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HB 361: Gouging electric vehicle owners – 2021

Summary: HB 361 would more than double existing registration fees for electric vehicles from $140 to $300 per year.

ICL's position: Oppose

Current Bill Status: Dead

Issue Areas: Climate Change, Emissions, Transportation

Official Legislative Site

Owning a car means paying an annual registration fee. In Idaho, gasoline-fueled car owners pay in the neighborhood of $45 to $69, plus some fees depending on the county.  But if you own an electric vehicle (EV) in Idaho, you’re paying $140 per year.  Why does Idaho charge this EV tax?  Because the Idaho Legislature doesn’t believe EV owners are paying their fair share for roads through gas taxes.
In an analysis, the Idaho National Laboratory found that EV owners should pay about $72 per year to make up for their reduced gas tax contributions. But Rep. Joe Palmer (R-Meridian) wants to more than double the existing fee to $300 per year, discouraging Idahoans from buying EVs.
This is a terrible policy for Idaho.  Because we don’t have any gas supplies in our state, Idaho imports 100% of our vehicle fuels, and we pay higher than average prices as a result. Why not use electricity produced in Idaho instead?  As Idaho Power explained:  “For years, Idaho Power has worked to expand EV adoption in the state,” the company tweeted. “This proposal runs counter to those efforts and the efforts of many others.” We agree.