Following on the heels of 7 other states around the country that have made similar moves, the Wyoming legislature recently passed a bill that will see electric vehicle (EV) owners charged a $50 annual fee, supposedly in order to make up for lost fuel tax revenue.
The idea here is that the annual fee is a means of paying for road and infrastructure upkeep (read: road tax). Of course, one could say that the new tax is really just a means of increasing state revenue, and that other tax sources (vehicle registration fees, vehicle purchase taxes, etc) could cover the cost of basic road maintenance in urban areas. (Rural road upkeep is an entirely different issue to my mind — many will simply have to be reverted to gravel over the coming years, imo.) It should also be noted here that most fuel taxes aren’t used for road upkeep, but rather for highway construction projects and the like.
The new annual special fee went into effect on July 1, 2015. Also worth noting here is that the fee applies only to plug-in vehicles — plug-in hybrid ones as well as all-electric ones — but not to non-plug-in hybrids.
The legislation for the new fee was approved unanimously by the state Senate (though there was one absence), with a vote of 29-0; and the House passed it 56-3 (with one absence).
Those curious about the naysayers (or EV supporters/users?), may be interested to know the names. Here they are: Marti Halverson of Lincoln/Sublette/Teton counties; Kendell Kroeker of Natrona County; and Robert McKim of Lincoln County.
The recent move means that Wyoming joins the likes of North Carolina, Georgia, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Nebraska, and Virginia in charging EV users an annual “road tax replacement” fee.
(Tip of the hat to “pox” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for the news.)