Hybrid and electric vehicle owners in Louisiana will soon have to pay an annual road fee to cover the state’s shrinking fuel tax revenue as automotive manufacturers continue phasing out the internal combustion engine.
The new fees are $60 for each hybrid and $110 for each electric vehicle registered in the state. Electric and hybrid school buses that transport students are exempt.
The road usage fee is the product of House Bill 1031, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Freiberg, R-Baton Rouge. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill into law Wednesday, though it will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2023.
The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support, but several lawmakers supported it on the mistaken belief that hybrid vehicle owners do not have to pay any fuel taxes.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue is in charge of establishing rules to handle the payments and collections of the fees. One likely option lawmakers discussed is for vehicle owners to pay the fees through their individual state income tax filings.
According to the bill, 70% of the tax proceeds will go toward road and bridge projects slated in the Department of Transportation’s Highway Priority Program. The remaining 30% will be deposited into the Parish Transportation Fund for use by local governments.
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