21.5.19

"I THOUGHT ILLINOIS WAS PROGRESSIVE."

Nope, just a tax hell.
Aimed at raising money to make overdue road improvements across Illinois, the proposed legislation would also more than double the state’s gas tax to 44 cents a gallon and raise the registration fee for standard vehicles to $148, from $98, among other elements.

But the kicker is a nearly 60-fold increase in the electric vehicle registration fee — one that is sure to cause sticker shock across a nascent segment of the auto industry, which has depended on government incentives to entice early adopters.

Hybrids and plug-in electric hybrids, which both use gas to supplement electric power, are not included in the $1,000 fee proposal.

The justification for the dramatic hike? Electric vehicles don’t provide the state with any gas tax revenue.

“There’s definitely a push, because electric vehicles don’t pay any gas taxes,” said Pete Sander, president of the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association.
That provokes a Twitchy quip. “Democrats who bought $75,000 cars with help of big taxpayer subsidies are complaining about a proposed tax increase that would affect them.”

Yes, although, funnily, the subsidy for buying an all-electric vehicle goes away as the fleet gets bigger.  A state tax that discourages the purchase of electric vehicles allows the subsidy to continue (to the benefit of buyers in other states?)

That registration fee, though, is way larger than what I pay in annual gasoline taxes, and for registration.  That's even with the bigger Cold Spring Shops staff car that went into the garage last year.

There's not enough money to improve the existing roads, even with these proposed taxes.  But the motor vehicle lobby is still going to object, in principle, to spending any money on improving rail transportation, whether using light rail, rapid transit, or Commuter Rail.

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