The state’s governor – Jerry Brown – has just made the SB-1 Transportation funding bill official, which is aimed at raising another $52.4 billion from taxes over the next decade to use in road infrastructure maintenance and development.
This means increased taxes for petrol or diesel in general, but the law also introduces a completely new $100 annual vehicle registration fee (with an inflation adjustment) to be imposed on zero-emission cars. The fee will see all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from model year 2020 paying it and is expected to account for a mere $200 million of the total amount. Meanwhile, the diesel excise tax has been increased 20 cents from 1 November 2017, the diesel sales tax will be surging to 5.75 percent from the same date and the gasoline excise tax has also been raised 12 cents. There’s also an annual transportation improvement fee that will be based on a vehicle’s value as of next year.
It seems the California EV fee is not totally arbitrary, but more like in the idea of everyone has to do their part for the common good”. The tax is also not very big – while the increases for petrol and diesel are much more sizeable. This means the state is carefully steering people towards fuel efficient models, meaning they will go less often to the filling station, or directly towards zero emission models, where they only have to worry about the new tax.