Owners of electric vehicles (EVs) would have to pay an annual fee for their vehicles in the state if proposed legislation is signed into law. According to the bill, the fee would offset the loss of taxes that the state collects at the gas pump.
Filed on Sept. 12 by State Sen. Ed Hooper (R-Clearwater), SB 28 would impose a $200 annual tax on EVs in addition to regular state vehicle registration taxes. The fee would rise to $250 on Jan. 1, 2029.
Meanwhile, owners of plug-in hybrid vehicles would pay a $50 fee every year. That fee would rise to $100 in 2029.
Under the legislation, the EV tax revenue would be transferred to the Florida Department, and 36 percent of that revenue would be allocated to the county where the vehicle is registered. Local governments would use the funds for transportation-related expenditures.
According to Tina Faulkingham, CFCA Chief Deputy of Administration & Projects for the Hernando County Tax Collector’s office, there were 643 electric vehicles registered in Hernando County as of May 21, 2023.
According to Taxuni.com, the current Florida gas tax totals 26.5 cents per gallon and 18.4 percent per gallon for diesel. The revenue is collected by the Florida Department of Revenue and is used to fund transportation-related infrastructure projects and road maintenance. If passed, Florida would join 32 states that already levy similar fees on Evs.
Commissioners cited the loss of revenues from the gas tax last year during their efforts to garner voter support for a half-cent sales tax. “The gas tax revenue is dwindling, so we’re going to have to cut some programs…” then Board Chairman Steve Champion said. Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) was unavailable for comment on the pending legislation.
Lawmakers will consider SB 28 during the 2024 session of the Legislature, which begins on Jan. 9. If passed, SB 28 would go into effect on July 1, 2024.