Proposed legislation in Texas would charge EV owners annual fees

One of the things that makes driving traditional gasoline-powered vehicles more expensive are the additional taxes states tack on fuel to help pay for infrastructure. Electric vehicle owners don't have to pay these extra taxes because they don't use gasoline or other fuels, thereby avoiding the tax. The state of Texas is now proposing a new law that would charge yearly fees to electric vehicle owners of up to $400 or more.

The proposed Senate Bill 1728 is being pushed to have electric vehicle owners pay their fair share for the infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, that they use despite not paying taxes at the fuel pump. The most recent version of the bill has increased the EV tax from $200. Some details on the proposed bill have surfaced from the Tesla Owners Club of Austin that claims the bill proposes an annual EV fee of between $190 and $240.

An additional scaled vehicle miles traveled fee for those traveling more than 9000 miles per year would add another $150 more. There would also be a $10 annual surcharge to fund a new charging infrastructure advisory council. Added up all the fees would cost an EV owner between $250 and $400 or more in annual fees.

The Association of General Contractors is backing the bill with claims that EV drivers should be taxed to allow people to benefit from jobs created by the highway fund projects. The Texas Comptroller's office has estimated that the additional fees would apply to about 300,000 vehicles in fiscal year 2022.

The new fees would raise $37.8 million starting in 2022. As the number of EVs increases, the amount of money raised by the new fees would increase dramatically. By fiscal 2026 the fees would raise more than $135.5 million.