Arizona Lawmaker Proposes Taxes on Alternative Fuel Vehicles

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Arizona Rep. Noel Campbell, R-District 1, has introduced a bill that seeks to impose new fees on motor vehicles, including those running on alternative fuels.

According to a press release from Campbell, H.B.2536 would restore funding for critical statewide transportation needs by ensuring that “everyone is paying for the roads they use.”

The lawmaker says Arizona’s gas tax has remained untouched since 1991. Now, however, H.B.2536 would “ensure that everyone pays their fair share” of the ongoing maintenance of the state’s transportation system, says Campbell.

“In the past, the 18-cent gas tax was enough to fund our roads when our population was a little more than half our current size, gas was $1.14 a gallon and vehicles were only getting 21 miles per gallon,” he says. “That, combined with the fact that electric vehicles and vehicles with alternative fuel sources are contributing very little for the roads they use, has created an untenable situation. The world has changed, and we are falling behind in our transportation obligations by nearly $1 billion per year. H.B.2536 would ensure that everyone pays for the roads they use.”

The rate per gallon for gasoline and light-duty truck diesel fuel would increase from 18 cents to 28 cents in 2019, 38 cents in 2020 and 43 cents in 2021. Over the same years for natural gas, it would be 19 cents, 25 cents and 28 cents; for propane autogas, it would be 23 cents, 30 cents and 34 cents.

The rate per gallon for heavy-duty truck diesel fuel would increase from 26 cents to 36 cents in 2019, 46 cents in 2020 and 51 cents in 2021. For a new tax on natural gas, the rate per gallon over the same years would be 23 cents, 30 cents and 33 cents; for propane autogas, it would be 30 cents, 37 cents and 41 cents.

Electric and hybrid vehicles would be subject to a corresponding road usage fee to “account for the wear and tear that they place on our roads,” says Campbell.

As described in the text of the bill, “a tax is imposed on a vehicle that accesses a street or highway and that is propelled by electricity or a combination of electricity and [other fuels].” An all-electric vehicle would be subject to a tax of $130/year in 2019, $175/year in 2020 and $198/year in 2021, and a hybrid would have taxes of $52/year, $70/year and $80/year, respectively.

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