North Carolina may charge extra for hybrid and electric vehicles

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hybridRALEIGH, NC – Those nifty hybrid and electric cars may be money savers at the gas pump for drivers, but they are money losers for states relying on gasoline taxes to pay for roads and bridges.

And that’s why North Carolina is among a growing number of states looking at new fees on those fuel-efficient vehicles.

Fuel taxes account for about 40% of all state highway revenues and more than 90% of federal highway funds, so says the National Conference of State Legislatures.

And the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy figures state and local fuel-tax revenues fell about 7% between 2004 and 2010, that’s around $38 billion.

So, what this apparently means is that while we are patting ourselves on the back for saving money  by driving vehicles that require little to no gasoline, the states are having trouble paying to maintain the highways we’re driving on.

North Carolina has about 30,000 hybrid and electric vehicles, and that’s why senators in the state legislature want to increase the annual registration fee for electric cars by $100 and by $50 for hybrid vehicles.

They say that will raise $1.5 million a year for the state.

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