vehicle owners annually during safety checks.(HNN)
Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 8:52 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State lawmakers are proposing a mileage tax for electric vehicle owners who are currently able to skirt the gas tax.

A rate has not been set, but Senate Bill 3313 would charge owners annually during safety checks.

The rate would be capped at the average annual gas tax payment.

While the state Department of Transportation said this tax would eventually apply to all drivers, critics said it will only deter people from buying electric vehicles.

“This bill will result in unintended consequences of people not wanting to buy EVs because of additional fees associated with owning one,” said David Mulnix, an opponent of the EV tax. “There’s already a $50 fee with owning EVs. Adding additional fees will be counterproductive.”

Meanwhile, DOT said it wants to ensure there is no inequity in who is paying taxes for transportation.

“We want to make sure that when we start looking at who pays for transportation, there’s equality. We don’t want the burden of paying for the system to fall on those who can’t afford electric vehicles,” said DOT Deputy Director Ed Sniffen.

The Transportation Department said the gas tax is no longer able to sustain federal funding and a mileage tax would be better for the state.

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