The Illinois state legislature is considering a bill that would impose by far the highest fee on EV ownership of any US state. The legislation, introduced by Democratic Senator Martin Sandoval of Chicago, would raise the annual registration fee for electric vehicles from the current $17.50 to $1,000.
The bill, which is aimed at raising revenue to maintain transportation infrastructure, would also more than double the state’s gas tax to 44 cents a gallon, double the driver’s license fee to $60, and raise the vehicle registration fee to $148. Sandoval said his plan would raise an estimated $2.4 billion in annual transportation funding.
Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker has expressed support for a program to upgrade the state’s infrastructure, but hasn’t endorsed a specific source of revenue. “Passing a capital bill is a top priority for the governor this legislative session,” said spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Bipartisan working groups are discussing various components of a capital plan, including both projects and potential revenue sources, and the administration is working with federal partners and engaging local stakeholders on the needs for their communities as the process moves forward. We look forward to introducing a bill soon.”
The idea of increasing the gas tax has some Republican support, thanks to a recent amendment to the state constitution that requires transportation-related revenue to be spent only on transportation-related projects.
As of October 2018, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states imposed a special registration fee for hybrid and/or plug-in vehicles. The highest fees are in Georgia and West Virginia, each of which charges EV drivers $200 per year.
Illinois voters can contact Governor Pritzker’s office or their state legislators to comment on the proposed bill.
Sources: Chicago Tribune, National Conference of State Legislatures