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New road fee hits hybrid and electric car owners in Louisiana

By: - June 22, 2022 1:24 pm
New road fee hits hybrid and electric car owners in Louisiana

An electric Porsche Taycan charges at a station in Hammond, La., on Dec. 28, 2021. (WES MULLER/LOUISIANA ILLUMINATOR)

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.

Hybrid vehicle tech confuses Louisiana lawmakers as they set road use fees

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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Wesley Muller
Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Among his recognitions are McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association. Muller is an alumnus of Jesuit High School and the University of New Orleans and is a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Louisiana with his wife and two sons.

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