• Thu. Apr 22nd, 2021

Legislators push for the introduction of EV tax in Tampa, says it will augment gas tax


Mar 5, 2021

As the Country embraces the shift to renewable energy to reduce the world’s carbon dioxide levels, Tampa has strived to stay among the cities pushing for policies to boost battery-powered transport. In the downtown part of the Florida city, the government has pledged to install 144 electric charging stations in three new parking garages. With few people on the roads due to C0vid-19, gas taxes have gone down. Consumers shifting to electric vehicles has added to this challenge, leaving government transport projects short of funds. Legislators are pushing for a new law to impose taxes on electric vehicle users.

“You need to make sure everybody is paying their fair share whether you’re driving a $90,000 Tesla or a $20,000 gas-powered car,” said Andrew Learned, a State Representative who proposed the bill. Learned, a democrat from Brandon proposed this bill to Congress at the beginning of February. Republican State Representative Jackie Toledo also proposed a different bill airing the same sentiments. The bills will introduce additional fees to EV users. If the bill is passed to a new law, it will create additional fees for electric vehicles, a license tax, and an additional fee for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. It will also provide for the distribution of proceeds from the extra fees.

“[The bill] will require the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to increase the additional fees, subject to certain requirements, providing for that certain vehicles are exempt from specified fees, providing for the future expiration and reversion of specified statutory text” read the bill, introduced to the house on February 8.

Toledo stated that without the involvement of the EV users in funding local projects through taxes, all users would be affected by the poor highways regardless of how their vehicles are powered. “We will be in trouble. We will be just like any other big city that can’t move people from point A to point B,” said Toledo. Assenting this bill to the law will see Tampa join twenty-six other states where users pay an annual tax for their battery-powered and hybrid vehicles. The tax would start at $135 for an electric passenger car, going up to $150 in 2025.

Gas car drivers part with approximately $300 per year in taxes. This is according to reports released by Florida’s Department of Transportation. A drop in gas tax has delayed the completion of construction projects such as the Howard Frankland Bridge and the Westshore Interchange. A new study suggests about 35% of all cars will be electric by 2040. There is a need to bring the EV users onboard on the tax responsibility. “They are still using the roads, and they want bigger bridges and things too. And the way we’re going to be able to build those in the future is to make sure electric vehicles are also paying their fair share,” said Learned.