As lawmakers seek to add a mileage tax to electric vehicles, critics fear it will deter sales

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — State lawmakers are proposing a mileage tax for owners of electric vehicles that can currently bypass the gas tax.

A rate has not been set, but Senate Bill 3313 would charge homeowners annually during security checks.

The rate would be capped at the average annual gasoline tax payment.

While the state Department of Transportation said the tax would eventually apply to all drivers, critics said it would only deter people from buying electric vehicles.

“This bill will have unintended consequences for people who won’t want to buy EVs because of the extra costs associated with owning an EV,” said David Mulnix, an opponent of the EV tax. “There is already a $50 fee with owning electric vehicles. Adding additional fees will be counterproductive.

Meanwhile, the DOT said it wanted to make sure there was no inequity in who pays the taxes for transportation.

“We want to make sure that when we start looking at who pays for transportation, there is equality. We don’t want the burden of paying for the system to fall on those who cannot afford electric vehicles,” DOT Deputy Director Ed Sniffen said.

The Department of Transportation said the gas tax is no longer able to support federal funding and that a mileage tax would be better for the state.

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