Is Michigan Next To Add Gas Tax Alternative for Electric Vehicles?
Most states use a small portion of tax on fuel purchased to help pay for road work around the state. It varies from state to state, and from road to road, but whether you know it or not, every time you fill up, you're likely paying a "gas tax" for that area to help maintain their roads.
However, the rise of Electric, and Hybrid Vehicles has slowly taken a chunk out of that gas tax money coming in. So, how do communities make that up? By creating an alternative way of finding those funds for those who drive electric and hybrid vehicles. Some state have already implemented, it, and it seems Michigan could be next.
Recently, the Michigan Department of Transportation began exploring an option to replace its current gas tax scenario. They'll soon conduct a survey regarding a new road usage charge system, and it will include installing GPS mileage trackers on some vehicles.
What it will show is how much these vehicles travel on Michigan Roads, and how much fuel they do, or do not, purchase along the way.
Communications Coordinator Kylie Dontje recently spoke to ABC 12 News about the sitaution.
"The costs of construction are already increasing as it is. Roads have been underfunded for a very long time here in the state of Michigan. So, it is a concern if there are more electric vehicles on the road, they wouldn't be paying the same share as those paying for gas."
In Genesee County along, nearly 46 percent of their budget comes from the current "gas tax" scenario, and through vehicle registration.
What other states have implemented an Alternative to Gas Tax?
It's not so much an "Alternative," but rather an option that electric and hybrid drivers will have to take when registering their vehicles.
States like Utah and Oregon have either a flat fee you can pay when registering your vehicle every year, OR, they can tax you a certain amount per mile driven. In Utah, it's 1 cent per mile. In Oregon, it's 1.9 cents per mile.
In nearby Ohio, they have a flat fee for hybrids and electric vehicles. When you register your vehicle every year, you would pay an additional $100 for a hybrid vehicle, and $200 for an all electric car.
Is Michigan going to implement it?
At the moment, no. They're only pursuing other options right now. BUT, if other states continue to add the alternative, then it's very likely that Michigan will follow suit.
Just HOW they do is really the question. Will it be a flat fee, a cent/mile fee, or something completely different altogether? Will MDOT consider tolling in addition to a mileage tax?
Hopefully we'll have answers soon, but for now, officials say they're only gathering information to come up with the best plan for Michiganders.