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Senate Bill 1065 — Electric vehicle fees

Senate Bill 1065 — Electric vehicle fees

Parrish Miller
February 14, 2023

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1065 would create an optional (for now) system for paying certain registration fees for electric and hybrid vehicles, based on miles traveled. 

Rating: -2

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?

Current Idaho law imposes an annual registration surcharge of $140 on electric vehicles and a $75 surcharge on hybrid vehicles under the rationale that these vehicles pay less in fuel taxes. 

It is worth noting here that, everyone pays significant fuel taxes that are baked into the price of every good we purchase. This is because nearly all goods are transported by some means that uses fuel, which is subject to taxation. 

Senate Bill 1065 proposes creating a new government program that would be — at least for now — an optional alternative method to paying these surcharges. The bill would amend Section 49-457, Idaho Code, and create Section 49-457A, Idaho Code, to establish a usage charge of one cent per mile in lieu of the existing electric and hybrid vehicle surcharges.

The government would be authorized to "contract with an account provider who performs road usage charge management for enrolled vehicle owners and usage charge calculations." This contractor would "provide participating vehicle owners with any and all devices necessary to accurately collect and transmit geolocation data necessary to meet the requirements of this section." 

The statute spells out some of the contractor’s obligations, including audits and “providing for revising prior usage charges based on submitted odometer information." 


Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?

These road usage charges would be capped so as not to exceed the existing surcharges, making the program financially neutral for now. They would, though, lay the groundwork for a future system of mileage-based taxes that could be imposed on all drivers. 


Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

Mileage tracking for any reason is an invasion of privacy, and the government doing so for the purpose of taxation only adds insult to injury. Note especially the requirement for equipment to "accurately collect and transmit geolocation data."

Idaho would be foolish indeed to create a system that is in such direct opposition to a fundamental right. 


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