LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – If you are one of the 10,600 drivers in the state who owns an electric vehicle you know you are saving a bundle by not paying the state gas tax at the pump.
However, the days of that free ride may be numbered if the road builders have their way at the state Capitol.
Road builders are telling lawmakers if the EV owners don’t pay some taxes, the already declining road revenue problem will get worse.
The industry wants lawmakers to adopt a system whereby motorists pay based on the miles they drive. It’s called the VMT, vehicle miles traveled fee.
“We believe that is the most fair method in charging a user fee base system for all users. These EV’s, most of them, are heavier than normal engines because of their batteries and so they are actually putting more damage on our roads without paying their fair share,” said Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Governmental Affairs with the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.
Another option is a tax at the EV charging stations.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has not endorsed any fee increase yet but has said that a “major policy” change is needed to replace the declining gas tax dollars.
At least 10 other states are looking at the odometer tax, but the motoring public is worried about who sees this data and will the government protect their privacy rights.
The industry promises there will be protections to block the sale of this data, including not disclosing where you are driving.
At first, the VMT would be voluntary because making it mandatory, Binoniemi thinks, would be a tough sell.
“I don’t know if the public will accept that. We believe the legislature should have a study and allow some voluntary system to adopt so they can tell their friends and neighbors this was no big deal. It’s not recording where I go,” he said.
The new fee system that hits all motorists no matter what they drive could be coming to an EV near you sometime next year.