HomeBudget & Tax NewsAn Electric Vehicle Fee in Pennsylvania Touted as 'Best Path Forward'

An Electric Vehicle Fee in Pennsylvania Touted as ‘Best Path Forward’

Pennsylvania will spend $172 million in federal funds to build out electric vehicle charging stations across the commonwealth over the next five years 

(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania lawmakers want to find a way to replace the gas tax with electric vehicle fees — before they miss out on tens of millions of dollars to fund the state’s roads and bridges.

The trick, as officials heard testimony on Monday during a House Transportation Committee hearing, is to figure out what form that fee should take to capture enough revenue.

“We must recognize the fact that our country is at the beginning stages of changing gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles,” Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Philadelphia, said. “We need to be certain that our roads and bridges can still be maintained, repaired, and replaced … we can no longer depend on gas taxes to be the sole source of funding to maintain our infrastructure and roadways.”

Pennsylvania will spend $172 million in federal funds to build out electric vehicle charging stations across the commonwealth over the next five years to accommodate the growing number of EVs on the road.

Almost 70,000 EVs are registered in Pennsylvania.

Previous discussions have centered on an EV fee equivalent to the gas tax, as The Center Square previously reported. The fee would be paid as a separate registration fee annually. Already, 32 states have an EV registration fee and 19 assess a fee on plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well.

In Pennsylvania, however, that proposed fee wouldn’t fill the growing financial hole to pay for the state’s infrastructure maintenance and repair needs.

“The gas tax has been diminishing in value for two decades as fuel efficiency has increased and cars use less fuel,” said Nick Miller, policy analyst with the Electrification Coalition. “If a flat $290 annual fee were to be implemented on all EV drivers in the state tomorrow, it would raise roughly $19.5 million this year.”

The money, however, won’t plug the hole for transportation funding.

“PennDOT estimates that it requires $9.3 billion a year in additional funding for our roadway system,” Miller said. “Therefore, EVs are a piece of a much larger puzzle here regarding alternative funding of the funding solution, not the whole solution.”

An EV fee has won support from some industry representatives who were previously against it.

Wayne Weikel, vice president of state affairs for the Alliance of Automotive Innovation, said his group has come around on EV fees.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

For more from Budget & Tax News.

For more public policy from The Heartland Institute.

Anthony Hennen
Anthony Hennen
Anthony Hennen is a reporter for The Center Square. Previously, he worked for Philadelphia Weekly and the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. He is managing editor of Expatalachians, a journalism project focused on the Appalachian region.


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