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Should Owners of “Green” Vehicles Pay An Extra Fee? [AUDIO]

A New Jersey State Senator, who was going to introduce a measure to tax all drivers based on the number of miles they drive, has changed his mind, and is now crafting legislation that calls for a yearly fee for those who own electric and alternate fuel vehicles.

Tax Electric Cars in NJ
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

“The idea would be figure out a formula for less than $60 a year – they would pay approximately what they would pay if they bought gas at the pump and had to pay the tax. Right now they get a free ride, they drive the same roads and bridges as the rest of us, but they’re not paying anything,” says New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan.

His measure aims to make sure everyone is contributing to the Transportation Trust Fund, which pays for all road and bridge repairs in New Jersey.

It’s funded through the gasoline tax, but Whelan points out if you don’t buy gasoline, you’re not paying your fair share.

“No one wants to raise taxes, but lets have a conversation here about what are we going to do,” he explained. “It’s something that needs to be discussed.”

“It may not be the best idea – if there are other ideas out there I want to hear them, because if we keep going the way we’re going, we will not have enough money to address the Transportation Trust Fund needs going forward.”

Whelan adds that even if we impose a fee on those who buy electric and alternate fuel vehicles, we still need to find a permanent funding source for the Transportation Trust Fund.

He also says charging $50 a year is not going to dissuade anyone from buying a “green” vehicle, so that’s not a concern.

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