(WHTM) – Legislation that would replace Pennsylvania’s Alternative Fuels Tax for electric vehicle owners and replace it with a flat fee advanced in the State Senate.

Senator Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland/Dauphin/Perry) proposed legislation that would eliminate alternative fuel tax on electric vehicles and instead replace it with an annual $290 fee.

“My legislation will simplify government for electric vehicle owners and ensure all drivers are contributing toward the maintenance of Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges,” Rothman said.

The $290 fee was calculated based on the average annual gas taxes paid by owners of gas-powered vehicles. 

“We are getting rid of the alternative fuel tax for cars and replacing it with a registration fee. Which works out to $290 per year. Which is the equivalent to what most Pennsylvania drivers pay per year in gas taxes,” Rothman said.

Pennsylvania has the second-highest gas tax in the United States.

“It’ll generate about $20 million per year right now for our roads and bridges. Imagine what’s going to happen when we have all electric vehicles or we have five times as many electric vehicles. This could be a hundred million or couple hundred million dollars a year for our roads and bridges,” Rothman added.

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Owners of electric vehicles currently have to file monthly statements with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. They must also remit the alternative fuel tax on how much electricity their vehicle uses.

Electric vehicle owners might not be aware that they are required to file these monthly statements, which leads to those owners forgetting or not doing them at all.

“I understand there is a need to pay tax to maintain the roads. That’s just a fact of life. To me it seems like there’s a hole in the system right now. Yeah I’d be okay with that. Do I wanna pay more money? No. Nobody wants to pay more money. But that’s just a fact of life,” a local driver said.

“I mean I really don’t think it’s fair honestly. If we are paying for electric, we shouldn’t have to pay for the gas tax as well. That’s kinda the point of going electric,” said Michael Rosa, an electric car owner.

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According to the memo, the legislation is designed to simplify the process and ensure electric vehicle owners are paying towards the Commonwealth’s Transportation Infrastructure.

The deposited revenue from the fee will go into the Motor License Fund for highway maintenance construction.

The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.