Car talk Citizenship

EV Surprise

I had to pay my road use tax.

Featured image by the author.

I received a postcard from Virginia DMV reminding me that it was that time again and that I should renew my motor vehicle registration. When I arrived at the DMV website, I found I had a second task to perform …

I have to pay my road use tax?

Virginia uses a combination of federal grants, general revenue funds, and excess tax funds to finance state road construction and maintenance. These funds pay for the repair of Virginia roads and provide some grants in aid to municipalities to keep up city and county roads. These are collected in several ways. Interstate transport trucks pay by a different scheme not covered here.

For Personal ICE Vehicles

Virginia collects road use taxes by taxing the fuel purchased to run the vehicle. It is treated as an excise tax under the Virginia Tax code, a tax paid on a specific class of product or service. Well, with the Millenium Falcon in the garage, I’m buying about 6 gallons of gas per year to mow the lawns. How do I contribute to road maintenance costs?

For Personal Battery Electric Vehicles

The Virginia legislature recongnized that battery vehicles would not be buying gasoline. To collect the tax based on electricity purchases would be complicated (Dominion would have to add and read a second meter and bill BEV power separately.) It doesn’t make sense to do that during the adoption phase as the legislature wanted the transition to BEVs to be as seamless as possible.

So the legislature initiated a BEV road use tax collected at registration time. When the dealer registers the vehicle for you, he he transferred the GTI’s registration (which I traded) to the ID.4. Come renewal, also pay the BEV road use tax. This tax is about $100/year for the ID.4. So my total registration bill was $492 of which $390 was road use tax and $2 was an organ donor donation.

I believe the Virginia legislature set this rate to be similar to the median gas tax collected per vehicle to make the tax revenue neutral as the state’s fleet transferred from petrol vehicles to electric vehicles.

By davehamby

A modern Merlin, hell bent for glory, he shot the works and nothing worked.