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Utah lawmakers want electric vehicle drivers to pay their fair share

Posted at 5:05 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 20:06:50-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill proposed in the Utah Legislature is asking drivers of electric vehicles to pay their fair share.

WATCH: Utah Senate bill looks at stiffer fines, harsher punishments for excessive speeding, reckless driving

House Bill 186 creates a pay for usage system.

If this bill becomes law, starting in 2023, drivers of alternative fuel vehicles would pay 1 cent per mile they drive. The fee would be capped at $130.25 annually.

Beginning in 2026, the per mile fee increases to 1.25 cents per mile, capped at $180 per year.

In 2032, the fee increases to 1.5 cents per mile with a $240 maximum.

For example, someone who drives 10,000 miles in 2023 would pay a fee of $100. Someone who drives 20,000 miles would pay no more than the maximum fee of $130.25.

Rep. Raymond Ward (R-Bountiful), the bill’s sponsor, believes the bill is needed to address the increase in electric vehicles on the road.

Since the state’s gas tax pays for road maintenance, the increase in electric vehicles will continue to erode that pot of money.

“This bill speaks to our long term need to maintain sufficient funding for road maintenance. For many years we have relied on the gas tax for that,” Rep. Ward said. “We need a way those vehicles will pay their fair share. We also want to acknowledge that those vehicles have important benefits to air quality here.”

Both the Utah Taxpayers Association and Utah Clean Energy spoke in support of the bill.

“This is an acceptable way forward. It balances the need to ensure that we're not disincentivizing electric vehicles, which we support,” said Josh Craft with Utah Clean Energy. “At the same time, letting people be aware of the option to participate in the road usage charge program.”

The bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy and Technology Standing Committee with bipartisan support.