Is that the sound of a petard we hear being hoisted?
The McClatchy news service reports, “Momentum is growing in Congress for some sort of federal tax or fee on electric vehicles.” Many of us would be happy to settle for our tax dollars not subsidizing the purchase of electric cars to the tune of $7,500 each, but this is a start.
Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso explained the thinking, “Those who use the roads need to contribute to the work that’s being done. And at this point, electric vehicles, which are a growing part of the transportation network, don’t pay anything because they don’t use gasoline.”
What really perked our ears up was this, “Barrasso has proposed ending the federal tax credit for electric vehicles and imposing a highway user fee that would be paid when a driver files a tax return.”
Until very recently in D.C., electric cars were treated as the mechanical equivalent of pandas: Loveable vehicles that couldn’t make it on their own in the real world without massive federal protection and indulgence.
This tax/registration proposal indicates a change in attitude. The first inkling of change in the D.C. area was when the state of Virginia removed the HOV exemption for electric and hybrid vehicles. Before, these silent subsidy soakers were able to use the HOV-3 lane even when the car only contained one smug global warming fanatic. Now these drivers have to pay the toll like the rest of the driver-only vehicles.
And it’s not just climate criminal Republicans who think this way. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) agreed, “Those driving electric powered vehicles or hydrogen powered vehicles or natural gas-powered vehicles, they need to make some payment toward the fund, the transportation fund.”
This proposal means the feds are playing catch up with the states. Currently 26 states have imposed “some sort of fee or tax” on humming vehicles. The Sierra Club complains, “under most proposed fees, electric vehicle drivers would likely pay more than owners of gasoline-powered cars. In 2017, the median electric vehicle fee was about $123 annually, compared with $71 paid in gas tax.”
Call it a smug tax if you will, but even at $123 annually it will take 60 years to pay back the initial purchase subsidy for buying a plug-in car.
Naturally paying their way has the current caucus up in arms, “Environmental groups, electric vehicle interests and some lawmakers are aghast, warning that their efforts to promote a clean technology could be suddenly stymied.”
Taking away subsidies and paying for what you use is so un-Washington! Which is exactly why we like the idea.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.