Annual Fee Proposed For Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Owners
The Governor's administration is proposing an annual fee for owners of 'green' vehicles, to help cover the cost of road maintenance.
Owners of electric or hybrid vehicles are at the center of a proposal by the Maine Department of Transportation that would require them to pay an annual fee of between $150 and $250. DOT officials say the funds would help make up for the fact that those drivers don't contribute as much gas tax money, which is used to help maintain the state's roads. In addition, Maine Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt told WGME-TV that the money would help cover the cost of the infrastructure of charging stations needed to keep those vehicles running.
Opponents to the proposal say it penalizes them for being concerned about the environment. Adam Lee, of Lee Auto Malls, told WGME that the measure would, at most, save the DOT about $2 million a year, and that it's not worth it to target the people who drive 'green' vehicles.
The Maine DOT's highway fund is currently in a $60 million shortfall, and officials feel this measure would help make a dent. The proposal will be discussed again next month.