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Arizona bill would raise registration fees for electric car owners

Posted at 6:27 PM, Apr 24, 2018

"Some think it’s just terrible and we should never do it, and others like me say wait a minute, we’re already getting heck of a deal," said Jim Stack with the Phoenix Electric Auto's Association.

For electric car owners like Stack, it was about being a part of a movement that got him into his Tesla.

"You’re not making any pollution, you don’t subsidize fracking and all that, there's just so many incentives," Stack said.

But a new bill is eliminating one big incentive for electric car drivers.

The bill raises annual registration fees by about 18 bucks on regular cars and trucks.

It also eliminates the current super low fee for electric cars, sending annual registration fees from $41 to an average of $410.

"I don’t mind it, I use roads, I’m not trying to deny that," said Stack.

In total, more than 140 million dollars per year will be raised through the increase to fund State Highway Patrol and free up money taken from a highway repair fund called HURF.

For years money was pulled from the Highway User Revenue Fund to pay for Highway Patrol, and that has left rural counties and cities with insufficient money to repair their roads.

The fund is essential in those areas and gets its revenue from gas taxes and vehicle license fees.

"I think that’s reasonable, I mean they’ve got to get it from somewhere, if that’s their only method right now then maybe that’s a good thing cause it’s important," said Glenn Bertelsen.

On Monday, Arizona senators joined the House in approving the yearly increase. The bill now headed to the governor's desk for approval.

Senator Bob Worsley of Mesa sponsored the bill and urged other lawmakers to pass it saying it would give Governor Ducey some breathing room as budget discussion focused on school funding negotiations.

"It sounds good cause they should kind of keep it separate cause sometimes this pool of money gets used for the wrong things," Stack said.

Stack said while it’s never fun to pay more, he has no doubt other incentives will still lure plenty into an electric car.

"The cars are so overwhelmingly safer, better, more efficient, I still don’t think it’s going to stop anything," Stack said.