When Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law HB 170 — better known as Georgia’s transportation bill — in 2015, electric vehicle, or EV, owners were subjected to steep annual licensing fees and no longer received tax breaks.
Now, a Forsyth County legislator is looking to reduce those fees to make the tax more equitable for alternatively-fueled vehicle owners.
State Rep. Todd Jones, whose District 25 spans south Forsyth and Johns Creek, recently introduced House Bills 316 and 317, which would lower the annual fees from $200 to $100 and exempt low-speed vehicles —mainly golf carts — from the tax.
The bills serve to match the amount EV users pay to that of traditional, gas-fueled vehicle owners — about $80 per year.
“If you’re like the typical Georgian driving 15,000 miles per year, you’re paying about $80 in [licensing] fees,” Jones said. “The bills say EV fees should match against cars that get good gas mileage and bring the [tax] to $100.
“EV owners are paying about 150 percent more and, while everyone should do their fair share, $100 is much fairer than $200.”
Aside from equalizing the fees, Jones said the bills are timely based on what car manufactures say they will produce in the next five to seven years.
“We’re seeing that manufacturers are streaking towards EVs, and batteries are becoming more efficient and cheaper,” Jones said. “I think it’s important that our laws match up with our imputed fees. Ford has announced 21 additional EVs and Volkswagen 30.
“While I hope it encourages people to go green, this is a matter of equity.”
The bills have made it through the House Second Readers and may go to a subcommittee before Crossover Day, which is today.
Crossover Day is the last day for legislation to pass the chamber in which it was introduced and transfer to the other chamber for consideration.