Gas prices are on the rise, so you may be thinking an electric car or hybrid may be the answer. But what many drivers don't know is that in many states you may have to pay an extra tax on that earth-friendly car.
A growing number of owners of these cars feel it is unfair.
A "slap in the face"
Dave Gilbert feels he is doing the right thing, driving a hybrid Toyota Camry to save gas and the environment.
"Right now I'm averaging 35.1 miles per gallon," he said while driving.
So he feels it's a slap in the face that his state, Kentucky, is about to slap him with a $70 annual surcharge for driving a hybrid car.
"As I read this," he said, "I found they are going to in essence double the registration fee on my 12-year-old Toyota hybrid."
At least he's not driving a Tesla: Electric car owners in his state are facing a new $150 annual fee.
30 states now are hitting hybrid and electric owners with annual fees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, NCSL.
Another dozen states are considering adding these fees, to make up for the money their lawmakers say they are losing from gasoline taxes.
In addition, some states are adding more than just an extra fee at renewal time. They are also adding a small tax to the electricity fee at public charging stations.
"They're going to start charging an excise tax on electricity if you use charging stations for electric to charge the batteries," Gilbert said.
States defend extra fees
The Director of Transportation of one state charging these fees -- Ohio -- says it is all about everyone helping to maintain the state's roadways.
"Up until this point if you were driving an EV or a hybrid to the extent that you are not using gasoline you were not helping support the system on which you depend," Jack Marchbanks told us.
But Consumer Reports say these fees are more than what the average driver of a gas car pays in gasoline taxes, and worries the new fees will discourage people from buying fuel-saving cars.
"We want to maintain the roads," Gilbert said, "but we want to do it fairly. And this tax is the wrong way to do it."
Gilbert feels he, and other hybrid owners, are now being punished for doing good for the earth.
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