BY: Citizens Count
HB 1541, currently under consideration by the state Legislature, would apply a sliding registration fee to hybrid and electric vehicles.
Hybrid cars, which use a combination of gas and electric power, would pay $100 more than conventional gas or diesel-fueled cars, and all-electric cars would pay $200 more.
The bill is intended to make up for lost gas tax revenue from these vehicles.
About registration fees
Currently, vehicle registration in New Hampshire is done at the town clerk’s office in the town in which you reside. There are two annual fees. The local fee is a personal property tax and is based on the original list price of the vehicle. The second fee is a state fee and is based on the weight of the vehicle.
HB 1541 would add a flat fee on top of that, if you drive a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Arguments for and against HB 1541
In New Hampshire, funds to build and maintain state roads and bridges comes from the state registration fee, from the state portion of the gasoline tax, and from tolls charged on state turnpikes.
Proponents of the measure say that since fuel-efficient vehicles use less gasoline and therefore their owners pay less in gasoline taxes in the long run, owners of hybrid and electric cars aren’t contributing their fair share of the maintenance costs. A bigger registration fee each year would help make up the difference.
Opponents say that the state should encourage the use of hybrid and electric fuel vehicles, since they make less of an impact on the environment. That benefits everyone in the long term, so New Hampshire shouldn’t discourage the use of alternative fuel vehicles by charging an extra fee.
What do you think? Should hybrid and electric car owners pay higher registration fees? Let us know in the comments section below.