Regarding the proposal that there be an annual fee of $150 on hybrid vehicles and $250 on electric vehicles:

We need to be more open to thinking about the future rather than clinging to the past.

I made the decision to get a used 2012 Prius based on concern for the environment as well as fuel efficiency. If I drive an average of 10,000 miles per year and average 48 miles per gallon, the difference between that and a fuel-efficient gasoline engine averaging 34 mpg would be 86 gallons per year. The tax of 30 cents per gallon would add up to $25.80 of lost revenue for the state in a year.

I would be willing to pay a fee of $30 per year, but not $150! Such an exorbitant cost would negate any savings and indeed cost me more than driving an efficient gasoline-powered car.

Not only that, but no one is going to want to purchase a used Prius when it comes time to sell. That’s a double whammy. Electric vehicles use no gas, yet their owners might need to pay a gas tax equivalent for miles traveled figured on some imagined gasoline usage. Really, how much is this going to help fund our roads?

Instead, let’s look at other ideas. I know there is little appetite for raising the gas tax, but at some point this will need to happen. There’s also the wear and tear that heavier vehicles place on our roads. Perhaps adding a fee for vehicle weight would be more fair.

These are just a couple of suggestions that I know are being considered. Let’s get creative and come up with ways to fund our roads without penalizing cars that will be the way of the future – but not in Maine if there is an additional excise fee. This is going backward, not forward.

Margaret Harrison


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