Part of the price we pay for every gallon of gas we put in our cars is tax, Texas charges 38.4¢/gal, which goes toward transportation infrastructure, including road maintenance and running traffic lights, among other things.
While Texas hasn’t raised this tax in twenty years, vehicle fuel efficiency has almost doubled, meaning that vehicles are traveling Texas roads nearly twice as many miles per tax dollar. The clear solution to this would be to raise the gas tax, which would help pay for the extra miles that are being driven.
What about vehicles that use zero fuel? Electric vehicles [EV] certainly travel Texas roads, but if they pay no gas tax, then who gets to pay for road maintenance? The logic is sound, but isn’t going to be good news for EV and plug-in hybrid owners, who are going to be taxed separately.
That’s right, just like Oregon’s EV tax/mile ruling currently being considered, and Washington’s new $100 annual EV fee, Texas is considering an EV tax to make up for the shortfall in fuel taxes.
Granted, such a tax may not seem like much, but aren’t EV owners going to be surprised when their Texas vehicle registration fees double this year? Overall costs are still going to be much lower than gasoline-powered vehicles, but it’s hard to fix that in the mind when you’re used to spending a few dollars in taxes weekly, or $100 in a lump sum.
Personally speaking, I think this money could come from somewhere else. Perhaps they could take some finding from the health industry, seeing as reduced vehicle emissions will lead directly to fewer cases of cardiovascular and pulmonary patients.
I have a much better idea. Lets tax all non-commercial vehicles per mile equally no matter what: EVs as well as hybrid or old clunkers, it is then fair. Then leave some of the gasoline and diesel tax as a tailpipe emission tax, usable to help clean up the environment and discourage old dirty technology. In my community even the garbage trucks 3 months ago started running on natural gas and I don’t think they are paying any fuel tax. When cars too become available with natural gas which is extremely clean burning then it might be a small sales tax for that type of fuel.