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Alternative Energy Vehicle Owners Might Pay New State Fees

As electricity, natural gas and other alternative fuels gain in popularity, the gas tax -- a primary source of road funding -- is bringing in less money.

car plug

Photo: Chrysler Group

The new bill would tax alternative fuels by translating gallons of gas to an equivalent number of BTU‘s.

Legislators wrestling with finding a way to raise money for highways are also confronting a related problem of how to compensate for a shift away from gasoline.

The primary source of road funding is a per-gallon gas tax. But as hybrids, compressed natural gas and other alternative fuels gain in popularity, the gas tax is bringing in less money.

Muncie Republican Senator Doug Eckerty has authored a bill to tax alternative fuels by translating gallons of gas to an equivalent number of BTU‘s.

Eckerty envisions owners of hybrids and electric cars paying a flat fee to the BMV, instead of attempting to calculate how much energy they‘re using to charge their car batteries.

“What we‘ll do is go through the DMV and put a flat-fee mechanism in there annually,” Eckerty says. “It would be like on your license-plate renewal fee every year if you‘re driving a hybrid or an all-electric. It‘d be a $100, maybe $200 fee, depending on what the vehicle is, and it‘d be a road impact fee.”

House and Senate fiscal-policy committees may vote on the bill next week.

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  • Bob Flynn

    I understand the rationale with electrics, but why hybrids? They burn gas. Will they later start to charge regular cars which get high gas mileage when new efficiency standards kick in?

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  • Guest

    What happened to the GOP mantra of “We need to cut back on Middle East oil?” When we’re faced with record heat waves, and most intelligent people want and NEED to save money on gas so it doesn’t empty their wallets, the part of less govt. suddenly wants more govt. tax money coming in??? Wait, let me check and see if this is an onion article. Nope, just stupid Indiana republicans.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NEY353OGILKBTOICR44JI5XOXU joe

    What happened to the GOP mantra of “We need to cut back on Middle East oil?” When we’re faced with record heat waves, and most intelligent people want and NEED to save money on gas so it doesn’t empty their wallets, the party of less govt. suddenly wants more govt. tax money coming in??? Wait, let me check and see if this is an onion article. Nope, just stupid Indiana republicans.

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