Pennsylvania debating $250 annual electric vehicle tax

Industry

Pennsylvania state legislators want to slap electric vehicle owners with a $250 annual tax. The bill was introduced by state Rep. Mike Carroll, who represents an area just south of Scranton (contact form here), and is the ranking Democrat on the Pennsylvania House’s Transportation Committee. The bill has bipartisan support, and both chambers of the legislature are controlled by state Republicans.

Back in February 2017, we reported on the fossil fuel industry’s push for EV taxes. We’ve debunked those arguments as well. Last month, Consumer Reports released an alarming study on state EV taxes, showing “that of the 26 states that currently impose EV fees, 11 charge more than the amount owners of similar gas-powered cars pay in gas taxes, and three charge more than twice the amount.”

Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy for Consumer Reports, writes in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star that the $250 tax is “well above what average new gasoline-powered vehicle owners pay in gas taxes.”

Electrek’s Take

The “State of Independence”? More like the State of Dependence. This tax will only prolong Pennsylvanians’ reliance on the foreign monarchs and potentates that control the fossil fuel industry.  “Oh please prince, just a few more gallons?

Imagine Benjamin Franklin were alive to see this? The man who invented the lightning rod and made numerous electric discoveries also spent a long time in the Pennsylvania legislature, even holding the title “President of Pennsylvania” (essentially, Governor) at one point.

Pennsylvania’s electricity is home-grown, with a mix of nuclear (39%), natural gas (36%) and coal (21%) – and even with this mix, it’s still 68% less polluting to drive an EV. Pennsylvania ranks second in the USA for both nuclear power generation and natural gas production, and is the third-largest coal producing state. Conversely, the state’s oil boom ended in 1901.

Also, Electric vehicle owners do pay a tax “at the pump”. Utilities charge electricity tax which is often more than gas is taxed on a percentage basis. It just needs to be routed to roads.

Pennsylvania should invoke the spirit – and discoveries – of its founding father and seize independence by going all-in on electric vehicles. Help make that happen.


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