State’s Proposed Gas Tax Bill Places Fees on Electric, Hybrid Car Owners

Janae Pierre, WBHM

Tesla charging station in uptown Birmingham near the BJCC.

State lawmakers went into special session Wednesday to consider a proposed gas tax increase to fund road and bridge construction. The bill would impact all motorists — but some would pay significantly more than others.

Gov. Kay Ivey’s proposed bill would increase the state’s gas tax by 10 cents a gallon. But one part of the bill has gotten a lot of attention lately: drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles pay additional fees compared to regular vehicle owners. State Sen. Del Marsh supports the bill.

“What we’ve done is just basically say let’s bring electric vehicles and parallel them with what people are paying on gas-burning cars and that number of 75 and 200 are in line with that,” he says.

That’s $75 dollars in extra fees for hybrid owners. Drivers of electric cars will pay an extra $200. Marsh says the additional fees are fair.

Here’s the rationale: drivers of fuel-efficient cars buy less gas. So charging them more is a way to make it so that all drivers contribute to this infrastructure fund. It makes it so that all drivers have to pay to use the roadways. Critics see it as punitive toward hybrid and electric car owners. They say electric vehicles don’t put as much wear and tear on the roads because they tend to be lighter. 

In addition to road and bridge projects, a portion of those state tax dollars would go toward more charging stations across the state.

Marsh says “once adequate infrastructure is met, the fee on that drops, but we want to create that infrastructure for electric vehicles.”

The fee would decrease once the gas tax hike is phased in over three years. Marsh says the state expects more electric vehicles on the roads in coming years.

As the special session continues, he says more changes are expected to be made to the draft bill.  

If the bill passes, Alabama would join 20 other states that charge fees ranging from $50 to $200 on hybrid and electric vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

More Gas Tax Coverage

Alabama’s Chemical Castration Law Draws Criticism

Certain convicted sex offenders in Alabama will soon have to undergo chemical castration if they want to be released on parole. That’s according to a bill signed into law this week by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Here’s What You Missed in the 2019 Legislative Session

It was one of the busiest and most contentious legislative sessions in years. The near-total abortion ban passed by Alabama lawmakers overshadowed many other bills. What else happened?

Reading Proficiency, Equal Pay Among Bills Passed in Alabama Legislature

Lawmakers approved a slew of bills this week, which is expected to be the last one of the 2019 session. Measures on equal pay and holding back third-graders who don't read proficiently were among those passed in the push toward the session's end.

Lawmakers Pass a Restrictive Abortion Ban as Time Runs Out in the Session

Alabama lawmakers this week passed what’s considered one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country. We look at the fallout and where this leaves one other major legislative priority here in the state -- prisons.

Alabama Governor Signs Near-total Abortion Ban Into Law

Alabama’s Republican governor signed the most stringent abortion legislation in the nation Wednesday, making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.

Alabama Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Nearly All Abortions

The Alabama Senate passed a bill Tuesday evening to ban nearly all abortions. The state House had already overwhelmingly approved the legislation. It's part of a broader anti-abortion strategy to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the right to abortion.

More Gas Tax Coverage