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Oregonian: OR Legislature Considers Tax on Electric Cars

By Erica C. Barnett April 11, 2011

Looks like Washington isn't the only state considering a tax on electric cars. In Oregon, the Oregonian reports, legislators are considering a 1.43-cent-per-mile fee on electric car drivers. The arguments will be familiar to readers who've followed the debate here in Washington: Of course no one wants to provide a disincentive to buying electric cars, but shouldn't drivers who don't pay gas taxes have to "pay their fair share"? (Counterarguments to that faulty logic here).
With everyone else paying a 30-cent-per-gallon gas tax to build and repair roads, it would be unfair not to move forward with the legislation, said Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro.

"It's the backbone of our transportation infrastructure: Users pay," said Starr, a key supporter of the bill. "This is not about penalizing electric vehicle owners. But why should they get a tax-free ride?"

Starr also noted that EV owners benefit from publicly-funded charging stations popping up in Oregon cities and along the Interstate 5 corridor. On Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a $2 million federal grant to build 20 more stations in the Portland area, allowing electric vehicle drivers to travel longer distances.

The tax would cost a typical (12,000-mile) electric car driver about $172 a year, roughly the equivalent of what the driver of an average sedan pays in gas taxes.
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